Creamy Vegan Noodle Casserole – Connoisseur Veg

This vegan noodle casserole is made with vegetables, noodles and a creamy sauce, baked to bubbly perfection and topped with a crispy panko breadcrumb coating. A delicious dairy-free comfort food that’s infinitely customizable!

White wooden surface set with casserole dish and bowl of vegan noodle casserole.

A few years ago I tried to create a recipe for vegan tuna noodle casserole. It was not good. I’ve successfully mimicked the taste and texture of tuna in dishes like my vegan tuna salad, but it was weird and wrong in a casserole.

But there were many things I really liked about the dish.

So I decided to keep the good stuff and let go of what I didn’t like. I ended up here, with a simple vegan noodle casserole. The dish itself is comforting and creamy. It is also very kid friendly.

But it’s also customizable! If the prospect of creamy breadcrumbs topped with vegetables and noodles seems too basic for you, try one of my customizations mentioned below to jazz it up. In my house we enjoyed it plain, dipped in hot sauce and with added vegetarian sausage. We love every version.


Ingredients you will need

  • the pasta The noodles you find in most conventional noodle casseroles contain eggs, so we’re using dry pasta instead (pasta is technically a different type of noodle). I used rotini, but you could also use another small pasta shape like macaroni or mafalda.
  • raw cashews It is important that the cashews are raw (not roasted) so that the sauce turns out properly. We will mix them by soaking them in water.
  • Water.
  • Vegan butter. It is sold next to regular butter in most grocery stores. Earth Balance, Melt and Miyoko are a few brands to look for.
  • Button mushrooms.
  • onion
  • the carrot
  • Celery.
  • garlic
  • flour I only tested the recipe with all-purpose wheat flour, so I can’t say if any other variety would work.
  • Non-dairy milk. Any variety that is unflavored and unsweetened will work. I used Almond Breeze almond milk.
  • Bouillon. You can use vegetable bouillon cubes or paste. I used seasoned vegetables to taste better than bouillon.
  • dried thyme
  • Lemon juice. Use freshly squeezed juice for best taste.
  • Frozen pulses.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Panko breadcrumbs.

How is it made?

Below is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. If you want to skip the recipe, scroll all the way down!

  • Begin by boiling your pasta according to package directions. When done drain in a colander.
  • Blend the cashews. Drain them from the soaking water and rinse them, then add them to a blender with some water. Blend until smooth!

Tip: Blending cashews until perfectly smooth can be a challenge unless you use a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or BlendTech. Try mixing them with a small amount of water (¼ to ½ cup) first, until a smooth paste is formed, then add the rest of the water.

Cashew milk in a blender.
  • Heat some vegan butter in a skillet, then add the mushrooms in a relatively even layer. If you can’t fit them in without crowding, cook them in two batches.
  • Cook the mushrooms for about five minutes on each side, until they turn golden brown, then remove from the skillet.
Cooking mushrooms in a skillet.
  • Add some more butter to the pan, add the chopped onion, celery and carrot. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  • Add minced garlic and sprinkle in flour. Stir everything well so that the flour is coated with the vegetables and continue to cook the mixture for about a minute.
Celery, carrot, onion, garlic and flour cooked in a pan.
  • Slowly pour in the non-dairy milk. Add a little at a time and stir well before adding more. This will help prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Add cashew mixture, bouillon and dried thyme. You can return the mushrooms to the skillet at this point. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer.
  • Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, until it thickens slightly.
Cooking Vegan Casserole Sauce in a Skillet
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Combine cooked noodles, sauce mixture and (thawed) frozen peas in a casserole dish. Be sure to give the mixture a taste-test and season with some salt and pepper if needed at this point.
Unbaked Vegan Noodle Casserole in a Casserole Dish.
  • Cover the dish and put it in the oven. Bake it for about 20 minutes, then uncover it, sprinkle the top with panko breadcrumbs and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Be sure to let the casserole sit for at least 5 minutes when you remove it from the oven. Then you are ready to serve and enjoy it!
Spoon vegan noodle casserole into baking dish.


  • Add cheese. Sprinkle a layer of your favorite shredded vegan cheese over the casserole before topping with panko breadcrumbs.
  • Braised sauce. Spice up your noodle casserole by adding hot sauce to the pasta/sauce mixture before baking. I used Cholula and loved it.
  • Add protein. Add your favorite meat substitute, such as vegan chicken or chopped sausage links. You can also add seitan or a delicious baked tofu like this smoked tofu or this lemon and herb tofu.
  • Vegan Tuna Casserole. While I wasn’t a fan of my completely homemade vegan tuna casserole mentioned above, you could probably make this recipe with commercial vegan tuna like Good Catch.
  • Topping variations. Instead of panko breadcrumbs, top your casserole with crushed potato chips or French fried onions.

Remaining and storage

Leftover vegan noodle casserole will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or about 3 months in the freezer.

More vegan casseroles

Like this recipe? if so, Stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook , Pinterest or Instagram , or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this!

Bowl of vegan noodle casserole with a fork.

Creamy Vegan Noodle Casserole

This vegan noodle casserole is made with vegetables, noodles and a creamy sauce, baked to bubbly perfection and topped with a crispy panko breadcrumb coating. A delicious dairy-free comfort food that’s infinitely customizable!

total time 5 of hours 10 minutes


  • 10
    Dry rotini pasta
    (about 3 ½ cups pasta)
  • ½
    the cup
    raw cashews,
    Soak in water for 4 to 8 hours and wash off
  • 1
    the cup
    the water
  • 3
    table spoon
    vegan butter,
  • 8
    button mushroom,
    clean and cut
  • 1
    medium onion,
    to cut
  • 2
    medium celery stalks,
    to cut
  • 2
    medium carrot,
    to cut
  • 2
    garlic cloves,
    minced meat
  • 3
    table spoon
    All-purpose flour
  • 2
    the cup
    Unflavored and unsweetened dairy milk
  • 3
    Vegetable Bouillon Cubes,
    crushed (Note 1)
  • 1
    dried thyme
  • 1
    table spoon
    lemon juice
  • ½
    the cup
    frozen pulses,
    to melt
  • salt and pepper,
    to test
  • ½
    the cup
    panko breadcrumbs


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, drain the pasta in a colander.

  2. Place cashews and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with two tablespoons of vegan butter and place over medium heat.

  4. Once the butter is melted, add the mushroom slices in a relatively even layer. (Note 2)

  5. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove them from the skillet and transfer to a plate when done.

  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet. When the butter melts, add the onion, celery and carrot.

  7. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.

  8. Add garlic and flour. Coat the vegetables with the flour and stir the mixture well and continue to cook the mixture for about 1 minute.

  9. Slowly begin adding the non-dairy milk, stirring a little at a time to prevent the dough from sticking. Once all the milk is added, stir in the cashew mixture, bouillon, thyme and cooked mushrooms.

  10. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  11. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.

  12. Combine cooked pasta, sauce mixture and peas in a 2-quart casserole dish. (Note 3)

  13. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

  14. Cover the casserole dish and place it in the oven. Bake the casserole for about 20 minutes, until heated through.

  15. Remove foil from dish and sprinkle casserole with panko breadcrumbs. Bake for another 5 minutes.

  16. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe notes

  1. Bouillon paste can also be used. Make sure you have enough bouillon for 3 cups of broth (some brands of bouillon cubes are made for 2 cups – check the label).
  2. Cook mushrooms in batches if skillet becomes too crowded.
  3. A 9 x 9 inch baking dish is perfect.
  4. This recipe makes 4 nice generous servings. You can also get 5 or 6 small servings out of it.


Creamy Vegan Noodle Casserole

No. per job

calories 558
Calories from fat are 177

% Daily Value*

thick 19.7 grams30%

4.9 grams of saturated fat25%

Sodium 917 mg38%

potassium 684 mg20%

carbohydrates 79.9 grams27%

7.2 grams of fiber29%

8.6 grams of sugar10%

protein 17.2 grams34%

calcium 287 mg29%

iron 6 mg33%

* Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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