French onion soup collides with cheesy baked pasta in this simple, one pan dish that cooks entirely in the oven. The short rigatoni holds pockets of creamy white wine sauce brightened with a squeeze of lemon and fresh herbs. Caramelized onions, spinach, and green peas add texture and pop to this cohesive French Onion Pasta Bake. You’ll want this on your table tonight!
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Something about this pasta hits different. First of all, it is truly a one pan meal – no boiling the pasta separately, no extra pots or pans. Talk about easy clean up! Since everything cooks in the oven together, the pasta ends up absorbing so much flavor.
The sauce is silky smooth and clings perfectly to the noodles. The crispness of white wine cuts through the richness and enhances the umami flavor coming from caramelized onions and a cheeky spoonful of miso paste. The spinach melts in your mouth and the peas added at the end provide a welcomed pop. It just might be our favorite recipe to date – bold claim but the French Onion Pasta Bake backs itself!
This is perfect to make on a lazy Sunday as you’re doing your self care, watching your shows, or knocking things off your to do list because the pasta practically makes itself. It’s also an impressive dish to make for a crowd. If that crowd is just you, don’t worry, you’ll be happy to have these leftovers all week.
What You Need for French Onion Pasta
- Onions: rich, caramelized onions are the star of this dish
- Garlic: roasted garlic adds a buttery yet pungent bite
- Olive oil: for oven roasting
- Balsamic vinegar: a splash of balsamic adds a vinegary punch and brings out the sweetness of the onions
- Dried thyme: adds warm, earthy flavor
- Vegetable broth: the base of the sauce and pasta cooking liquid
- Coconut cream: provides the rich flavor and silky smooth texture, our favorite is the 365 brand
- White wine: the perfect tang for the sauce
- Nutritional yeast: for roasted, cheesy flavor
- White miso paste: adds deep savory notes
- Smoked gouda cheese: these Violife slices add a subtle smoky flavor. You could also freshly grate a block like this one.
- Rigatoni pasta: we loved using this short Mezzi Rigatoni by De Cecco, which we got at Whole Foods
- Baby spinach: get in your greens
- Frozen peas: plant-based protein and a pop of texture
- Lemon: bright, zesty flavor
- Fresh basil, parsley, or thyme: rounds out the dish with a fresh, earthy element
Our Tips and Tricks
- Use a Dutch oven or casserole tray with a lid: Our Dutch oven was perfect for this recipe because it’s easy to take the lid on and off, nothing sticks to the pan, and fit the pasta and liquid perfectly. A deep casserole tray would work as well. If you have neither, you can use a baking tray larger than 9×13 and cover with tinfoil – be extra careful with the steam!
- Use a smoky cheese for extra flavor: Slices or shreds both work here because the cheese has plenty of time to melt in the oven. We tested the recipe with mozzarella as well, but preferred the flavor the smoked cheeses brought to the sauce.
- Use any combination of herbs you have: This recipe is very customizable depending on which fresh herbs you have. It’s delicious with any combination of basil, parsley, thyme, or rosemary. You can also use dried herbs if that is all you have – it will be just as tasty!
Serving Suggestions for French Onion Pasta
As it stands, the recipe is one pot, however if you want to cook up your favorite protein (or use something from meal prep), it’s a nice touch! We like it with:
- Vegan Sausage: We recommend either Field Roast Italian Garlic and Fennel (pictured below) or Beyond Hot Italian.
- Tofu: It’s great topped with cubed baked tofu or tofu cutlets.
- Vegan Chick’n: Any type of plant based chick’n would be delicious here – Daring or Gardein Ultimate are our personal favorites.
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