This three cheese rigatoni recipe! It sends me to pasta heaven…
It is everything an Italian pasta dish should be…
hearty comforting cheesy savory
I created this recipe while wanting to reinvent a recipe that was passed down to my mother from my great aunt, Peggy. It has been in the family forever it seems. When I got married, my sister and mother put together a recipe book filled with family recipes on old school style recipe cards. The rigatoni recipe was one of my favorites. She made it at every holiday meal. It is the most requested staple at our holiday dinners.
Since going vegan, I have veganized her traditional recipe and it was okay, not great. Swapping out the mozzarella with Daiya shreds was fine and got the job done, but it didn’t bring the comfort and pasta joy that the old dish did. So…I reinvented it and created this three cheese rigatoni. I have several favorite dairy-free cheeses, but three top my list when it comes to Italian cooking:
Kite Hill’s Almond Milk Ricotta
Its creamy texture and salty taste make me want to eat it out of the tub with a spoon all on its own (and I confess that I have!).
Follow Your Heart’s Shredded Parmesan Cheese
I am so grateful for this cheese. It has been life changing in my pasta dishes, pesto sauces, and salads.
Go Veggie’s Grated Parmesan Cheese
Forget the stuff in the can that I grew up with. This has the same texture and tastes just as good, if not better.
Dairy-Free Three Cheese Rigatoni
The combination of these cheeses, layered together with a sweet and savory marinara sauce is pure pasta bliss. When it comes to marinara, I don’t kill myself with a homemade sauce. When I make plain spaghetti and the sauce is the show, I will doctor up my favorite canned sauce (San Marzano or Trader Joe’s canned marinara). However, with a dish like this three cheese rigatoni where there are so many different layers, my favorite canned sauce stands up just fine on its own. The dish comes together sort of like a lasagna, as you layer everything just like you would the traditional Italian casserole. If you want to add some plant protein to the dish, I highly recommend stirring in some sliced Tofurky Italian Sausage.
- 1 pound package of rigatoni
- 1 package Kite Hill Ricotta
- 3/4 cup Go Veggie! Grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
- 1 package Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 28 ounce cans of your favorite marinara sauce
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. Pour 1/4 cup of marinara sauce in a casserole dish and spread it out to coat the bottom of the dish.
- 3. Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce (until coated nicely).
- 4. Begin layering the rigatoni into the dish as follows: 1/3 of the pasta followed by 1/3 of each of the ricotta and shredded cheese, and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese.
- 5. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of sauce on top of the cheeses and spread it to cover the cheeses. Continue to layer the ingredients in the same order 2 more times, reserving a bit of shredded cheese for the top.
- 6. Top with additional sauce and sprinkle any remaining shredded Parmesan cheese on top.
- 7. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
- 8. Serve with additional marinara sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.
I served this dish earlier this month with some Italian herb roasted vegetables and an antipasto tossed salad. I was thrilled by how much my family enjoyed it. My kids aren’t huge fans of all the dairy-free cheeses I cook with, so this recipe was a huge win for me. I hope you and your family enjoy it just as much. It makes an easy weeknight dinner as you can prep everything ahead of time, but is also a lovely weekend meal for company. Please let me know what you think!