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Vegan Carbonara

Creamy, salty, eggy, but made entirely with plant based ingredients! The secret to this delicious dish...cauliflower. The ingredients list is fairly simple and the recipe takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword dinner, noodles, plantbased, spaghetti, vegan, veganfood, wfpb
Prep Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 20 mins
Total Time - 30 mins
Servings - 8 People


  • Immersion blender or upright blender


  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 small head of cauliflower)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (golden color is best)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound long noodles (spaghetti, linguine, bucatini )
  • 1/2 cup pasta water (reserved after boiling)

Optional tempeh "pancetta"

  • 4 ounces tempeh (half a block)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional )


  • In a small pot heat the cauliflower, onion, garlic, and vegetable stock over medium heat, covered, and simmer for 15 minutes. While cauliflower cooks start to boil water to cook the noodles and make the tempeh.
  • Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water and 2-3 tablespoons of salt. Bring to boil and cook the noodles until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.
  • Optional tempeh instructions: Slice the tempeh into thin strips then into 1/4" squares. The smaller and thinner they are the better they will soak up the seasonings. Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add in the sliced tempeh and cook for 2 minutes, flipping once, then evenly distribute the soy sauce and cook for 1 min longer. Sprinkle the rest of the spices over the tempeh, toss to coat, then drizzle the olive oil over. Cook for only 1 min longer. *If using the liquid smoke add in with the soy sauce at the beginning.
  • Once the cauliflower has boiled add in the nutritional yeast, miso, garlic and onion powder, corn starch and salt. Puree using an immersion or upright blender. An immersion blender is easier because you can puree it right in the pot. Add in the 1/2 cup of pasta water and puree again until smooth.
  • Pour the sauce over the drained noodles, either in the large pot or a serving dish, and reserve about 1/4-1/2 cup of sauce to top individual servings. Toss then add in optional seasoned tempeh. Serve with a drizzle more of sauce, some fresh cracked pepper, and any other additional garnishment.


I also added a sprinkle of seasoned and pan cooked breadcrumbs. 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Stir in a hot pan then pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook until the breadcrumbs are sandy and not clumped together.