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Vegan Meatball Bake

Vegan Meatball Bake
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A classic week night recipe gets a vegan, plant-based protein makeover! Enjoy this Vegan Meatball Bake by @orchidsnsweettea_.

Ingredients

  • 1(9 oz.) box Ancient Harvest Plant-Based Protein Pasta Green Lentil Penne
  • 1Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1(12 oz.) bag Vegan Meatballs, Homemade or Store-bought
  • 32 oz.Pasta sauce
  • 2-3Tbsps pasta water
  • 3garlic cloves, minced
  • 1Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 1Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp red pepper flakes
  • sea salt + black pepper, for taste
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp onion powder
  • 2-3Tbsps veggie stock, organic
  • 3-4cups ricotta cheese
  • 3cups shredded mozzarella cheese, organic
  • 1cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Begin by cooking penne pasta according to the directions of the packaging for al dente (about 6-7 minutes) and drain (leaving aside 2-3 Tbsps of pasta water for later).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, lightly grease a standard 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. In the meantime, in a pot on medium-high heat, add oil (1 Tbsp) and minced garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant +translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add in vegan meatballs and let them brown on around the sides, tossing them to ensure that they brown evenly, about 5-6 minutes. Remove meatballs from pan.
  4. Add the tomato sauce followed by the veggie stock and whisk together. Add in seasonings and herbs and whisk until combined. Re-add meatballs and stir them into the sauce using a wooden spoon.
  5. Let sauce simmer and bubble for 10-15 minutes before removing from heat.
  6. Meanwhile, add ricotta cheese and a few Tbsps (2-3 at most) of pasta water and stir using a spatula until smooth. Fold in parmesan cheese and kale.
  7. Add a bit of the tomato sauce to the base of the baking dish and then add in the cooked pasta. Spread evenly. Sprinkle a nice layer of mozzarella cheese (1 cup) for extra cheesiness.
  8. Top with meatballs + tomato sauce and add scoops of ricotta mixture in between the pasta and meatballs all around. **NOTE: It doesn’t have to be perfect.**
  9. Sprinkle the tops with remaining mozzarella cheese until fully covered.
  10. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil paper and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until cheese has fully melted and browned slightly.
  11. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite salad or bread.