Baked Ziti with Spinach & Cashew Cheese


  • 1 lb Tinkyada Brown Rice Ziti or Penne, cooked al dente
  • 2 c. Cashew Cheese (recipe below)
  • 1 cup organic, frozen chopped Spinach thawed
  • Mel’s Zesty Marinara Sauce
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 c. shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 TBL Tamari
  • 1 TBL Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ can tomato paste
  • 2 -28oz cans Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. Agave Nectar (leave out for cleanse or add 1 tsp xylitol)
  • 2 TBL Fresh basil, chopped

In a stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic & mushrooms until soft & caramelized. Add thyme & oregano and stir to incorporate to release the herbs. Add crushed tomatoes & tomato paste. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30

minutes. Add tamari, agave & balsamic vinegar & stir well. Simmer 5-10 minutes more. Season with salt & pepper and top with fresh basil.



  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours & drained
  • Filtered water
  • 2 TBL Nutritional yeast flakes
  • sea salt & pepper to taste

Place soaked cashews in a blender cup with just enough water to barely cover. Blend until very smooth. Add nutritional yeast and blend. This mixture should be fairly thick, so if it’s too thin, add some more cashews. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a bowl and add spinach. Stir well to incorporate

Preheat oven to 400.

To Assemble:

Place cooked Ziti noodles in large bowl. Ladle in marinara sauce until well covered. Stir to coat. If you like more sauce, add more. Add 1 cup cashew cheese & spinach mixture and stir to incorporate. You can always add more if you want more. Pour into baking dish and ladle sauce on top to cover.  Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast flakes. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes until heated through. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. MANGIA!!

Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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