Vegan Carbonara

Carbonara is a Italian pasta dish traditionally made with cubes of pork in an egg yolk sauce served and with grated hard cheese. This isn’t a dish that had landed in my corner of small-town Britain before I turned veggie as a teenager so I realised I’ve never actually tried it. This vegan version is therefore an approximation, but it tastes pretty divine all the same. For the bacon bits, we have used our popular Smoky Sweet Marinade for the tofu and cut the strips into small pieces but for speed you can substitute with shop-bought bacon. The sauce is rich, smooth and creamy, with a suggestion of egg, it’s not a flour-based white sauce, so the Carbonara Gods have allowed us to use their hallowed name.



Tofu Ingredients

400g firm tofu, well-pressed

1 portion of Smoky Sweet Marinade


500g spaghetti – cooked according to package instructions (this should be enough for 4)

Sauce Ingredients

200g silken tofu, lightly-pressed

1 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 tbsp plant-based milk

1 tbsp sweet miso

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp kala namak (replace with sea salt if you don’t have this)

Ground black pepper

Vegan Parmesan Ingredients

Vegan parmesan is available in the vegan section of good supermarkets or online. Otherwise, you can make your own.

1 cup cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts (or a mixture of them) or for a nut-free version, sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt


Tofu Method

You can use one of the many varieties of vegan bacon (fackon?) that are on the market now. They are really good now. Cook the bacon strips according to instructions and allow to cool. Cut into small cubes ready to assemble your dish.

Otherwise, follow the steps in the Smoky Sweet Marinade Recipe to create your own vegan bacon using well-pressed tofu.

Sauce Method

Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender and mix till smooth. Drain the cooked spaghetti and return to the pan. Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and stir to ensure the pasta is completely coated in sauce. Warm gently and add the ‘bacon’ bits to the pan, folding to ensure they are evenly distributed. Serve when bubbling hot with optional vegan parmesan.

Parmesan Method

Wizz together and store in a jar in the fridge. Add to pasta dishes, salads, soups..