Pretty pasta + creamy cashew carbonara sauce + flavorful TVP bacon = a match made in heaven! This totally unauthentic, but delicious vegan carbonara pasta dish needs to be on your dinner table soon!
This Vegan Carbonara Pasta Dish combines three things that I love:
- fancy-looking pasta: I use mafaldine pasta.
- homemade cashew cream: I use it for everything lately. Creamy pasta sauces. Curries. It’s the perfect substitute for full-fat coconut milk.
- flavorful TVP Bacon Bits: They are easy to make, crunchy, and tasty. And I want to put them on everything.
I love simple pasta dishes that look fancy enough to serve for date nights or special dinners.
About the pasta: Mafaldine pasta is also known as “reginette” or “frilled pasta” because of its ruffled edges that resemble a queen’s crown or the waves of the sea. The name “mafaldine” is a reference to Princess Mafalda of Savoy. Mafaldine pasta is a long, flat, and wide noodle that is often cut into strips that are about 0.5-1 inch wide. Mafaldine pasta has a slightly rough texture that allows it to hold onto sauces well, which makes it perfect for this creamy pasta dish.
A note on the blender: It’s really easy to make cashew cream in a small blender (like a NutriBullet or Ninja). If your blender’s container is bigger, you might have to double or triple the cashew cream ingredients for it to work properly and to be really smooth.
How to make this Vegan Cashew Carbonara Pasta with TVP Bacon
As always you will find the whole recipe in the box below but I want to give you an overview of the key ingredients and basic steps with step-by-step photos first.
You will need:
- For the cashew cream (if you don’t want or can’t make your own cashew cream, you can use store-bought unsweetened cashew cream, oat cream or soy cream)
- cashews (I use roasted + salted; add salt to taste if you’re using unsalted cashews)
- lemon juice
- For the vegan Bacon Bits:
- soy granules / soy crumbs / TVP
- soy sauce
- paprika powder
- dried thyme
- liquid smoke
- plant-based, neutral oil such as canola oil or sunflower oil
- pasta (I used mafaldine pasta but you can use whatever you like)
- fresh parsley (optional, for a bit of color)
The basic steps
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I hope you enjoy this Cashew Carbonara Pasta with TVP Bacon recipe as much as I do! Let me know if you give it a try!
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Vegan Cashew Carbonara Pasta with TVP Bacon
- 1/2 cup cashews salted and roasted
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
TVP Bacon Bits
- 1/2 cup Soy Granule
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder mild
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 tablespoon plant-based oil (sunflower oil or canola oil)
Pasta & Topping
- 1/2 pound pasta I used Mafaldine pasta
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- For the cashew cream: Add the cashews, lemon juice, and water to a blender. If you have the time, let it soak (even 10 min would be fine). Then blend until completely smooth.
- For the TVP Bacon Bits: Add soy granules, water, soy sauce, paprika powder, dried thyme, salt, and liquid smoke to a hot pan. Stir to combine. Let it cook until the soy granule has absorbed the water. Then add oil and let it cook further until they are crispy and brown.
- Boil the pasta in a large pot with water. Then drain but save the pasta water.
- Add the cashew cream to the pan. Thin the sauce out with pasta water as needed. Add more salt to taste. Then add the drained pasta.
- Mix well until the pasta is coated with carbonara sauce. Then add half of the vegan bacon bits, and stir.
- Then you can add the pasta onto plates, top it with the rest of the vegan bacon bits and freshly chopped parsley. Enjoy!