A healthy vegan carbonara recipe that tastes so indulgent you will think you are digging into a bowl of creamy cheesy pasta! Thank you Mori-Nu Silken Tofu  for sponsoring this post! The content and opinions expressed in this post are all my own.

Creamy Vegan Carbonara

I could eat pasta every day.

Especially when it’s creamy and smoky like this vegan carbonara! Look at these noodles coated in a cheesy white sauce and topped with earthy mushrooms and fresh parsley – it’s heaven on a plate!

And the best part about this recipe, besides tasting amazing, is that it’s healthy despite tasting so decadent.

This is a dairy-free pasta recipe you will fall in love with and add to your weekly meal rotation, I promise!

Swapping Cream for Mori-Nu Silken Tofu

A lot of vegan recipes substitute milk or cream for dairy-free milk. The problem with this substitution is that dairy-free milk often has a distinct taste of its own.

Take almond milk for example: though it tastes great by itself, almond milk has a strong nutty taste that’s hard to mask when it’s used as a substitute for dairy. I personally cannot stand the after taste, I think it often clashes with other flavors, especially if they are subtle.

For me, the best substitution to cream and milk is silken tofu. It has the same silky texture and virtually zero after taste!

I prefer it over soy milk because the flavor is milder and the texture is also thicker. It’s not only great for cream based sauces, it’s also super yummy in smoothies and baked goods like cupcakes and brownies.

For this recipe, I’m using Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Soft which can be found at your local grocery store. Mori-Nu Silken Tofu is 100% Non-GMO and comes in six different varieties – soft, lite firm, firm, extra-firm, organic firm, and organic Nigari. Soft tofu is great for blending or for delicate dishes where tofu is the main ingredients, such as hiyayakko or agedashi tofu. Firm and extra-firm are great for stir fries, salads and sandwiches.

One unique feature about Mori-Nu Silken Tofu is that it’s sold in an aseptic package which protects the tofu from being exposed to light, air, and bacteria. What this means in terms of flavor is that you get the absolute best and freshest tofu with no sour taste!

Vegan Carbonara Sauce

Alright, now let me show you how easy it is to make this carbonara sauce.

Open the Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Soft package, drain and add 8 ounces of the tofu, which is just a little over half a block, to a blender.

Also, add these ingredients to the blender, except the olive oil:

  • 1 small grated garlic clove
  • 2/3 cup sauerkraut brine
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put the lid on and blend on high until the texture is smooth. Lower the speed setting to low and slowly add the olive oil. Turn off the blender, taste your sauce and season with more salt or nutritional yeast if needed. That’s it for the sauce!

Bacon Mushrooms

A traditional carbonara usually comes with bacon or pancetta so to mimic meat, I’m using mushrooms and pan frying them until they are caramelized.

The seasoning is simple – salt and smoked paprika.

You can use any type of mushrooms for this, so go with your favorites. I chose a mix of button and shiitake because they are packed with goodness. Also, the texture of shiitake mushrooms gets nice and crispy once they have cooked for a long time.

Alternatively, you can bake the mushrooms in the oven but this process does take longer. Lay them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 375ºF for about 18-20 minutes, or until they are crispy.

Pasta Time

The last thing to do is to fill a large pot with water and make sure you season it with plenty of salt. Most chefs will tell you to make your water as salty as the sea.

You can use your favorite type of pasta for this as well. Ben loves thin spaghetti so that’s what I’m using here. We like our pasta al dente so 5 minutes is all we need before it’s ready to eat.

Make sure to reserve about 1 cup of pasta water as it makes a wonderful addition to the sauce! Not only does it add flavor, it also helps glue the pasta and sauce together.

Transfer the pasta back into the pot and pour the vegan carbonara sauce over. Toss well and add a little pasta water if needed – about 1/4 – 1/2 cup is usually good.

Sprinkle fresh parsley on top and dinner is ready!

Is Pasta Vegan?

The typical ingredients found for fresh pasta include flour, water, salt, and eggs.

However, most dried pasta – the ones you find in boxes at the supermarket – only contain two ingredients: flour and semolina.

So the answer to the question “is pasta vegan?” is both yes and no. Definitely stay away from fresh pasta and keep an eye on the ingredients when buying dried pasta as not all of them are vegan.

A Pasta for Vegans and Meat Eaters

Sometimes a dish is so good that it transcends all food genres.

This vegan carbonara is one of them.

It may have the vegan label attached to it but that doesn’t mean it can’t be served to your meat eating friends and family members.

As long as they love pasta, they will love this dish!

This pasta carbonara will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. It reheats really well in the microwave, covered with a lid, on medium-high for one and a half to two minutes.

Did you like this Creamy Vegan Carbonara Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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Creamy Vegan Carbonara

A healthy vegan carbonara recipe that tastes so indulgent you will think you are digging into a bowl of creamy cheesy pasta!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

For the carbonara sauce:

  • 8 ounces Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Soft, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2/3 cup sauerkraut brine
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the smoked mushrooms:

  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pasta:

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti or thin spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 cup pasta water

Toppings:

Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

For the carbonara sauce

  1. Put the Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, grated garlic, sauerkraut brine, nutritional yeast, red miso paste, smoked paprika, and salt in a blender, and blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Lower the speed to low and slowly add olive oil. Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. Season with more nutritional yeast or salt if needed.

For the mushrooms

  1. Put the mushrooms, smoked paprika, salt and olive oil in a bowl and mix well.
  2. In a large pan over medium high heat, add mushrooms and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until mushrooms are golden brown and caramelized. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  2. When the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. We use thin spaghetti which is al dente in 5 minutes.
  3. Fill a cup with pasta water and set it aside.
  4. Drain your pasta but do not rinse.

Assembling the vegan carbonara

  1. Return pasta to the pot and pour the carbonara sauce over. Toss well and add mushrooms. Toss well again.
  2. Serve topped with fresh parsley. Add pasta water if you prefer a creamier texture.

Notes

This creamy vegan carbonara pasta will keep refrigerated for up to 4-5 days.

Keywords: vegetarian, plant based, meatless, dairy-free, pasta, dinner, main

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