Introducing the most delicious Easy Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara that’s also gluten free! It’s incredibly simple to make, full of flavour, and from pot to plate it takes just 20 minutes to make! This is a recipe not to be missed and one I guarantee you’ll be making time and time again!
Recipe Difficulty – Very Easy!
Why this recipe works
You might wonder, “Carbonara without cream? Carbonara no egg? Not possible!” But it is! And it is the best carbonara recipe you will ever try! Since going gluten, dairy and egg free, it has been harder to find great food when out and about and eating at restaurants. I have always missed eating a tasty carbonara. I challenged myself to make a plant-based version that still has a creamy texture, and boy did I find it! This dairy free carbonara tastes better than any I’ve had at an Italian restaurant! I honestly prefer this to traditional carbonara!
Simply serve it up at the table and let your family and friends tuck in! Believe me, they won’t be disappointed. This creamy carbonara recipe is super easy, delicious, gluten-free, and vegan! The vegan carbonara sauce made with cashews is so light, creamy people won’t believe it’s vegan!
I was inspired to create this recipe as my Creamy Vegan Pepper Pasta recipe along with my Vegan Mushroom Pasta recipe have been so popular! I wanted to create another minimal fuss vegan creamy pasta dish, that packed full of flavour! Also if you’re looking for something even more comforting that feeds 6 then try my Vegan Lasagne it will totally impress you!
Ingredients to make Easy Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
- Spaghetti – I use brown rice spaghetti as it’s naturally gluten-free, but any gluten-free pasta will do. Make sure to follow package instructions as they can vary widely.
- Frozen Peas – add a great colour and flavour to this vegan spaghetti carbonara.
- Fresh Spinach – also adds colour and flavour, as well as a nice texture.
Cashew Carbonara Sauce
- Cashews – are the main ingredient of this vegan version of pasta carbonara. Cashews are a staple in vegan recipes when it comes to replacing cheese because of their creamy texture and delicious flavour. If you have any leftover then try making my Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel)
- Nutritional Yeast – a vegan alternative that adds a delicious ‘cheesy’ flavour. It’s a great addition to this creamy vegan carbonara. As you need a tub of this, try making my Vegan Quiche with it.
- Olive Oil – helps to give the silky sauce its consistency.
- Dried Sage – adds a nice combination of earthy, minty, and citrusy flavours.
- Garlic Powder – brings a wonderful umami flavour. You could also use a small, crushed garlic clove.
- Unsweetened Plant-Based Milk – I use almond milk, but you could use oat milk, soy milk, or any other non-dairy milk.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Plant-Based Milk – If you don’t need the carbonara sauce to be vegan, you can substitute regular milk here.
- Seasonings – Vegan cooking is fun because there are so many flavours to play with! You could add some lemon juice, gluten-free soy sauce, onion powder, or cooked diced onion to the carbonara recipe. If you are missing the eggy flavour of the real thing, try Kala Namak (Himalayan Black Salt).
- Olive Oil – You can substitute olive oil with most other oils – rapeseed, canola, peanut, etc.
- Meat Eaters – If you want to add in some protein, try silken tofu or your favourite meat. Chorizo Carbonara is an especially popular combination!
- Blender – You could also use an immersion blender to mix the ingredients.
- Spicy – for a spicy flare, add some crushed red pepper flakes or red garlic chilli paste to the carbonara cream. If you like spice then definitely check out my 10 Minute Spicy Pasta recipe!
- Deluxe – I love dressing up a good pasta! Add some vegan bacon for a great taste. My Crispy Rice Paper Bacon is great for this. You could also use tempeh bacon, coconut bacon, plant-based bacon lardons, or tofu bacon bits. Alternatively, you could mix in some shiitake mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, white button mushrooms, or wild mushrooms. Sprinkle some vegan parmesan and fresh parsley on top and you are set!
- Kid friendly – It’s hard to go wrong with cheesy pasta when it comes to kids. This vegan carbonara has a creamy sauce that kids will love. You could make it even more kid friendly by sprinkling some vegan parmesan cheese or vegan pecorino romano on top. If you are cooking with kids, check out my Vegan Rocky Road recipe. This is a great recipe to the get the kids involved in as it is super fun and simple!
How to make Easy Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
Step 1: Firstly, soak your raw cashews in hot water. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan and add the spaghetti. Cook pasta per packet instructions. Cook a little less time if you want the noodles al dente.
Step 2: A couple of minutes before the pasta is done, add the frozen peas and continue to boil. Drain the soaked cashews and add all of the carbonara ingredients into a blender cup. Blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Drain the pasta and add it back to the saucepan. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Stir in the carbonara sauce with the cooked pasta and coat completely.
Hint: Make sure the sauce gets blended completely so it is deliciously creamy!
Leftover vegetarian carbonara can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. The best way to reheat it is in a medium saucepan. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen the cashew sauce.
Absolutely! Cashews make for a creamy and delicious pasta sauce. While the traditional version has meat, you can replace it with a vegan substitute like mushrooms or vegan bacon. Use dairy-free milk in place of cream and you have a vegan version of this classic Italian dish!
If you don’t want to use animal products, you still have many options for your carbonara! You could use tofu, mushrooms, or vegan bacon instead!
While the original recipe for carbonara does call for egg, you can make an easy vegan carbonara recipe that leaves it out! Nutritional yeast flakes, cashews, olive oil, plant-based milk, and some seasonings make for a delicious replacement for the egg sauce.
Some popular sides in Italian cuisine are soups and salads. You could also make some delicious vegetables to pair well with it.
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Easy Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
- 1 bowl to soak cashews
- 1 saucepan
- 1 Blender
- 1 Colander
- 500 g gluten free spaghetti (I use brown rice spaghetti)
- 370 g frozen peas
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
Cashew Carbonara Sauce
- 200 g cashews (soaked for 10 minutes in hot water)
- 4 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or small garlic clove crushed)
- 210 ml unsweetened plant-based milk (I used almond)
- 2 pinches salt
- 4 pinches black pepper
- Firstly soak your cashews in hot water
- Now place your spaghetti onto a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook as per packet instructions
- A couple minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the frozen peas and boil for a further few minutes
- Drain the cashews and add all the carbonara sauce ingredients to a blender cup and blend until smooth, roughly 2 minutes
- Now drain the pasta and place back into the pot you boiled it in, adding in the 2 handfuls of spinach and stiring until they wilt
- Lastly pour over the sauce, stir through and serve
Please note that Nutrition information is a rough estimate