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Cashew Cream Carbonara Recipe

Vegan pasta Cashew Cream Carbonara by Sam McArdle, The Gangly Chef. Photo by Elizabeth Harris.
Cashew Cream Carbonara by Sam McArdle, The Gangly Chef.

My first ‘meal’ memory on screen was the spaghetti and meatballs from Disney Lady and the Tramp. I’ve always had a little soft spot for big hearty dishes. This Cashew Cream Carbonara is inspired by my first ‘meal’ memory, and it illustrates just how good plant protein is. This dish alone has 64 grams of protein (which is huge!) from the cashew nuts. A steak only has 48 grams.

Protein aside, it’s also a really lovely dish to make for people. It looks challenging, but it’s so easy to make. You just need to boil the cashews and blend them smooth to create the creamy sauce. You can also prep the sauce and the mushroom bacon ahead of time. All you need is then is 7 minutes to cook the pasta, heat up the mushroom and sauce, and you’re good to go.

The recipe I provided is enough to feed two ravenously hungry people (like myself), but this can easily fill 3-4 people.

Recipe Serves 2-4

Nutritional Information Per Portion

  • Protein - 64g

  • Carbs - 65g

  • Fat - 28g

  • Calories - 753


  • 80g of pasta per person

Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • A sprinkle of salt

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 100g of cashews

  • 250ml of milk

Mushroom Bacon

  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce

  • 2 large mushrooms as the ‘Bacon’


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, Maple Syrup, Smoked Paprika, Tomato Puree, Garlic, a sprinkle of salt, and the BBQ Sauce. Then set it to one side.

  2. Slice the two large mushrooms into thin long strips. This will be our ”Bacon”.

  3. We’re going to make our cashew cream sauce. Add your cashew nuts to boiling water in a saucepan. After 5 minutes drain it and add it to a food processor along with your milk, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and garlic. Blend together until smooth.

  4. Boil the pasta according to its instructions.

  5. In another pan, fry the mushrooms for about 4 minutes. Once they’re cooked, add the bacon sauce from earlier to the mushrooms and let it marinate on medium heat.

  6. In the final pan, we’re going to mix it all together starting with the pasta and the cashew cream sauce, then stir in the facon bacon, top with some fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Sam McArdle is #TheGanglyChef. He creates healthy, delicious, and hilarious cooking videos that you can check out on Instagram @smcardle5. He’s also an actor and playwright whose playwriting debut The Manny will be performed at The Carlton Tavern 33 Carlton Vale, London NW6 5EU on Wednesday 24th November and Thursday 25th November. You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite or contact

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