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Every once in a while you just want something comforting and warm to eat on a cold day. Even though it’s mid-may, it’s cloudy and chilly and rainy today and I just wanted something rich and delicious. I watch a lot of recipe videos on YouTube and one randomly popped up for carbonara. So, as always happens when I have a sudden food craving for something that doesn’t yet exist, I decided to come up with a recipe for a vegan keto carbonara.
Now, traditional spaghetti alla carbonara is made with eggs and cheese and bacon and real pasta…and this has none of those things. In fact, I think the only overlap between a traditional carbonara recipe and this low-carb vegan version is salt and pepper. So, of course, it doesn’t taste exactly the same. It is pretty much as close as you can get to a carbonara that is both low carb and vegan.
Full disclosure – there isn’t actually a vegetable in this recipe. It’s 100% vegan keto comfort food. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and can be pretty easily modified to be soy-free as well. Low carb vegan comfort food for the people!
If you make this, I’d love to hear about it in the comments or on social media!
Notes on Making Vegan Keto Carbonara (gluten-free, nut-free)
- If you want to make this soy-free, you can use coconut aminos instead of tamari and replace the tofu bacon with this vegan lox recipe. Just omit the kelp flakes!
- If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making tofu bacon, there are plenty of options in grocery stores that are actually pretty keto-friendly. I haven’t found a gluten-free option as of yet, though, so if you need a gf vegan keto bacon, making it might be your best choice (if you do know of a low carb vegan bacon that is also gluten free, let me know!).
- The tofu bacon recipe makes 4 servings. So, you’ll have leftovers for things like a vegan keto BLT. 🙂
- The sauce recipe makes 5, 1/3-cup (80-ml) servings, so you’ll have lots of leftovers. You could use it as a white sauce for pizza, or make alfredo. You could also add in some chili power and make queso for vegan keto nachos.
- If you can’t find hemp seeds, you can use sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews, almonds, or macadamia nuts. Just keep in mind that the macros will be different!
- This is definitely vegan keto junk food, but sometimes you need that, right? If you want to add a vegetable to the game, use 1-2 cups of zucchini noodles instead of the shirataki noodles. You could also just add in some chopped baby spinach to add some micronutrients to the game.
- The macros are calculated based on USDA nutrition values for foods using Cronometer.com. If you use specific brands, you may have different macros pop up.
Vegan Keto Carbonara (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free)
For the Tofu (makes 4 servings):
- 1 block 14oz/400g firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt
For the Sauce (makes 5 servings):
- 1 cup 160g hulled hemp seeds
- 3/4 cup 60g nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup 180ml water
For the Whole Dish:
- 1 package shirataki noodles 8oz/226g
- 1/3 cup 80ml of the above Sauce
- 1/4 batch of the above tofu
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast to serve
- 1 scallion stalk sliced
- Fresh black pepper
To Make the Vegan Keto Tofu Bacon:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the block of tofu and slice thinly. I got 24 slices.
- Press the water out of the tofu slices with a clean dish towel.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tamari, olive oil and smoked sea salt.
- Dip each piece of tofu in the marinade and lay it on the baking sheet.
- Pour any leftover marinade over the tofu pieces. Bake for 30 minutes, until crispy.
To Make the Vegan Keto Carbonara Sauce:
- Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until totally smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
To Make the Whole Vegan Keto Carbonara:
- Drain and rinse the shirataki noodles and place them in a small pan on medium-low heat.
- Add 1/3 cup (80ml) of the sauce to the noodles, and stir until the noodles are thoroughly coated.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the excess moisture cooks out of the noodles.
- Chop up 1/4 of the bacon slices (so, I used 6 here) and stir the pieces in with the noodles.
- Plate and sprinkle on additional nutritional yeast (if desired), scallions and fresh pepper.