An easy vegetarian carbonara recipe with fried shiitake mushrooms and a creamy, luxurious greek yogurt sauce! This recipe will take you by surprise with it’s delightful texture and deep flavors, and it’s a simple weeknight meal with endless flexibility.
👩🍳 Christine’s Notes
Being a vegetarian, my carbonara was never going to be authentic, so we’re breaking multiple rules today… I’m just going to need you to go with the flow here!
Shiitake mushrooms work beautifully as a substitute for the traditional meat in carbonara, they are absolute flavor bombs and we fry them with onions to bring some of the expected crispiness too. I use dried shiitakes for an extra concentrated flavor, but fresh shiitakes will work great too!
The Greek yogurt adds a thickness and richness to the sauce, without adding any heavy cream or too much cheese, making this an overall lighter dish.
- Choose a plain Greek or Greek-style yogurt that is thick, with a very neutral flavor (it shouldn’t be too tart or sour). I made this with fat free Chobani, but Fage would work too.
- To swap in fresh shiitakes, I’d suggest using 5-6 mushrooms, finely chopped. No soaking required, just fry them with the onions. You could add a dash of balsamic or soy sauce if you wish.
- I like to add in some smoky chili flakes too, you could alternatively throw in a dash of smoked paprika when you’re cooking the mushrooms.
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes with a Twist
Shiitake Mushroom Carbonara with Greek Yogurt
- 10-15 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 250 g (9 oz) spaghetti
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ medium red onion, finely diced
- ½ tsp chili flakes, optional – smoked chili flakes are especially good here
- pecorino, parmesan or other Italian hard cheese, for topping
- Rehydrate the mushrooms by leaving to soak for about 15 minutes in boiling water. Remove them from the water, chop into very small pieces, and leave them out to dry off a little.
- Start boiling your spaghetti.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs, garlic and yogurt together and leave to one side.
- Heat some olive oil to a high heat and fry your shiitakes and onion for a few minutes until they are crispy.
- This is where it gets a little specific, because once its all ready to go, you want to get the sauce mixed in with the spaghetti, and for the dish to be hot- but you don't want the egg to cook.So. The best thing to do is get a room temperature bowl or pan to combine all the ingredients in. Drain your spaghetti, and throw that in. Then pour in the shiitakes and onions, and toss them through. Finally, pour in the egg mixture, and keep tossing constantly, using two wooden spoons to keep it moving. The sauce should go creamy without it getting so hot that the egg hardens.
- Grind in lots of salt and pepper, add the chili flakes if you're using them, then pour into bowls and top with a little grated cheese.
- Slurp away!