Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta Bake

I love pasta bakes – but it has proven difficult to make vegan versions with the same satisfying taste of comfort food. That is, until I found this pasta bake recipe from Izy Hossack. It tastes delicious and has all the warmth and satisfaction of comfort food without being unhealthy! The secret? Cauliflower! Yes, there is a whole head of cauliflower hidden in this recipe! My version below is slightly changed from the original recipe from Izy.

It is a bit of an involved recipe and requires some time but is oh so worth it.

I hope you try it and I hope you love it 🙂

Difficulty level: Confident Cook

Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (I had the cauliflower pre-cut and washed and also had the kale pre-washed)

Serves: 3 – 4 people


  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into medium florets
  • 1 small potato, sliced into about 1 cm slices
  • 250g penne pasta
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml unsweetened soy milk
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced (not super thinly sliced)
  • 6 -7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups tightly packed chopped kale



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat.
  2. Add the cauliflower and potato to the pot of boiling water and bring back to a boil. Once it is boiling again, lower the heat to simmer and let it simmer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, remove the cauliflower and potatoes to a large bowl.
  3. In the same water (add more water as necessary), add the pasta and let it come to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain pasta, mix with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking and set aside.
  4. Mix together 200 ml of stock and 200 ml of soy milk in a bowl or jug.
  5. In a medium pot, add 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir over low/medium heat and let it cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, add the stock and milk mixture gradually, mixing it constantly.
  6. Once all the liquid is added to the pot, let it come to a simmer and continue to simmer for 2 minutes – stirring frequently to avoid clumps forming.
  7. Pour the liquid over the bowl of cauliflower and potato, add a tablespoon of dijon mustard and blend it all together using a hand blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I used 1 teaspoon of salt.  Set aside.
  8. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  9. In a medium fying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme and cook for 6 minutes, uncovered.
  10. Add the kale to the frying pan, turn heat down to low, cover with a lid and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the lid and set take the frying pan off the heat.
  11. Now, make the topping: in a small bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, and 4 tablespoons of vegan parmesan.
  12. In a medium casserole dish, mix the pasta, mushrooms & kale, and the cauliflower sauce. Mix it well to combine. Sprinkle the topping on top and drizzle with some olive oil.
  13. Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the top is golden brown (darker in some places is absolutely okay).



Published by Shalveena Rohde

Fiji born New Zealand lawyer of Indian descent, now living in Australia. Amateur writer. Challenging outdated and unjust societal expectations.

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