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mushroom carbonara
4min read

Our Favourite Vegan Carbonara-ish Recipes

by Fabian Jackson

4min read

Appearing as a crowd-pleaser at dinner parties to keeping students fed in university halls, the humble carbonara is a much-loved Italian dish here in the UK – keep reading to discover some of our favourite veganised recipes. 

What is a carbonara?  

If you think of indulgent pasta dishes the carbonara might spring to mind. It originated in Rome during the mid-twentieth century and was historically a hearty dish for Italian charcoal workers. 

vegan carbonara

This dish consists of spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine, two types of Italian hard cheese ( Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano), egg, black pepper and pancetta or guanciale (or bacon outside of Italy).

Is carbonara traditionally vegan? 

No, it’s pretty safe to say that traditional carbonara is not suitable for vegans for quite a few reasons – almost as many reasons as there are ingredients listed above.


However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great plant-based takes that capture the essence of the classic dish. 

Vegan carbonara-inspired recipes

Here are a few of our favourite vegan recipes that you must try.

Vegan carbonara with silken tofu

Our rendition is as close as to the glossy, creamy, salty original as possible - trust us, it was made by our Italian Food Editor, Val, who has had a lot of carbonara in her time. 

It’s made without nuts, mushrooms and plant-based cream, but instead it relies on silken tofu for its eggy qualities and tempeh for its abilities to absorb flavour and crisp up, whilst still absorbing sauce and lending texture to every bite.

Mushroom carbonara

carbonara with mushrooms

Grilled king oyster mushrooms form the star of this vegan carbonara recipe. It’s a simple dish that’s big on flavour.

Butternut squash carbonara 

butternut squash carbonara

This recipe has a creamy cashew cheese and butternut squash carbonara sauce that’s served with crispy roasted smoky bacon-ish tofu on top.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian

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