This Vegetarian Butternut Squash Carbonara is the perfect cozy, filling fall pasta! Made with roasted squash, crispy fried sage, and autumn spices.
For whatever reason, I love eggs and pasta together. When I was old enough to start helping my mom in the kitchen, I randomly requested for us to make a mac and cheese recipe with eggs in it. I have no idea where this came from… all I remember is that I had just gotten it into my head that I wanted a mac and cheese with eggs. So, we made it! And it turned out being absolutely amazing. So this vegetarian carbonara is the “adult” egg pasta of my dreams!
What is vegetarian carbonara?
Carbonara is traditionally made with pancetta, eggs, and parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano cheese. However, this vegetarian version does not skimp on the flavor! You can use any type of “bacon” you like – such as McCormick “Bac’n” pieces, or my coconut bacon recipe. I actually think I prefer the coconut bacon in this recipe, because the subtle sweetness plays so well off of the butternut squash. Or, you can omit bacon altogether. It’s up to you!
What’s in the carbonara sauce?
The sauce is made from eggs, cheese, and pasta water (the water that the pasta cooks in). Although you’ll prepare the sauce raw, the eggs will cook in the pan when it’s tossed with the pasta, resulting in a creamy, cheesy sauce.
I don’t eat eggs or cheese. Do you have a vegan carbonara recipe?
I sure do! You can get it here! This vegan carbonara is packed with flavor, I highly recommend it!
Vegetarian Butternut Squash Carbonara
- 12 oz Butternut Squash cubed
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 Tsp Hot Honey or regular honey
- 1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Sage
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Black Pepper to taste
- Red Pepper Flakes to taste
- 1 lb Long Pasta such as spaghetti, linguini, etc.
- 1 Cup Pasta Water see below
- 1 1/2 Cups Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese or a blend
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 - 1 Cup Veggie Bacon crumbled
- Sage Leaves Fried in Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Freshly Grated Cheese
- Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prep your sauce - mix the eggs, cheese, and vegetarian bacon, whisking until incorporated. Set aside.
- Prep your butternut squash - peel and chop it into cubes. It should yield about two heaping cups of squash.
- Toss the squash with the oil, honey, salt, and spices. Then, bake in the oven for 15 minutes. After it's done baking, broil the squash for 3-4 minutes.
- Bring a pot of SALTED water to boil on the stove.
- Add in your pasta, and cook until al dente. Go by the time your box of pasta says, and subtract 1-2 minutes. The pasta will continue cooking later on.
- Before the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of the salted water it's cooking in, and set aside.
- Slowly add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to your egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Bring a large pan to low heat.
- Once the pasta is al dente, you can either drain the water from it and place it into the pan, or you can take it out with tongs directly from the water into the warmed pan. I recommend the latter approach.
- SLOWLY add the egg mixture to the pasta, alternating with the remaining pasta water, stirring constantly. The key here is low heat and constant stirring. This allows the sauce to get creamy and not scrambled egg-y.
- Once all of the egg mixture has been incorporated into the pasta, serve in bowls and top with the roasted butternut squash. Garnish with sage leaves fried in olive oil.
- To make sure your carbonara is vegetarian, be sure to use vegetarian parmesan or other cheese blends.
- You can use whatever type of "bacon" you want in this recipe, or you can omit altogether. The McCormick bac'n pieces are completely vegan, and my coconut bacon recipe would also work great here.
- As I said in the instructions, the key to carbonara is low heat and constant stirring. High heat will scramble the eggs, and break the sauce. If you have an induction stove, you may need to alternate between low heat and turning the heat off altogether. When in doubt, use less heat!
- That being said, make sure you cook the pasta in the sauce long enough so that the eggs are not raw.
For more vegan and vegetarian recipes and meal inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram @wellandfull! If you make a recipe, please tag me in the photo and use the hashtag #wellandfull so I can see! I love seeing your creations!