How To Make This Creamy Carbonara With Coconut Bacon

Try this plant-based version of the classic creamy Carbonara with added coconut bacon bits


2 Minutes Read

vegan Carbonara made with tofu, Himalayan black salt, spaghetti, and coconut bacon Give this creamy Carbonara with coconut bacon bits a go at dinner tonight - Media Credit: Rebecca Hincke

Are you looking for a vegan version of the classic carbonara that is actually authentic-tasting? Then this recipe from Rebecca Hincke’s The Vegan Pasta Cookbook is just what you need for an excellent dinnertime treat.

The classic Carbonara hails from Rome and is traditionally made with eggs, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. This creates a rich and creamy sauce that is well-known for being cooked by the heat of the pasta itself. However, this recipe creates a simple yet indulgent flavor profile and creamy texture in a completely plant-based format.

Read more: How To Make This Walnut Mince Burrito Bowl

The secret to crafting this vegan Carbonara lies in using kala namak, or Himalayan black salt, which imparts an “eggy” flavor reminiscent of traditional egg-based dishes. This recipe integrates silken tofu and nondairy milk to create a creamy sauce, seasoned with garlic, turmeric, and miso for depth.

The sauce pairs with classic spaghetti or bucatini, and is topped with a unique coconut bacon—coconut flakes seasoned with tamari, liquid smoke, and spices, then baked to crisp perfection.

Read more: Try This Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy carbonara with coconut bacon

This creamy vegan Carbonara incorporates silken tofu, black Himalayan salt, white miso paste, and other herbs and spices to make a flavorful plant-based version of the classic. Topped with vegan Parmesan and sweet and salty coconut bacon, this recipe is bursting with flavor.
vegan Carbonara made with tofu, Himalayan black salt, spaghetti, and coconut bacon
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For the sauce
  • 10.5 ounces (297 grams) silken tofu drained
  • ¼ cup unsweetened nondairy milk (oat, soy, almond)
  • ¼ tsp kala namak or black Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp flaked sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
For the pasta
  • 10 ounces (283 grams) dried spaghetti or bucatini
  • 4 tbsp vegan Parmesan grated (optional)
  • 1 cup pasta cooking water (as needed)
For the coconut bacon
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
To serve
  • 1 batch coconut bacon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


For the sauce

  • For the sauce, in a blender, combine the tofu, nondairy milk, kala namak, sea salt, garlic powder, turmeric, and white miso paste, and blend until smooth.

For the pasta

  • Put the pasta on to cook in a pot of boiling, salted water. Cook to al dente, then drain and reserve 1 cup (240 ml) of pasta cooking water. Transfer the pasta back to the pot and add in the Parmesan (if using) and sauce.
  • Stir together over low heat, until the Parmesan has melted and the sauce is thick and gooey, adding pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce to your liking (you may not need to use all of it).

For the coconut bacon

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Add the coconut to a mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the tamari, olive oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, paprika, pepper, and salt, and pour it over the coconut.
  • Stir everything together, until the coconut is fully coated in the sauce, then spread the pieces evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The more you can separate the coconut pieces, the more they will crisp up while cooking.
  • Bake them for about 20 minutes, until well toasted and crispy, stirring the pieces every 5 minutes to get an even toast and keep them from burning. Transfer to a bowl to cool before using.

To serve

  • Serve and top with coconut bacon and salt and pepper.

This recipe was republished with permission from food photographer and recipe developer, Rebecca Hincke. You can find her Instagram here and her cookbook The Vegan Pasta Cookbook here.

Read more: 8 Easy Vegan Egg Recipes

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