Vegan Carbonara is totally egg-free and made with no dairy! Make your own carbonara sauce with soaked cashews, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and a little lemon juice.
VEGAN CARBONARA RECIPE
Carbonara is such a comforting Italian pasta dish, but it's made with nothing but animal products. Ditch all of that with this amazing Vegan Carbonara recipe! You won't miss the eggs, cream, or cheese here, I swear.
Make your own faux egg sauce by blending raw cashews and coconut milk with a little nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice for a bright, rich flavor. You won't even miss the traditional bacon with my brilliant mushroom marinade hack!
If you like this vegan pasta recipe, you should also try my Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta. It's creamy, savory, and amazing!
INGREDIENTS IN VEGAN CARBONARA
Cashews: Raw cashews when put through the blender are a great alfredo sauce option to keep it dairy-free. I soak mine before blending to get the creamiest sauce.
Nutritional yeast: If you've never tried it, nutritional yeast can take some getting used to. But the nutritional benefits are totally worth it! It's great for vegans because it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice helps brighten up this sauce and make it a little less heavy.
Dijon mustard: This spicy brown mustard brings a creamy tang to the faux carbonara sauce. Even if you don't love mustard on sandwiches, you'll appreciate it here.
Coconut milk: I use full fat coconut milk for this because it doesn't break as easily.
Garlic powder: Unlike raw garlic, garlic powder is slightly sweeter and a great addition to almost any dish.
Onion powder: Like garlic powder, onion powder is also a little sweeter than raw onions — more like a low and slow simmered onion. Onions always bring the flavor!
Mushrooms: Instead of chicken or any other protein, I add mushrooms to this vegan carbonara. You could always add tofu or seitan to the mix, too.
Soy sauce: I promise you read this right! The salty umami flavor goes so well with the sauce and the mushrooms.
Garlic: Garlic makes an appearance in almost every Italian-inspired dish, and this is no exception! Sauté the mushrooms in garlic for the yummiest end results.
Liquid smoke: Bring all that smokey flavor to your dishes with just a little dash of this stuff! It's great for a depth of flavor you can't get without a smoker.
Smoked paprika: You can use regular paprika in a pinch, but I love the extra smokey flavor here.
Spaghetti: You can use gluten-free noodles in this recipe if you want. Any pasta will do, even fettuccine or angel hair!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CARBONARA
- First, blend the cashews. nutritional yeast, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, coconut milk, garlic powder, and onion powder until super smooth. The texture of the carbonara sauce will depend on the power of your blender.
- Then, whisk the soy sauce, minced garlic, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika together to marinate the mushrooms. Let them sit at least half an hour before cooking.
- While they marinate, cook the noodles to a perfect al dente and drain the noodles.
- Now, sauté the mushrooms and the soy marinade in a medium skillet until the mushrooms are softened.
- Then, add the cooked pasta to the mushroom mixture.
- Finally, add the vegan "egg" sauce and mix it into the noodles and mushrooms with tongs until everything is coated. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of parsley or vegan Parmesan cheese.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEGAN CARBONARA
This dish is easily a whole meal in itself! Sometimes I just eat noodles and mushrooms for dinner, and that's ok.
Start the night with a simple Italian salad topped with perfectly crunchy homemade vegan croutons! It doesn't get more simple than this recipe.
If you need a little veggie side dish, look no further than air fryer asparagus! Make the best crispy on the outside, tender on the inside asparagus in less than 10 minutes.
This simple Mediterranean chickpea salad is also a great light side dish to pair with pasta. You can even make it a light and refreshing summer main dish!
End your meal with a fruity but light vegan apple crisp. Sweet apples are covered in a crunchy oat topping for a great dessert without all the crust.
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF BACON IN CARBONARA?
Bacon brings a little salt, a little smoke, and a little crunch to the mix when you're making carbonara.
To keep this recipe vegan, I ditched the bacon. You could always add a little tofu bacon if you missed the flavor.
I add some fresh green onions for crunch, a little liquid smoke for the cured taste, and soy sauce for that extra saltiness. Together, you won't even miss the bacon!
IS THERE RAW EGG IN CARBONARA?
Traditionally, carbonara is made with a raw egg yolk sauce that is gently heated by the warm noodles at the end of cooking.
Unlike scrambled eggs, the sauce thickens to coat everything and becomes closer to an alfredo sauce without all the cheese.
I use a combination of blended cashews, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, and full-fat coconut milk to make a similar light beige sauce. It's got all the carbonara flavor without the eggs. Win-win!
MORE YUMMY VEGAN RECIPES
Soup season is the best season, but it's got a lot of dairy in it. Keep it simple with this hearty vegan potato soup with no cream but all the creaminess!
I love Asian-inspired nights! This vegan orange chicken tastes just like Panda Express' iconic sweet and sticky orange sauce over yummy tofu!
Enjoy all the holiday side dishes this year with this totally vegan sweet potato casserole! Make it in the air fryer to keep the oven free for everything else.
End the night with the creamiest banana pudding you'll never believe is vegan! No whipped cream or eggs in this pudding, I swear.
Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!
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- Medium skillet
- 10 ounces spaghetti
For the vegan "egg" sauce:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 13-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
For the mushroom marinade:
- ¼ cup soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Add all the "egg" sauce ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Whisk the soy sauce, minced garlic, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika together in a medium bowl. Mix in the mushrooms and marinate them for 30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When it's done, drain the noodles, rinse it under cool water, and set it aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushroom mixture to the pan and sauté until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir.
- Add the blended "egg" sauce to the pan. Use tongs to coat the noodles and mushrooms in sauce.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
Fantastic idea - and I am going to add this to our Meatless Monday menu. Trying to eat meat-free at least 2-3 nights a week these days so thank you for the inspiration.
This looks so creamy and delicious, and the mushroom addition is perfect. I can't wait to give this recipe a try!
This vegan carbonara looks amazing! I can't believe how simple it is to make vegan pasta Carbonara.
I'm loving this recipe! I can't wait to try it and that sauce sounds so creamy and delish!
That looks super delicious and adding nutritional yeast is a great way of getting Vitamin B12 in your diet.