This vegan carbonara is easy to make using whole food ingredients and tastes amazing. Perfectly light, but creamy, and a perfect comfort food!
Carbonara is not Alfredo. While I love a good creamy Alfredo sauce, when creating a plant-based carbonara recipe, I knew it needed a touch of creaminess but also some way to get that thicker eggy like consistency. And I think I got pretty darn close!
This vegan carbonara recipe has the perfect rich, creamy, salty flavor you know and love but is made from all plant based foods. It's ready in less than 30 minutes, is family friendly, and you can add more veggies for added nutrition. Win, win, win!
You only need a handful of items to make this comforting pasta dish:
- Dairy free milk
- Vegan parmesan
- Tapioca starch
- Vegan bacon
How to Make Vegan Carbonara
It's pretty simple to make your own homemade vegan carbonara with just a few simple steps. Here's what to do:
- Make a slurry using warm pasta water and tapioca, set aside.
- Put milk and pasta water into a pot over low heat, add salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the starch mixture.
- Add the pasta and parmesan and mix.
- Fold in the bacon.
We love to top our carbonara with crushed red pepper, parsley, and vegan parmesan. You can also up the flavor and nutrition by adding any of the following:
- Sundried tomatoes
- Artichoke hearts
Tips and tricks
For the best results making your vegan carbonara, follow these recommendations:
- Use gluten-free spaghetti to keep this recipe gluten-free.
- Any dairy free milk will work; however, the more fat the milk has the creamier and richer it will be.
- If you don't have tapioca starch, you can substitute with cornstarch if needed.
- The amount of salt you need depends on cheese and bacon used.
- Do not rinse the pasta when you strain it. This helps with the texture of the liquid.
- Add more pasta water and milk until you get the desired consistency of the sauce.
- This dish is best served immediately, but to save time day of, prepare the vegan bacon and Parmesan in advance if you're making your own.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in your microwave until heated through.
Not usually. Traditionally carbonara contains egg, bacon, and Parmesan cheese. This recipe uses only plant based ingredients, so it is vegan.
Vegan bacon made from mushrooms, coconut, carrots, or tempeh would make great substitutes.
Classic carbonara uses raw egg yolk in the sauce, which is cooked by the heat from the noodles.
Not if it's made properly! Carbonara is creamy, rich, and a bit salty.
More Vegan Pasta Recipes
When the craving hits for classic, comforting food, try checking out these plant based pasta recipes:
- Vegan Bolognese
- Cacio e Pepe
- Feta Tomato Pasta
- Easy Broccoli Pesto
- Vegan Alfredo
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Fresh Tomato Marinara
The Best Vegan Carbonara Recipe
- 12 ounces spaghetti , gluten-free if needed
- 1 cup reserved pasta water from spaghetti
- ½ - 1 cup dairy free milk of choice , the more fat the milk has the creamier and richer it will be
- ½ - 1 cup vegan parmesan , store bought or homemade
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch , you can sub with cornstarch if needed
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon sea salt , depending on cheese and bacon recipe used
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ - 1 cup vegan bacon , my mushroom bacon recipe worked great (see note)
- Crushed red pepper , optional to top
- Parsley , optional to top
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Make sure to reserve 1 cup pasta water and do not rinse the pasta when you strain it. This helps with the texture of the liquid.
- Make a slurry using 2 tablespoons of the warm pasta water and the 1 tablespoon of tapioca, set aside.
- Put ½ cup milk and ½ cup pasta water into the pot where you cooked the pasta and heat it over low heat. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Slowly add in the starch mixture as you whisk it so it doesn’t clump. It should slowly thicken and get somewhat egg like.
- Add the pasta and the parmesan and mix around so the pasta is covered in the mixture. If you want it more saucy, then slowly add more pasta water and milk until you get the result you like. You may need to add more salt.
- Mix in the bacon. Start with ½ cup and add more if you prefer. Or you can top it with more later.
- Serve with parsley, crushed red pepper and more Parmesan if you prefer!
- If you use my mushroom bacon recipe, it makes ½ cup.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
Carbonara without egg, bacon, and parmesan? I was hesitant but figured it was worth a try. I'm so glad I did! They flavors and texture are absolutely perfect! I used the vegan mushroom bacon as suggested and it added the perfect smoky taste.