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Easy Vegan Mushroom Carbonara

 An easy vegan mushroom carbonara recipe. It's super creamy, packed with mushrooms and tossed through freshly cooked tagliatelle. Just delicious!

Vegan Mushroom Carbonara served topped with vegan parmesan & parsley

Easy Vegan Mushroom Carbonara

Carbonara is such a popular Italian dish. but it's not suitable for vegans at all.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy a totally luxurious and delicious dairy-free and egg-free carbonara.

My easy vegan mushroom carbonara is luscious, easy to make at home and even has a simple replacement for the bacon, that is smoky, a little salty and with that umami flavour.

Where does carbonara come from?

Now this one is hard to pin down, as there are several similar dishes, but looking back at old cookbooks there is a similar dish from the 1940s.

Some say it was invented by charcoal burners in the Apennines and some say it was created for American soldiers using their rations of bacon and eggs in Italy during WWII.

The first time carbonara was named in a recipe, which is very like the one everyone knows today was in a food magazine called La Cucina Italiana.

What can you substitute for bacon in carbonara?

For a vegan carbonara or even a vegetarian carbonara there are a few options.

You could use plant-based bacon, little bites of grilled marinated tofu or cooked mushrooms all make a good substitute for bacon in carbonara.

I like to use mushrooms.

Mushroom 'Bacon'

Cooked and spiced mushrooms are an excellent substitute for bacon in dishes.

mushroom 'bacon'

Mushrooms are thinly sliced, coated with spices, then seasoned and cooked.

They have a chewy finish and that savoury flavour.

I cooked them in the air fryer, bt they could also be cooked in the oven.

vegan carbonara tagliatelle

Mushroom 'bacon' tips

For a more authentic bacon substitute when making plant-based carbonara, cut the mushrooms into slices, then into smaller pieces.

This is how the bacon is added to the original recipe.

I'm not too bothered about this vegan version being exact and I prefer slices of vegan mushroom 'bacon', but I'll leave you to decide.

bundles of tagliatelle

Is carbonara served with spaghetti or tagliatelle?

Carbonara is traditionally served with spaghetti, but sometimes it is served with tagliatelle.

Personally, I prefer it with tagliatelle. 

The creamy sauce clings beautifully to the tagliatelle and it just seems more luxurious.

I use spaghetti for so many dishes, but rarely use tagliatelle, so when I make my vegan carbonara, it makes it a bit special.

Does the sauce usually contain egg?

Yes, originally this creamy sauce was made with eggs.

Of course, we aren't using eggs, so instead, we turn to cream to make the sauce creamy, but not a dairy-based cream.

vegan carbonara in a pan

Which vegan cream to use in a creamy pasta sauce?

There are many plant-based creams available to buy in supermarkets now.

You could use single cream, but you will get a thicker sauce and a more decadently thick sauce with vegan double cream.

I like to use Elmlea Plant Cream for this sauce, but use whichever vegan cream you can get hold of.

easy vegan carbonara

All the mushrooms!

You know me! I love mushrooms, almost to the point of obsession. My fridge is always full of them.

This pasta sauce is packed with mushrooms.

The first batch of mushrooms are cooked in the sauce and then the mushroom 'bacon' is also added.

Mushroom heaven!

What you need to make easy vegan mushroom carbonara

Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this creamy mushroom pasta.

Mushroom 'bacon'

  • Closed cup mushrooms - or chestnut mushrooms
  • Spay olive oil - or rapeseed oil
  • Paprika
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Mushroom sauce

  • Olive oil - or rapeseed oil
  • Garlic
  • Closed cup mushrooms - or chestnut mushrooms
  • Vegan double cream - or single if you can't find double
  • Vegan style 'Parmesan' - see tips on where to buy & homemade below


  • Tagliatelle - you could use spaghetti, but I think it is much nicer with tagliatelle

Vegan Style Parmesan

Parmesan cheese is never suitable for vegetarians or vegans and the vegetarian and vegan versions can not be called Parmesan.

I know that seems crazy, but Parmesan is a protected name through DOP (Designation of Origan). European trademarking.

Violife Prosociano is the vegan hard cheese I use. 

It comes in a wedge like traditional Parmesan and has the wonderful mature tang. It's very good.

If you have trouble finding it in your local supermarket, try The Vegan Cheese Shop online.  I buy a few blocks and pop them in the freezer until I need them, then take one out and pop it in the fridge,

If you want to make your own, check out this easy recipe for vegan parmesan from Cookie & Kate.

Make it gluten-free

This tasty pasta dish is easy to make gluten-free. 

Just use your usual brand of gluten-free pasta. 

The Elmlea Plant Double Cream I use is gluten-free.

creamy vegan mushroom pasta

How to serve carbonara tagliatelle?

With a creamy pasta sauce like this, add the freshly cooked pasta into the sauce and stir well to coat.

The pasta should always be well-coated and not served with the sauce poured on top.

Use tongs to serve and twist the pasta as you add it to the bowl for a pretty presentation.

Once the pasta is in bowls you can scoop up any extra sauce and mushrooms pour it over the pasta.

Grind some fresh black pepper over the pasta then add fresh parsley and top with a sprinkle of vegan style parmesan.

Serve with a crisp, cold white wine. On this occasion I served it with red wine and it was still good, but it is nicer with a white wine.

Cooked tagliatelle poured into a pan of mushroom sauce

Can you store leftovers?

You can keep leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days.

Reheat in the microwave or warm gently in a pot.

Only eating one portion?

If you know you won't eat both portions (it serves two generously), leave half the pasta in the colander and run cold water over it to cool it while you mix the rest in half the sauce.

Shake the water from the cold pasta, then stir in the rest of the sauce and store it in the fridge.

The pasta will be nice and firm and glossy and can be reheated or eaten cold. The texture will be so much nicer if you cool it like this.

This is the way to make the best pasta salad too. Quickly cooled pasta with the starch washed off.

Reader's Photos and Comments

Often I am lucky enough to receive lovely photos and comments after readers try my recipes.

Here are some photos and comments for this vegan carbonara.

If you would like to share a photo or comment of one of my recipes you can email me at or share on my Facebook page or Twitter, remembering to tag me.

Reader's positive comment about vegan mushroom carbonara

Reader's photo of Vegan Mushroom Carbonara #1

Reader's photo of Vegan Mushroom Carbonara #2

More delicious vegan pasta recipes to try

Here are a few more pasta dishes you might like to try after you've tried this creamy tagliatelle.

vegan pasta dishes

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An easy vegan mushroom carbonara recipe. It's super creamy, packed with mushrooms and tossed through freshly cooked tagliatelle. Just delicious!

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How to Make Easy Vegan Mushroom Carbonara

Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF.

Mushroom Carbonara - step 1 - mushroom bacon

Step 1

  1. Slice mushrooms and add to air fryer trays or a baking sheet, these can be cooked in an air fryer or in the oven (full printable recipe after this photo guide).
  2. Spray lightly with oil, then sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Air fry or bake until golden.

Mushroom Carbonara - step 2 - making the creamy sauce

Step 2

  1. While the mushroom 'bacon' is cooking, cook your tagliatelle according to the packet instructions and make the sauce. 
  2. Saute sliced mushtrooms and garlic in a little olive oil in a large pan until soft.
  3. Season with salt and pepper while it cooks.
  4. Add the vegan cream and vegan parmesan and season with salt and pepper again. Mix well to combine and allow the 'cheese' to melt.

Mushroom Carbonara - step 3 - plating up

Step 3

  1. Add the mushroom 'bacon' to the sauce and stir in, then add the drained, freshly cooked pasta and mix well.
  2. Serve in bowls topped with fresh parsley and vegan style parmesan.
  3. Enjoy!
vegan carbonara, mushroom pasta, mushroom carbonara, mushroom tagliatelle, vegan bacon, mushroom bacon, vegan pasta, easy vegan pasta
Italian, vegan
Yield: 2 generous portions
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Easy Vegan Mushroom Carbonara

Easy Vegan Mushroom Carbonara

An easy vegan mushroom carbonara recipe. It's super creamy, packed with mushrooms and tossed through freshly cooked tagliatelle. Just delicious!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min


Mushroom 'Bacon'
  • 4 large closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
Mushroom Sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 8 large closed cap mushrooms (or chestnut mushrooms), sliced
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) vegan double cream
  • 50g (1/2 cup) vegan parmesan (see notes)
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
Pasta & Toppings
  • 180g (7 bundles/nests) dried tagliatelle
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 25g (1/4 cup) vegan parmesan (see notes)
  • a handful fresh parsley


Mushroom 'Bacon'
  1. Add the sliced mushrooms to air fryer trays or baking trays and spray lightly with oil (you can use non-stick baking paper or a light spray of oil on the trays before adding the mushrooms).
  2. Sprinkle the mushrooms with paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Air fry at 180c/350f for 15 minutes or in a preheated oven at 200c/180c fan/ 400f/ gas mark 6 for 15 to 20 minutes, just keep an eye on it. The slices should be a deep golden and a bit chewy.
Mushroom Sauce
  1. While the mushroom 'bacon' roasts, cook the tagliatelle according to the packet instructions and start cooking the sauce.
  2. Saute the mushrooms and garlic in a little olive oil in a large pan until soft. While they are cooking, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cream and vegan style parmesan, mushroom 'bacon' and season again with salt and pepper. Stir to allow the 'cheese' to melt.
  4. Drain the pasta well, then add to the sauce and stir to coat well. If your pan isn't big enough to add the pasta to the sauce, pour the sauce into the pasta in your pasta pot and mix well.
  1. Use tongs to serve the pasta in bowls. Twist the pasta as you add it to the centre of the bowl for a nice presentation.
  2. Scoop up the remaining sauce and mushrooms in the pan and pour over your nest of pasta.
  3. Season with black pepper and add grated vegan-style parmesan and fresh parsley.
  4. Enjoy!


Vegan Style Parmesan

  • Violife Prosociano is the vegan hard cheese I use. It comes in a wedge like traditional Parmesan and has a wonderful mature tang. It's very good.
  • If you have trouble finding it in your local supermarket, try The Vegan Cheese Shop online. I buy a few blocks and pop them in the freezer until I need them, then take one out and pop it in the fridge,
  • If you want to make your own, check out this easy recipe for vegan parmesan from Cookie & Kate.


To make it gluten-free just use your regular gluten-free pasta.


Can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days and reheated gently in the microwave or a pan. If you have more cream, you can add a little more to loosen the sauce.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)



  1. You are back. I wondered were you were. Not seen you on Facebook this week. I am used to my daily recipe drop. Hope you are ok. Jill

    1. Yes I am OK thanks. My mum had a fall so I've been looking after her.

    2. Oh no, your poor mum. Hope she is OK? Oh and I made the carbonara last night. It is divine!

  2. Just saw this in group and had to come for the recipe. It looks very yummy. Adding it to my meal plan (Tracey)

  3. Love that this was a vegan version of one of my favorite Italian comfort food dishes! It was light, healthy and totally satisfying!

  4. Mushroom carbonara is one of our favourites and this looks like a great vegan version. I love what you have done with the mushrooms.

    1. It just takes it that step nearer the original and so tasty.

  5. Mushrooms can really add so much flavor, and like the sound of the 'bacon'. Looks tasty.

    1. Mmmm it is so good. I hope you try it Caroline.

  6. Ah! This was so scrumptious! Thank you for another great recipe. :)

  7. OMG I am drooling all over my keyboard. That looks wonderful 🤩

  8. I made this last night after spotting it yesterday. It was the best pasta dish I have had at home. Ta for the recipe🍴

    1. That is so nice to hear. Thanks for stopping to let me know!

  9. What a spectacular carbonara dish! I love that this one is dairy-free and egg-free; YUM!

  10. this is surely making me want to get my sheeter maker out I love the mushrooms and flavors in this recipe sounds delicious!

  11. I was so intrigued how to make this without eggs. It turned out great! Love me some mushrooms.

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it Krissy. We love it

  12. Rich, creamy, and vegan! So many wins with this dish. It was rich and I couldn't get enough of it. Will be making this again for sure.

  13. Mmmm I love that this has mushroom bacon in it! Looks incredible.

  14. I love the crispy mushroom idea! Brilliant!

  15. It is really good!! So easy to make and healthy! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I love mushrooms! This is creamy perfection!

  17. What a delicious recipe and mushroom are plentiful here still a must try thanks for sharing with us!

  18. I love the fact that this creamy mushroom dish is vegan. Italian cooking at its very best. Thanks for such a detailed tutorial.

  19. We had this carbonara for dinner last night and the whole family loved it! Even the kids!

  20. I love the mushrooms in this pasta! They make this dish extra delicious and hearty. Can't wait to make it again!

  21. This recipe turned out perfectly. Easy step by step instructions. Will definitely be making this again!

  22. I'm dairy free so I was so happy to find this recipe. It turned out amazing! Thank you!

  23. Lush .. prefer this version to the original which I was never keen on. The 'bacon bits' are tasty would be better if I'd been able to add to the dish ..

    1. What happened. You didn't nibble on them before they reached the dish? That is so easy to do


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x