Saturday, October 23, 2021
The Bookish Vegan Presents:

Baked Vegan Ziti inspired by In a Holidaze

Look at that cashew cheese goodness

Vegan Baked Ziti inspired by In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (yes that’s two 5⭐️ reviews this week!)

OKAY. Real talk- I was bursting at the seams to read this book and it did not disappoint. I am still reeling from the joy and gifting this to everyone I know.

Maelyn Jones is 26, living with her parents and working a job she hates. Her happiness comes from the week of Christmas that she spends with her family friends at a snowy cabin in Utah- including the absolute man of her dreams that doesn’t seem to notice her. After an unsuccessful Christmas, Maelyn makes a wish on the way to the airport and all of a sudden- she finds herself in a Groundhog Day situation. What is the universe trying to tell her that she keeps repeating Christmas?! What must she learn?

I read this book in a day. I believed in Mae, rooted for her, and related. It’s a story that has a simple message: be fearless. If you’re unhappy, take the risk and make a change. Life is too short and too precious to sit on the sidelines. In a Holidaze filled me with hope and excitement. This is definitely a holiday book for the ages and I can’t wait to reread it next Christmas.

Baked Vegan Ziti Recipe

I chose this recipe because it’s a great plant-based alternative to feed your household at the holidays. Dina and David (my resident hungry people) were big fans. Who doesn’t like ziti?!

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 45 mins


  • 16 oz (1 box) of ziti or another tube pasta (penne, rigatoni)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1- 28oz can of whole tomatoes with juices
  • 1- 28oz can of diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew Cheese

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Nutrional Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


  • Set the oven to 375 degrees
  • Cook the pasta according to the package and set aside.
  • Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for as little as 5-10 mins or 1-3 hours. (I do at least an hour).
  • Place the cashews and the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
  • For the tomato sauce: In a pot of medium heat, add the oil and onions. Sauté until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for just one minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes and all the spices. Cook for 10-15 minutes, breaking up the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon as they cook.
  • In a large casserole dish or Dutch Oven, add the pasta and sauce. Mix well.
  • Add the cashew cheese on top and spread it all over.
  • Sprinkle some extra basil, chili flakes, and salt on top.
  • Cover with aluminum foil (or Dutch Oven top) and place in the oven for 30 minutes. At 25 minutes, remove the foil.
  • Eat with your favorite roasted greens! There will probably be leftovers for DAYS.

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