Have You Ever Made a Vegetarian Zucchini Carbonara?

Pasta carbonara with tomatoes and zucchini
Image by Christiane from Pixabay

Explore a new culinary adventure with our tantalizing recipe for vegetarian zucchini carbonara—a delightful twist on the classic Italian favorite. Bursting with flavor and freshness, this vegetarian version substitutes traditional pancetta with tender zucchini ribbons, creating a lighter yet equally satisfying dish. Perfect for vegetarians and pasta lovers alike, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your repertoire. Let’s dive into the delicious world of vegetarian zucchini carbonara.


  • 12 ounces of spaghetti or fettuccine pasta
  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized or thinly sliced into ribbons
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for added heat)
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini ribbons and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until they are just tender but still retain a slight crunch. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the cooked pasta and sauté for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Remove the skillet from the heat and quickly pour the egg and cheese mixture over the hot pasta, stirring quickly and continuously to coat the pasta evenly. The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs, creating a creamy sauce.
  5. If the sauce seems too thick, gradually add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Once the pasta is well coated with the creamy sauce, gently fold in the sautéed zucchini ribbons until they are evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes if desired. Serve your food hot, garnished with extra-grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil leaves for a burst of flavor and color.
  7. Enjoy this fresh and flavorful twist on the classic Carbonara with your loved ones, savoring each delicious bite and reveling in the satisfying combination of creamy pasta and tender zucchini ribbons.