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Close up of Rustic Italian Vegetable Bake

Rustic Italian Vegetable Bake

  • Author: Ameera and Robin
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 70 Minutes (+10 Minutes)
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


This tasty and comforting Rustic Italian Vegetable Bake is easy to make, ultra-satisfying, and brimming with feel good ingredients and flavors.

Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, and no highly processed ingredients.



Bake Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced in wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 lbs. Russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in wedges *
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into thick rounds *
  • 1 – [ 14.5 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons vegetable broth *
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda *

Spice/Herb Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoon dried minced onions
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves *
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (+/-)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Optional Toppings:


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, mix to combine, set aside.
  3. Place all the Bake Ingredients and Spice/Herb mix into a deep ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven or similar roasting pan. Mix well everything to ensure all the ingredients are evenly coated.  Sprinkle the top lightly with some additional sea salt and black pepper.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then place in a preheated 400 F oven and roast for 40 minutes.
  4. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and gently mix in the cannellini beans, cover and return to the oven for another 5 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are perfectly tender. The 2nd baking time is largely dependent upon the size of the potatoes. (see notes on baking time).
  5. After 5 minutes (or 20 minutes), remove from the oven, remove the lid and allow the heat to escape for approx. 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
  6. Sprinkle individual portions with nutritional yeast (or Vegan Parmesan Cheese) and serve with some freshly chopped parsley.


*Vegetable Stock:   We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.

*Stock Amount: The amount of vegetable stock is a personal preference.  This is not a stew, so there is little broth, but the veggies are coated in a nice thin-like rustic gravy.  If you want more “gravy”, use 4 tablespoons of vegetable stock.

*Baking Soda:  The baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes.  We use it in this dish to remove some of the tomato acidity without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture will bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity.

*Dried Thyme Crushed Leaves:  We use Penzeys French Thyme.  It has amazing flavor.  If you can’t find dried crushed thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.

*Zucchini Texture:  Because the zucchini is in the oven for a long period of time, it will be mushy. This is a rustic bake, so this is expected. However, we know there may be folks who prefer a firmer texture. Please feel free to add the zucchini later in the oven baking process if you do not enjoy mushy zucchini.

*Potato Wedges:  Potato wedges take longer to cook than cubed potatoes.  If you are looking to shorten the oven time, then cube the potatoes.  When checking for tenderness of the potatoes, be sure to check multiple potatoes as the ones that are on the bottom tend to cook faster than the ones on top.  Avoid constantly stirring the mixture as this will cause the vegetables to break down.  Gently stir, if needed to rotate the potatoes.

*Baking Time:  We highly recommend using a ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven with a tightly fitting lid as it intensifies the heat and conducts heat better.  Whenever you are cooking potatoes with tomatoes, the acid from the tomatoes toughens the potatoes’ cellular wall and makes it harder for liquids to penetrate and soften the potatoes.  In other words, it will take longer in the oven for the potatoes than one might traditionally think.  We have had Readers tell us that when they don’t use a Dutch oven that it has taken up to 75 to 90 minutes for their potatoes to soften.  Additionally, constantly opening the oven door loses temperature in the oven adding additional time for the potatoes to soften.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Serving:  Makes 4-5 servings.

*Storage:  Refrigerate and use within 5 days.