The creamiest vegan butternut squash carbonara topped with crispy coconut bacon. It’s healthy, comforting and so addictive you’ll want more than one helping!
The sauce is made up of roasted butternut squash, cashews, plant milk and nutritional yeast. The butternut squash gets roasted until it is soft and buttery and then blitzed until smooth with the other ingredients in a high speed blender.
Whilst the butternut is roasting you will prepare your coconut ‘bacon’. I have been meaning to try this for so long and now I don’t know why I waited so long! It is SO good and highly addictive! I found and adapted this recipe from A Couple Cooks.
I was vegetarian my whole life before going vegan so I don’t know what bacon ever tasted like. All I have to go off is the smell and this taste how bacon smells, if that makes sense!
My family have also told me how realistic it is, my mum hasn’t eaten bacon in almost 30 years and instantly said how familiar it was.
So what makes coconut ‘bacon’ taste like bacon? Just a few ingredients – liquid smoke, dark soy sauce, smoked paprika and salt.
It is the perfect combination of salty, smoky and sweet. There are a few variations on this and you can add a little maple syrup if you want it slightly sweeter.
It only takes 10 minutes in the oven and the coconut flakes crisp up and soak up the flavour so well. If you haven’t tried coconut bacon you need to stop everything and go and make some right now!
This coconut ‘bacon’ would be perfect sprinkled on so many foods, not just pasta! I plan on putting it on pizza, toast, salads and soup!
For more butternut recipes you may enjoy these:
As always if you make this butternut squash carbonara with coconut bacon be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
- Half a butternut squash (about 3 cups/500g)
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 350g linguine or other pasta
- Vegan parmesan (optional)
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Peel and cut the butternut squash into 1 inch chunks. Place on a baking tray, toss in some oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix all the coconut bacon ingredients until the coconut flakes are all coated.
- Place on a lined baking sheet and spread out in a thin layer. Once the timer has gone off, place in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. Give the butternut squash a toss too.
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions whilst the butternut squash and coconut bacon are cooking.
- The butternut squash should be soft and starting to brown and the coconut bacon should be crispy and just starting to brown. If the butternut squash isn't soft when you put a knife in, leave it for another 5 minutes. Take out the oven and leave the coconut bacon to cool and crisp more.
- Place 2/3 of the cooked butternut squash in a high speed blender with the cashews, garlic, plant milk and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth, add a little more milk if it is too thick. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the sauce in with the cooked pasta, serve and top with the remaining butternut squash and coconut bacon.
- Grate some vegan parmesan on top and enjoy!
If you don't have a high speed blender, soak the cashews in hot water for half an hour and then drain.
Coconut bacon recipe adapted by A Couple Cooks.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 429Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 677mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 11gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g