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This vegan pasta dish consists of penne cooked in a flavorful and creamy tomato curry sauce and topped with a rich layer of vegan cheese! It’s made in one skillet in less than 1 hour! Plant-based, easy, flavorful, and with a gluten-free option!

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

The weather is getting colder, meaning the comforting dishes have to come back!

Comforting is exactly what this dish is about: pasta cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce infused with Indian spices and topped with a rich and cheesy sauce.

You guys seem to love Indian-inspired recipes like this Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala, Dal Palak, or these Potato & Green Bean Stuffed Naans, so I have no doubt you’re going to love this one! Let’s do it!

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

🥣 How to Make This Pasta Bake

It starts with the penne that is cooked until perfectly tender. I went with penne, but you could use macaroni, fusilli, or tortellini! Just adjust the boiling time according to the package instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the curry sauce. It consists of garlic and ginger that are sautéed for a few minutes with spices like garam masala, turmeric, chili, and cumin. Then, add crushed tomatoes and coconut milk for creaminess.

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

Drain your pasta and add it to the skillet. Stir to coat the pasta with the curry sauce and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes. This step will allow the pasta to soak up some of the sauce.

Next, you want to top the pasta skillet with the cheese sauce. For the sauce, I went with soaked cashews that are blended with nutritional yeast for cheesiness, miso for umami, and onion and garlic powder. I also added some maple syrup and a tablespoon of white wine to give it a deeper flavor.

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

Another 10-15 minutes in the oven, a few minutes under the grill, and you end up with a beautiful golden brown pasta bake. The pasta on top is almost crispy while the inside remains saucy, SO good! Top with chopped cilantro and serve warm!


Can I make this ahead of time?

This pasta bake is best served immediately after baking for the best texture and flavor. You can, however, prepare the curry and the cheese sauce up to 3 days ahead. Then, simply cook the pasta, coat it with the sauce, and bake as noted in the recipe.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Simply omit the miso and use your favorite gluten-free pasta!

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

If you are looking for a cozy and filling pasta bake, you are going to love this one! It is cheesy, saucy, and flavorful, thanks to the addition of Indian spices. Plus, it’s made in one skillet!

🍛 More Indian-Inspired Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake
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Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

Cheesy Tikka Masala Pasta Bake

5 from 8 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Flavorful, creamy, and cheesy Indian-inspired pasta bake infused with ginger, garlic, and garam masala. Comforting, filling, and easy to make!
Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour
Servings 5 Servings
Calories 556 kcal


Cheesy Sauce

Pasta Bake

  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp each: turmeric, chili
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • for topping: fresh cilantro


Cheesy Sauce

  • Drain the cashews and transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add all the other ingredients: water, nutritional yeast, miso, white wine, maple syrup, cornstarch, onion and garlic powder, and turmeric.
  • Blend on high speed for about 10 seconds or until smooth. Taste and add salt if needed (depending on how salty your miso is). Transfer the cheese sauce to a small bowl and set aside.

Pasta Bake

  • Cook the penne according to the package instructions.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large iron skillet. Once hot, add the garlic and grated ginger, and sautée for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garam masala, turmeric, chili, cumin, and salt, and cook for one more minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juice, maple syrup, coconut milk, and water.
  • Let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Next, drain the penne pasta and add it to the skillet. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the cheesy sauce over the pasta. Use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly.
  • Bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheesy sauce is golden brown. You can put it under the grill for the last few minutes for better caramelization.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. This pasta bake is best served the same day but will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, cover with foil and warm in a 400°F preheated oven for about 30 minutes.


  • If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can transfer the pasta to a baking dish.


Serving: 1 serving (with light coconut milk) | Calories: 556 kcal | Carbohydrates: 72.9 g | Protein: 17.6 g | Fat: 21.2 g | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 6.7 g
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Indian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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looks yum!

because I’m weird, will try this as a lasagna.

This looks brilliant! I’m definitely going to try this soon, because I’ve been wanting something cozy, cheesy, and baked to usher in autumn. I appreciate that you don’t just use packaged non-dairy cheese, but provide a less processed option. Thanks!

Hi! I would love to try this recipe but I cannot buy white miso – is there anything similar that I could use instead?
Thanks xx

5 stars
Miso red or white are so useful in a lot of recipes you can buy it on line you may want to check it out~

5 stars
Delicious!!! Have tried it yesterday. will make again – for sure!
Thank you, Thomas 🙂

5 stars
I made this recipe and it is delicious! Thank you Thomas for creating this awesome dish. I’m saving this one in my favorites!

Ooohhh momma trying this asap yum!

5 stars
This is the ultimate comfort food, I just love it. I’m too lazy to make the cheesy sauce and it’s still amazing.

5 stars
I have two sons that are begins that we eat vegan a lot at our house. I’ve made this three times and it’s consistent and wonderful every time.
This time I didn’t have wine so I just took some soy-based Parmesan sprinkles and added it to the cheese mixture. It’s a keeper!
I have used your sight more than any other vegan site to make really good vegan food and a lot of times it’s very beautiful and elegant dish. My other favorite is the green Thai curry Bowl absolutely love that one!

5 stars
Bonjour Thomas,

J’ai essayé cette recette hier soir. Vraiment facile et délicieux. La sauce était parfaite et bien épicée. C’était la première fois que je mélangeais pâtes alimentaires et sauce à l’indienne. Le tout se marie à merveille. Merci encore pour cette inspiration.

5 stars
This is seriously amazing! I never thought of Tikka Masala on pasta !! Gonna to try soon !

I’m going to make this tomorrow. Recipe is on clear on the chili. Is it a chili pepper or chili powder? Thank you!

5 stars
This is such a delicious twist on the pasta bake i normally make. My teenagers loved it and are taking the leftovers to school for lunch today with a salad. I think this will be another regular feature in our house. Thanks Thomas for yet another winning recipe. Im making my way through your whole recipe collection and cant fault a single thing x

I added onion and mushroom to it to give it more variety of texture, highly recommend. Also used fire roasted crushed tomatoes, which was really good.