Vegan Carbonara

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serves Enough for 8 people
Vegan Carbonara

Carbonara sauce is one of those non-vegan delights. It’s a dish I enjoyed before moving towards a whole-foods, plant-based diet. There was something so divine about the saltiness and egg flavoured, creamy sauce.

A true Italian cook wouldn’t classify this recipe as Italian. In fact, I think most Italians would think this recipe is quite insulting. Lol.

However, times are changing and we are always adapting recipes to cater to dietary needs. I happen to think this is the closest thing to a carbonara sauce I’ve ever tried.  Is it different to the traditional sauce? Absolutely!

Is it delicious, healthy and simple. Hell yes! Give this one a go – I promise your taste buds will be dancing!

Vegan Carbonara

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serves Enough for 8 people
Vegan Carbonara


  • 1 leek
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups raw mushrooms
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Prepare the Cashew Cream:

Prepare the Sauce Base:

Frequently Asked Questions

Carbonara sauce is traditionally not vegan due to its use of eggs and cheese. Can you describe how the vegan version of carbonara sauce in this recipe achieves that creamy, flavourful quality without animal products?

Absolutely! In this vegan carbonara recipe, the creamy and flavourful quality is achieved through the use of a cashew-based cream. Cashews are soaked and blended with water, soy milk, and nutritional yeast, creating a smooth and rich sauce with a nutty and cheesy undertone. This cashew cream mimics the creaminess of traditional carbonara without the need for eggs or dairy. Additionally, black salt (kala namak) is used to provide an "egg-like" flavour, making the sauce taste remarkably similar to the original.

Leeks and mushrooms are featured in this recipe. How do these ingredients contribute to the overall flavour and texture of the dish?

Leeks and mushrooms play crucial roles in enhancing the flavour and texture of this vegan carbonara. Leeks, when sautéed, provide a sweet and mild onion-like flavour that complements the creaminess of the sauce. They add a delightful depth to the dish. The mushrooms, when cooked down, release their earthy umami flavour, adding a savory and meaty quality to the sauce. Together, these ingredients create a balanced and hearty carbonara sauce that's both delicious and satisfying.

Can you explain the significance of black salt (kala namak) in this recipe and how it contributes to the "egg-like" flavour?

Black salt, or kala namak, is a key ingredient in this recipe because it adds an "egg-like" flavour to the sauce. Black salt contains sulfur compounds that are responsible for its distinctive aroma and taste, which resembles that of eggs. By incorporating a small amount of black salt into the sauce, you achieve an authentic carbonara flavour that is reminiscent of the traditional dish made with eggs. It's important to use black salt sparingly, as it has a strong flavour, and a little goes a long way in creating that "eggy" taste.

Are there any additional ingredients or garnishes you recommend to complement or enhance the flavours of this vegan carbonara?

While this vegan carbonara is delicious on its own, you can enhance its flavours with some optional additions. Freshly ground black pepper adds a pleasant kick and complements the creamy sauce. Chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil can provide a burst of freshness and colour. You can also consider adding some vegan grated parmesan or nutritional yeast as a finishing touch for extra cheesy flavour.

Can readers customize this vegan carbonara to suit their preferences? Are there any other vegetables or ingredients they can incorporate to make it their own?

Absolutely! This recipe is quite versatile and can be customized to your taste. You can add different vegetables like spinach, peas, or sun-dried tomatoes for extra texture and flavour. If you prefer a smoky element, you can incorporate smoked paprika or tempeh bacon bits. Additionally, you can experiment with different types of plant-based milk to adjust the creaminess and flavour to your liking. Don't hesitate to get creative and make this vegan carbonara your own.