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.
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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:
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.