‘Meat’ball pasta bake

Serve up a bubbling vegan pasta bake made with Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Balls in a rich tomato sauce. This comforting, low-calorie dinner is sure to become a family favourite

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:50 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 419
  • fat 11g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 60g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 16g
  • salt 1.26g


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Balls
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • small bunch of basil, leaves picked and torn, stalks finely chopped
  • 350g pasta shapes of your choice
  • 100g sourdough, blitzed to fine crumbs in a food processor
  • 20g black olives, pitted and halved (optional)
  • green salad, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep frying pan over a medium heat and fry the Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Balls for 10 mins until golden and crisp, turning often. Remove to a plate using a slotted spoon.

  2. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the same pan and fry the onion for 6-8 mins until soft and translucent. Stir in half the garlic and the chilli flakes and fry for 2 mins more, then stir in the tomato purée and half the dried oregano. Cook for another minute until the purée darkens slightly, then add the vinegar, passata, sugar, basil stalks and some of the basil leaves. Pour in 200ml water and simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 mins until the sauce has thickened slightly.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for 6-8 mins until just becoming tender, but still undercooked in the middle. Drain. Mix the sourdough breadcrumbs and the remaining garlic, oregano and oil together in a bowl and season. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

  4. Tip the cooked pasta, the ‘meat’balls and olives (if using) into the pan with the sauce and gently stir to combine. Tip everything into a lasagne dish, then scatter over the garlic breadcrumbs and bake for 15-20 mins until the topping is golden and crisp and the pasta is al dente. Scatter with the remaining basil leaves and serve with a green salad on the side.

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