Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara with Tempeh Bacon


Good evening readers, I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. My house is currently filled with the aroma of chocolate as I have just baked a double-cacao deep-dish cookie. I really wish I could share the fantastic smell with you as it is filling me with comfort and happiness! Look out for the recipe soon!

I’ve told you already that I love Indian food. What I haven’t told you is that I also love Italian food! I love wholesome pasta and rich cheesy or tomato sauces, I love to bite into a delicious vegan pizza and I love to tear and taste a freshly baked focaccia! For today’s recipe, I bring you a new take on spaghetti carbonara! Now, I won’t pretend that the tempeh bacon tastes like actual bacon, nor will I tell you that the carbonara tastes particularly like a traditional carbonara, but I will tell you that this is one of the most delicious pasta dishes I have ever tasted. I’ve tasted a lot of pasta dishes!

Spaghetti carbonara is traditionally made using eggs. It is often also made with cream, although from what I’ve read it isn’t traditionally made with cream in Italy (correct me if I’m wrong). Either way, that puts spaghetti carbonara off limits to vegans. Fortunately, I decided a long time ago that nothing is off limits, so I’ve veganised it!

To replace the eggs, I’ve made an awesome cheesy, eggy sauce; yum yum! For the bacon, I adapted the marinade from Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s Tempeh Bacon recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. I just got the 10th anniversary edition, yay! If you haven’t yet explored Isa’s amazing work, check out her blog at The Post Punk Kitchen. You won’t be sorry!

Tempeh, in case you didn’t know (possibly because you’re not vegan, possibly because you’re Patrick Starfish), is a fermented soy bean patty. I ordered mine online as I’ve not been able to find it in the shops. I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sold on tempeh before, but having made this recipe it may well be my new favourite food item! I now have half a package of tempeh left over, which I’m planning on putting on a pizza tomorrow, because everything deserves to be put on a pizza! I’m also going to be making my own tempeh for the first time very soon. Hopefully both the pizza and the homemade tempeh will become future posts, but for now I hope you enjoy today’s recipe!

Check out this and other great recipes over at The Culinary Mama’s Veggie Wednesday and Rock My Vegan Socks’ Healthy Vegan Fridays!

The Culinary Mama

Healthy Vegan Fridays at Rock My Vegan Socks


Spaghetti Carbonara with Tempeh Bacon

Serves 4


3 tbsp soy sauce

1 apple

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce (I use Tiger Tiger brand, available at Asda)

200g tempeh, sliced thinly widthways

2 tsp egg replacer

150ml soya cream

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp black salt (available at Indian grocery stores)

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp nutritional yeast (available from health food stores)

1 echalion shallot, or 2 smaller shallots, thinly sliced


1 tbsp olive oil

300g spaghetti

  1. First, blend the apple in a high speed blender or a food processor with a little water until smooth. Strain through a muslin cloth into a large shallow dish. Squeeze the muslin cloth to get all the juice out then discard the pulp.
  2. Add the soy sauce, garlic powder and Worcester sauce and mix well. Place the tempeh slices in the marinade, coating both sides of the tempeh. Place in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove from the marinade and cut each slice into thin strips. Set aside.
  3. In a measuring jug, whisk the egg replacer with 4 tbsp water until thickened slightly. Add the soy cream, turmeric, black salt, garlic powder and nutritional yeast and mix well. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and season with salt. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Place a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the tempeh and shallot for 5-10 minutes until the tempeh is lightly browned.
  6. Add the drained spaghetti along with the eggy cheesy sauce and cook, using tongs to toss everything together, for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately!



5 responses to “Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara with Tempeh Bacon

  1. Pingback: Tempeh Bacon and Smoked Garlic Pizza with Pea Shoot Salad | The Green Genie·

  2. Ooooh I’m super intrigued by this recipe! I LOVE Italian food. And tempeh. I actually never enjoyed bacon (the meat variety), I find tempeh much more palatable. Thanks for sharing this at Healthy Vegan Fridays. I’m pinning this recipe and eagerly await your homemade tempeh and pizza recipe (pizza is my absolute favourite food!).
    “My house is currently filled with the aroma of chocolate as I have just baked a double-cacao deep-dish cookie.”
    I wish I could come over to help you eat this ;p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for you comment 🙂 I often find that I prefer vegan ‘substitutes’ to meat, although in my mind I don’t really think of them as substitutes, just food! I love tempeh, it does taste so much better homemade!


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