Dairy-Free Penne Bake

This dish is so rich and creamy, it’s hard to tell that it’s truly dairy-free.

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Dairy-Free Penne Bake

This dish is so rich and creamy, it's hard to tell that it's truly dairy-free.
Course: Entree
Keyword: pasta, spiral, spring 2019, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 806kcal
Author: Kimberly Lord Stewart


  • 12 ounces whole-grain penne
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups raw macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup macadamia nut milk or other dairy-free nut milk
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 3 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 2 cups almond milk grated cheese, or another nondairy grated cheese product, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Oil a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add penne and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook until just tender, 8–10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
  • Place nuts in a high-speed or “bullet”-style blender. Pulse until finely ground. Gradually add nut milk, a few tablespoons at a time; pulse until blended. Keep adding milk and mixing until it resembles the texture of ricotta. You may not need all the milk. Add lemon juice and garlic powder; mix well.
  • Add oil to a large skillet. Brown chicken with Italian herbs, and add marinara sauce. Bring to a low simmer. Add pasta and stir well.
  • Layer half the pasta in the bottom of the dish. Top with all the ricotta and half the grated cheese. Layer with remaining pasta. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 20–30 minutes, until heated through.


Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 57g | Sodium: 746mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g
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