Vegetarian Carbonara Recipe: Delicious and Easy to Make

Are you a pasta lover looking for a delicious and satisfying vegetarian option? Well, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Vegetarian Carbonara!

As a home cook who loves experimenting, I stumbled upon this recipe. And I must say, it has become one of my all-time favorites.

With a few simple ingredient swaps. You can enjoy a creamy and delicious carbonara that’s completely meat-free.

Now, you might wonder.

How can it recreate the richness of traditional carbonara without bacon? Fear not, my fellow foodie! The secret lies in the combination of mushrooms and spices.

By sautéing fresh mushrooms with garlic and smoked paprika. You create a depth of flavor that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

And the best part?

The creamy texture is achieved through a mixture of eggs, grated Parmesan. Splash of pasta cooking water. It’s like a velvety blanket that envelops each strand of pasta.

So, the next time you’re craving a comforting and indulgent meal. Try this Vegetarian Carbonara. Your taste buds will thank you.

And you’ll feel good knowing you’re enjoying a satisfying dish that’s kind to your vegetarian lifestyle. Trust me; it’s a pasta experience you won’t want to miss!

What Is Vegetarian Carbonara?

Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish with spaghetti. Egg yolks, grated cheese, and pork belly or prosciutto. Vegetarian carbonara swaps the meat for vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant.

The key to making a Delicious vegetarian carbonara. That’s just as flavorful as the original is to use ingredients that provide a similar umami-forward effect.

Unlike Alfredo sauce. A carbonara sauce is made with heavy cream and relies on raw egg yolks, grated cheese, and a splash of starchy pasta water.

To create a creamy emulsified sauce that evenly coats the noodles.

Vegetarian versions of carbonara can skip the pork or include substitutes like Mushroom Carbonara Recipe, coconut “bacon,” or your favorite plant-based meat alternatives.

(Need to try Easy and Simple Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi)

Tips for Vegetarian Carbonara

  • Choose the Right Pasta Shape for Carbonara:
    • Traditional carbonara pairs best with spaghetti.
      • Its thin strands allow for easy manipulation in the pan, ensuring that the creamy sauce coats each strand perfectly.
        • You can also opt for other long pasta shapes, such as fettuccine, linguine, or bucatini.
  • Vegan Carbonara Variation:
    • For a vegan version of carbonara, substitute egg yolks and cheese with miso, silken tofu, and bacon-flavored bits.
      • Nutritional yeast. This alternative provides a similar savory flavor and creamy consistency.
  • Emulsify the Sauce Quickly:
    • Speed is key when making carbonara sauce. Whisk the egg and cheese mixture into the seasoned, salty pasta water until it forms the glossy signature sauce.
      • Maintain a loose consistency and achieve the perfect texture.
        • Splash pasta water into the skillet with cooked mushrooms while emulsifying.

Easy Vegetarian Carbonara Recipe Here’s a simple and tasty vegetarian carbonara recipe:

(Learn how to make Homemade Orecchiette Pasta)


  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano, plus more to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5–8 ounces fresh mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake, or king trumpet, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti, bucatini, fettuccine, or linguine


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and grated cheese in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until shimmering.
  4. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they release, reabsorb their juices, and turn golden brown and tender.
  5. Add the garlic and paprika and cook until the garlic is aromatic, about 1–2 minutes.
  6. Season the mushroom mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. While the mushrooms cook, add the noodles to the boiling water.
  8. Cook until they are almost al dente, about 5–6 minutes.
  9. Use tongs to transfer the noodles directly to the skillet with the finished mushrooms, followed by ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
  10. Drizzle the egg mixture over the noodles.
  11. Working quickly to emulsify the sauce, vigorously agitate the pasta with the tongs while shaking the pan.
  12. Add more pasta water as needed, tossing the noodles until the sauce is thick and glossy and the pasta is al dente.
  13. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
  14. Transfer the pasta to plates or wide bowls and garnish with more Parmesan as desired. The recipe takes about 20 minutes to make and serves four people.

Using the right ingredients and techniques. You can make a carbonara sauce that’s just as rich and creamy as the original.

man cutting beef meat

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Vegetarian Carbonara FAQs

What are the ingredients for making vegetarian carbonara?

The ingredients for vegetarian carbonara include pasta, garlic, egg yolks, and Parmesan cheese.

Asparagus or mushrooms can be added as well.

Non-dairy milk can be used instead of cream. Spaghetti or fettuccine are the best pasta choices. Vegetarian alternatives for bacon include tofu and tempeh.

Can I use non-dairy milk in vegetarian carbonara?

Yes, non-dairy milk can be used in vegetarian carbonara instead of cream. Popular options include almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk.

What pasta is best to use for vegetarian carbonara?

For vegetarian carbonara, spaghetti or fettuccine are the best pasta choices.

The long shape of this pasta allows the egg and cheese sauce to coat each strand evenly. Creating the creamy texture known for the dish.

Can I substitute bacon with any vegetarian alternative?

According to Love and Lemons.

Yes, there are vegetarian alternatives for bacon in carbonara.

Such as shiitake bacon, tofu and tempeh. Other options include veggie bacon or smoked paprika to add a smoky flavor.

These alternatives provide a similar crunch and texture as bacon in vegetarian carbonara.

Is vegetarian carbonara a healthier alternative?

Vegetarian carbonara can be healthier depending on the ingredients and portions used.

It eliminates the saturated fat and cholesterol from bacon and eggs. However, it can still be high in calories and fat due to using cheese, pasta and cream substitutes.

Adding vegetables such as asparagus or mushrooms can increase their nutritional value.

John Siracusa

John is a passionate food enthusiast and entrepreneur. With over 25 years of experience in the food service industry. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hell's Kitchen Recipes, a website dedicated to providing high-quality recipes and content. He also loves connecting with his audience through social media. And can be found on FacebookTwitterGoogle  Podcast and Hell's Kitchen Recipes YouTube channel.

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