A lightened-up version of this classic Greek dish.  Your whole family will love this. 

Makes 8 servings


  • 8 oz. (2 ½ cups) uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup grated or finely shredded Parmesan cheese (or vegan parmesan), divided
  • ½ pound plant-based beef (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Béchamel sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups plant milk


  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, optional
  • ¼ cup wilted spinach per serving, optional


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss with olive oil and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a lightly greased 13×9-in. baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef (if using) and onion over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until cooked through, breaking into crumbles. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in tomato sauce, salt, oregano and cinnamon; heat through. Spoon over pasta.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a low boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Pour and spread over the tomato mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes more or until golden brown on top.
  6. Serve over wilted spinach and sprinkled with chopped parsley if desired.