Meatless Monday - Pumpkin Baked Ziti

by Dianne Wenz


Thanksgiving can be a tough holiday for those who don’t partake in meat, but with some careful planning, it is possible to get through the day relatively unscathed. Even though pasta isn’t traditionally thought of as a Thanksgiving dish, it’s been showing up on the table more and more throughout recent years and it’s a safe meatless option. The pumpkin and pecans in this recipe give it a fall feel, and the tofu ricotta tastes close enough to the “real” thing that even omnivores will enjoy it.


  • Tofu Ricotta
  • 1 pound container firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage


  • 12 ounces penne pasta (I used Tinkyada gluten-free pasta)
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/8 cup nutritional yeast, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped


  1. To make the ricotta, crumble the tofu into a food processer fitted with an s-blade. Add the lemon juice, garlic, broth and nutritional yeast and blend until the mixture is thick and looks like ricotta cheese. Add more vegetable broth if the mixture is too thick. Add the sage and pulse until it’s mixed in. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°.
  3. Prepare pasta according to the package instructions, but for about 3 minutes less than the package calls for. This is to ensure that the pasta won’t get too mushy while being baked.
  4. In a large bowl, gently mix together the cooked pasta, tofu ricotta, pumpkin, garlic, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly in a 9x12” casserole dish. Sprinkle with the pecans and remaining nutritional yeast.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  7. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Serves 4