This week, Matt Lauer launched the recipe heard round the world as he and chef Adam Richman made a humble but clearly sensational Spaghetti Pie recipe on The Today Show.

Matt made such a fuss over the recipe that it immediately went viral. But after doing the math, I estimated that Matt’s pie had about 200 calories more than a Big Mac with about as much fat.
Unacceptable! So I made my own version – vegan style – and I have to say, it looks just as good and the real thing and tastes delicious. I substituted the meat with Beyong Beef brand beef crumbles and used Ciao brand cheese from Field Roast. The Ciao cheese doesn’t melt in the oven, but it’s still tasty and creamy and does the job. Finally, the most important part of the flavor for me was to add lots of fresh basil – this is not just a garnish – it really enhances the flavor. I also added a little agave nectar to sweeten the tomato paste which can be bitter and used red onions, also for sweetness. You can see the original recipe at the link below, but I hope you and Matt will try my healthy alternative.

Adapted from an original recipe by Adam Richman (


Total Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Level: Medium
Serves: 6


  • 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked, ½ cup cooking water reserved
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 pound Beyond Beef,  Beef Crumbles
  • 1 cup tomato paste + 1 T agave nectar thoroughly mixed, then divided
  • 3 T. Flax meal (freshly ground if possible)
  • 3/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (recommended brand Go Veg)
  • 1 slice Ciao Cheese (Creamy Original) cut in small dice or shreds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
  • 1 t. olive oil to grease pie pan
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Directions
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Thoroughly mix 3 T. flax meal with 9 T. water and put in fridge for 15 minutes.  If possible, grind the flax meal by putting whole flax seeds in a high speed blender.
  4. In a large skillet, sauté the red onion in the vegetable broth until soft.  If it becomes too dry add a few more tablespoons of broth or pasta water. Add beefy crumble mixture, and ¾ cup of the tomato/agave mixture.  Add half the pasta water and stir well. . Consistency will be thick and chunky.  .
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked spaghetti, flax mixture and parmesan cheese and the remaining tomato paste mixture.
  6. Grease a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with 1 t. olive oil. Spread half the beef crumble mixture over the bottom of the pan. Add the spaghetti mixture and press it down to level it. Top with the remaining meat mixture, then scatter the Ciao cheese on top.
  7. Bake the pie in the oven for 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes. Cut into six wedges. Serve with a green salad.

Enjoy our Matt Lauer’s Spaghetti Pie Makeover, let us know what you think