When I woke up this morning, I decided to make pasta with carbonara for dinner. Despite the decadence and creaminess of the sauce, vegan pasta carbonara is healthy and simple to make. Similar to vegan Alfredo sauce, carbonara sauce is creamy. But, vegan carbonara sauce combines sweet and smokey flavors in a thick and creamy sauce.
Traditionally, Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The word arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century.
Of course, this vegan carbonara sauce by using whole-food ingredients. Believe it or not, I love transforming any recipe into a healthy vegan version. Over the years, I've challenged myself to discover ways to make meals my family loves while keeping everyone healthy and fit.
Even though pasta with carbonara is usually served with spaghetti noodles, I chose fusilli noodles because I love how the sauce sticks into the noodles' ridges.
What ingredients are needed for vegan pasta carbonara?
- Pasta of choice and shape (gluten-free noodle option)
- Vegan Coconut Bacon
- Raw Cashews (or flour alternative)
- Vegetable Broth
- Sun-dried Tomatoes (not in oil)
- Oat Milk (or plant milk of choice)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Sea Salt
- White wine (optional)
- Parsley (garnish)
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
If you haven't tried Vegan Coconut Bacon, you're missing a euphoric experience. Does it taste like bacon? Of course not. I didn't transition from a standard American diet to a plant-based diet to eat fake meat. Instead, coconut bacon has a distinct texture and smokey, sweet flavor, compliments the pasta carbonara recipe's flavors.
Unsweetened coconut chips absorb the marinade flavors and bake to present a crispy and crumbly texture.
Since I use vegan coconut bacon for various recipes, I often make a large batch to use throughout the week.
Also, it is recommended to cook the vegan bacon beforehand to set up while the other ingredients are prepared.
Other uses for coconut bacon
- Vegan BLT
- BLT Pizza with Coconut Bacon
- Vegan Breakfast Burrito
- Broccoli Salad with Coconut Bacon
- German Potato Salad
- Salad topping
- Perfect for baked potatoes
- On top of Vegan Potato Soup
How to make vegan pasta carbonara (nut-free and gluten-free)
Make this fabulous pasta dish gluten-free, choose gluten-free pasta, and substitute gluten-free flour for the cashews.
Whenever a recipe calls for cashews in a cream sauce, substitute the flour for the cashews and blend it with whatever liquid the recipe calls. Combining the flour with the liquid prevents clumping.
Another way to include flour instead of nuts is to slowly sprinkle the flour into the pan and use a whisk to prevent clumping.
Making vegan carbonara sauce
Once the coconut bacon is baked and cooling, begin by making the sauce. In a skillet, saute the shallots until translucent.
- The trick for making a vegan cream sauce without clumps is to combine the nuts (or flour), 2 cups of vegetable broth, oat milk, and nutritional yeast in a blender until smooth.
- Next, saute the shallots until translucent and add the sun-dried tomatoes and 2 additional vegetable broth cups. Then add the white wine if using.
- Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Next, add the tomato, shallot mixture, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the blender.
- Use an immersion blender, transfer the sauce back to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Then, transfer the blended carbonara sauce back to the pan you cooked the shallots and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add the asparagus and the peas and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and set aside, and drain the pasta.
- Return the pasta to the pan with 1/4 cup pasta water.
- Pour the sauce with the asparagus and peas into the pan with the pasta, and again, bring the heat to medium-low heat to thicken the sauce again.
- If the sauce isn't thick enough for your preference, add additional nutritional yeast 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach a thick consistency.
- Add the vegan coconut bacon and toss.
- Serve in a bowl or on a plate and garnish with chopped parsley.
- Add Vegan Parmesan Cheese for an added cheesy taste.
Once the pasta is served, add the parsley and Vegan Parmesan Cheese if desired. I also serve with additional red pepper flakes for those who like it a little spicier.
What can I serve with pasta carbonara?
- I love a big green salad and Vegan Garlic Bread to soak up all the creamy vegan carbonara sauce.
What does carbonara sauce taste like?
- The carbonara sauce has the texture of a creamy Parmesan sauce without having that heavy feel of cream sauces after you eat it. The vegan version, much healthier than a typical carbonara sauce, is just as decadent without the fat and calories.
What type of pasta is used for carbonara?
- Spaghetti is the most common pasta, but fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also used. Any pasta shape, type, or gluten-free noodles work well with this dish.
If you love pasta but you want to make it healthy, try these pasta recipes
- Chipotle Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Pasta Recipe
- Red Pepper Pasta
- Creamy Tomato Pasta
- Fajita Pasta
- Bruschetta Pasta
- Lemon Pasta
- Enchilada Pasta
- Vegan Pasta Primavera
- Cajun Pasta
Enjoy your pasta and eat to your heart's content.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂