Creamy Mushroom Vegan Carbonara

There was never a time in my life when I preferred creamy pastas over tomato-based ones. I found them too heavy and sickening. This has changed for me since becoming vegan.

The other day I was craving something creamy and carby like it was nobody’s business. I thought a pasta carbonara would do the trick…not to mention give me a chance to create something new for the blog. 99% of the time, you have my cravings to thanks for anything that appears on this site.

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So this is a damn good pasta. DAMN GOOD.

You don’t need cream and cheese to make a great carbonara. Just some imagination (and nutritional yeast flakes).

Vegan creamy pastas DO NOT leave you feeling heavy and bloated like dairy-based ones do. There’s nothing weighing you down when your sauce is made from simple, plant-based and nutritional ingredients.

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So what’s the key to my sauce? Two things: nutritional yeast flakes for cheesy-ness, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for that depth of flavour and a surprisingly smoky addition.

These two ingredients should be staples in any pantry. Nutritional yeast flakes are packed with B12s and are a great way to add a cheesy-ness to sauces, casseroles and more. Nacho cheese sauce, vegan mac n cheese and my Healthy Vegan Meatballs all benefit from these flakes.

Liquid aminos is similar to soy sauce, but I find the depth of flavour to be tenfold. It also adds a smoky-like tinge (which is why I use it to make my coconut ‘bacon’).

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Browning the garlic before using it in the sauce ensures the full effect of its intoxicating scent and flavours come out to play. Four cloves might seem like a lot to some people but this is me showing great self control. I am prone to going overboard with garlic but it’s my little secret (and potent) weapon!

While you COULD use any plant based milk for the sauce, I find unsweetened almond milk to be the most plain, and therefore better for allowing the other flavours to shine. Coconut would most certainly alter the flavour profile too much, so it’s best to stick to something simple if you can help it.

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The creaminess of the carbonara sauce will really surprise and delight you. While offering the all cheesiness and consistency of a good carbonara sauce, it also boasts the added benefit of being super light and healthy. Good for the planet. Good for you. Everyone wins!

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Creamy Mushroom Vegan Carbonara

  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

Sauce

  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of arrowroot starch (mixed with a tiny bit of water)

Other

  • 3 cups of white button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • Pasta (to serve 4)

Directions

  1. First, bring a big pot to a boil and cook your pasta as per packet directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add minced garlic and lightly brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once garlic has cooled, add to a nutri-bullet or high powered blender with the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until completely smooth.
  4.  In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add diced onion and brown on medium heat until nicely caramelised. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until soft.
  5. Pour sauce into pot and lightly simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finally, add arrowroot starch and heat for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Combine pasta and sauce and mix to fully combine. Serve with fresh parsley and cracked pepper.