A traditional carbonara is made with eggs, bacon or pancetta, and cheese (hello cholesterol bomb). So it's basically just about the least vegan dish there could be... which is why I had so much fun playing around in the kitchen and veganizing it! Not only did I figure out a way to get the creamy blissful sauce and the chewy delicious bites, but this turned out to be a super fast and easy vegan carbonara recipe. Just the way this girl likes it!
For the bacon, I really wanted that salty, smoky, chewy bite. So I marinated some sun-dried tomatoes in soy sauce and liquid smoke.
For the sauce, I wanted that creamy, slightly sticky, rich tasting sauce. So I sautéd up some onions and garlic and then made a super easy creamy sauce using plant-based milk which I seasoned it with black salt to get that signature eggy flavour.
Then I just boiled up some pasta (I opted for bucantini this time) and tossed it all together in a hot pan.
The result? A 20 minute, easy vegan carbonara with the most glorious, creamy coated pasta noodles, and salty, smoky bites of scrumptiousness throughout.
Perfect for a busy weeknight meal, made from ingredients you probably already have in the pantry. Oh my, oh my, I have found a new favourite.
To make Fast and Easy Vegan Carbonara: mix together the sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, and liquid smoke in a small bowl and set aside to absorb the flavours while you prepare the rest of the dish.
You want to make sure that you pick up the dry sun-dried tomatoes and not the kind in oil so they can absorb the flavours. If you only have the kind in oil on hand, then shake off the excess oil as much as possible.
The sun-dried tomatoes will be super salty when you taste them as they are, but when you toss them with the creamy vegan carbonara, they chill out and add gorgeous salty pops of flavour throughout, just like bacon.
Whisk in all of the remaining ingredients. Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes until thickened, whisking as needed.
If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash more plant-based milk, and if the sauce is too thin, simply cook it longer.
Add the cooked pasta and the marinated sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce and toss well to combine. Serve hot. Garnish with parsley and parmegan if desired.
Fast and Easy Vegan Carbonara
- 400 g pasta of choice (spaghetti, fettucini, bucantini, or gluten-free if preferred)
For the smoky sun-dried tomato bites:
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (the dry kind, not in oil), sliced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
For the carbonara:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free if preferred)
- 2 ½ cups plant-based milk (such as soy or almond)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¾ teaspoon black salt (also called kala namak), use regular salt if preferred
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Mix together the sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, and liquid smoke in a small bowl and set aside to absorb the flavours while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onion turns translucent and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the onions, let cook for about 60 seconds, then whisk in all of the remaining ingredients. Cook the sauce for about 5 minutes until thickened, whisking as needed. If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash more plant-based milk, and if the sauce is too thin, simply cook it longer.
- Add the cooked pasta and the marinated sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce and toss well to combine. Serve hot. Garnish with parsley and parmegan if desired.
can I use amaranth flour?
Jess @ IDTLC Support says
It hasn't been tested with amaranth, but that's a great gluten free choice for thickening sauces so in theory, it should work well!
Where in Canada can sun-dried tomatoes without oil be found?
Sam Turnbull says
I get them at my local grocery store Lowblaws. They are sometimes near the fresh tomatoes in bags, and sometimes in the aisles. Best to ask someone who works there. Enjoy!
Super fast, extra delicious! Huge hit for my family! We doubled the sun-dried tomatoes (for personal taste) but other than that, success! Definitely would recommend!
Sam Turnbull says
So happy you enjoyed it!!
I made this tonight and it is gorgeous. Definitely worth adding the vegan hard cheese available in Tesco. I will be trying it out on my family. You'd never think it was vegan. It tastes like the real thing which I love. Thank you.
THAT'S SO DELICIOUS! I can't really cook but followed this recipe and definitely don't regret! Used oat milk so was a bit worried it wouldn't taste as good but was SO good. Thank you much for this heavenly tasty recipe!!
Sam Turnbull says
So happy you enjoyed it Pauline!
Made this tonight and the sauce was simple, easy, and quick! I added some cremini mushrooms, frozen peas, and a zucchini to add extra veggies. I'll definitely be making this again!
Loved this recipe! Didn’t have any tomato’s so decided to swap that out for some vegan bacon - but the carbonara sauce was perfect and I was surprised how creamy and egg-like it was!
So nice to find a vegan recipe that doesn’t use nuts as the base, we try to avoid nuts in the house due to allergies so this was perfect.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I've never had a real carbonara so I had no idea what the flavor profile is like, but as a non-vegan (with strong vegan tendencies), I know what pork, cheese and eggs taste like, and I was sure that a combo of these would be fantastic, so I was definitely curious about the vegan rendition. I have to say that I really liked the creamy goodness of this recipe!
Used shirataki spaghetti noodles to cut down on the carbs. Only had the sundried tomatoes in oil so I rinsed them before submerging in the marinating liquid. I didn't measure the marinating liquid; just dumped some liquid smoke and soy sauce in the bowl, lol. I did drain the extra marinating liquid from the sundried tomatoes before adding them to the dish.
For the sauce, I loosely measured some almond flour to further cut down on the carbs and the sauce did thicken up very nicely. Used unsweetened soy milk and at least 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to amp the flavor and up the proteins. I also added a little turmeric for color!
I like how this sauce can be more or less eggy, depending on when you add the kala namak. I like the eggy flavor so I added a little extra right onto my bowl whereas my boyfriend did not, and we were both happy! Topped the whole thing with freshly cracked Tellicherry peppercorns - YUM!!!
I am already planning to make this again, maybe with the tofu ham cubes from the split pea soup recipe next time? Can't wait! I was hoping for leftovers but there was hardly anything left after my boyfriend and I went back for full size seconds, lol.
Thank you, Sam!!!!!