Vegan Carbonara With Smoky Carrot Rashers

A classic Italian dish made vegan! This vegan carbonara is so simple & yet so decadent it’s magic. Add a scattering of smoky carrot rashers & you get a fantastic pop of colour, flavour & texture too!
Course Entree, Main Course
Recipe Type vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 517 kcal
Author Melanie McDonald


For the carrot rashers

  • 2 medium carrots , cut into very thin ribbons. I used a potato peeler to do this.
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (any mild tasting oil, I used olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt

For the carbonara

  • 500g spaghetti (use GF spaghetti to make this meal gluten free)
  • 75g | 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours unless you have a super duper blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec . If you forget to soak them then cover them in boiling water for 20 minutes instead).
  • 56g | 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 30g | 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 240mls | 1 cup non-dairy milk (see recipe note)
  • A little tiny piece of garlic. I had a medium sized clove and used just less than a quarter. It doesn't sound much but remember that the sauce doesn't get much cooking so the flavour will be too strong if you use much more.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


For the carrots

  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F
  2. In a small bowl mix together the oil, maple syrup, smoked paprika and salt.
  3. Add the carrot rashers and massage them in the mixture.
  4. Line a baking tray with a Silpat or parchment paper
  5. Spread the carrot rashers out on the tray in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so and turning as necessary. They go from ok to burnt within what seems like seconds so keep a close eye on them. They won't go totally crispy while in the oven. As they cool some will crisp up and some will stay soft and chewy.

For the pasta

  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil.
  2. Add the spaghetti once it reaches a rolling boil
  3. Drain your cashew nuts.
  4. Add them and all of the other sauce ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until completely smooth.
  5. When the pasta is al dente (cooked with a little bit of bite), drain it reserving half a cup of the pasta water.

  6. Add just enough sauce to the pasta to just coat it. Add a few drop of the pasta water to make it looser and glossier if you need to. Not too much though. You don't want a runny sauce. It needs to be clinging to the spaghetti not dripping off.
  7. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

A very neutral tasting milk is best and it must be unsweetened. I didn't like the results with almond milk as I think the flavour of it came through in the sauce. I tried a few different varieties and my favourite to use for this was soy milk. Silk Coconut Milk &   So Delicious Coconut Milk also gave ok results. 

Leftover sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 4 - 5 days

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Carbonara With Smoky Carrot Rashers
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 517 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 32%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 9g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 104%
Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 19%
Iron 24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.