This Tomato Pasta Bake with Garlicky Crumb topping is a budget friendly, hearty & delicious meal that the whole family will love!
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4.75 from 4 votes

Tomato Pasta Bake with Garlicky Crumb Topping

This Tomato Pasta Bake with Garlicky Crumb topping is a budget friendly, hearty & delicious meal that the whole family will love!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free option, oil-free option, vegan
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 470kcal
Author: Mel | A Virtual Vegan


For the pasta

  • 500 g pasta use gluten-free pasta to make gluten-free, fusilli or rigatoni both work well.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil to make oil-free, just use a few drops of water instead
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 large can | 28fl oz/ 796mls crushed tomatoes You can sub this for passata or blend up a can of diced tomatoes until smooth if that is all you have
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons mixed Italian dried herbs feel free to sub for any dried herbs you like
  • ¼ cup | 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast adds depth of flavour to the sauce - DO NOT sub for any other type of yeast
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 5 medium cut slices slightly stale bread | You can use a bit more if you have lots to use up or you can use a bit less | Use gluten-free bread to keep the recipe gluten-free
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil optional but recommended
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Warm the olive oil in a pan then sauté the onions until just turning golden brown. Use a few drops of water instead of the olive if you want to keep this oil-free.
  • Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
  • Add the tomatoes, chili, herbs, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper and stir well. Leave to simmer on low while you cook the pasta.
  • Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling water until just al-dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, break the bread up roughly with your hands and add to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and nutritional yeast. Process until fine crumbs. Set aside.
  • Drain pasta then pour the sauce and stir well to combine.
  • Pour the saucy pasta into a large casserole dish, smooth the top a bit with a spoon, then sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture evenly.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden and crunchy.


Leftovers can be reheated in a loose lidded container in the microwave or the oven.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 780mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 9% | Vitamin C: 9% | Calcium: 2% | Iron: 15%