Traditionally made with pancetta or salami, it’s easy to make vegan pasta carbonara with a simple swap-in of plant-based pepperoni (or plant-based salami, which is a bit harder to find). It’s also good with vegan bacon!
Simple, quick, and straightforward, this is a sturdy everyday pasta dish that leaves you enough time and energy to make a colorful salad as an accompaniment.
There are a number of plant-based pepperoni and salami brands, and the list is growing all the time. Here are a few:
- Be-hive Seitan Pepperoni
- Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. – Perfect Pepperoni
- Green Slice Veggeroni
- Renegade Plant-Based Salami
- Very Good Butchers – Very Good Pepperoni
- Yves Veggie Pizza Pepperoni
Use your favorite pasta shape: Carbonara is traditionally made with spaghetti, but you can use fettuccine, linguine, or honestly, whatever shape you happen to have in your pantry.
Recipe adapted from Plant-Powered Protein: 125 Recipes for Using Today’s Amazing Meat Alternatives © 2020 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 10 to 12 ounces pasta, any long shape (see note)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 to 6 ounces plant-based pepperoni or salami (or vegan bacon), cut into small bits
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 to 5 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, vegetable broth, or water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened plant-based creamer
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Packaged or homemade vegan Parmesan (see Notes) for topping, optional
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a wide skillet. Sauté the pepperoni pieces over medium heat until crisp and golden brown on both sides, then remove and chop into small pieces.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat until golden.
- Add the broccoli and wine to the skillet. Cover and steam until the broccoli is bright green and tender-crisp. Remove from the heat.
- In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta, bacon, broccoli-garlic mixture (with any remaining liquid), and parsley. Toss well. Add enough creamer to give the dish a bit more moisture. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.
Carbonara is traditionally made with spaghetti, but you can use fettuccine, linguine, or honestly, whatever shape you happen to have in your pantry.
Vegan Parmesan: Use a store-bought vegan Parmesan or hard vegan cheese; or, make your own! Simply combine 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup almond flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small container and mix completely.
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