A clever vegetarian twist on an Italian classic

If you love carbonara, then you’ll love this veggie twist with this bean carbonara.

SERVES: 3 – 4
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, family, meat-free, vegetarian

Bean carbonara

This dish comes from my favourite, Bold Bean Co (I am not affiliated with them in any way).

Ok, so if you’re a lover of the classic Italian carbonara.

And when I say classic, I mean, using eggs, not cream to make the sauce.

Then, you may be screwing your face up reading this and saying ‘no-way to beans’.

Admittedly, I was a little dubious this was going to work and actually be nice.

However, I have ‘bean’ (see what I did there?) proven wrong.

It’s a lovely dish and a great one for those meat-free days.

So, check it out.


Bold Beans Co recommend using the bean stock i.e. the juice that the beans sit in the jar in.

This is to help make the sauce creamier.

I would add a little because there is a saltiness to it and if you add too much, you can really taste it.

Plus, by adding pecorino or parmesan cheese, you’re adding more salty flavours.

Also, I’ve added ground pepper to this recipe as it gives a lovely heat.

And is more authentic.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g pecorino or parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • 100g pancetta, sliced into small pieces – go for high-welfare, quality pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 – 2 tsp freshly ground peppercorns
  • 1 x 700g jar of Bold Bean Co Organic White Beans with their bean stock (be careful here with how much bean stock you add) or 2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans with 100 ml veg stock.


  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the grated parmesan, a pinch of salt and black pepper and beat with a fork until combined. Set aside.
  2. Add the pancetta to a dry pan and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes until it’s looking crispy. Add the crushed garlic and the ground pepper, to the pan and leave it to flavour in the fat for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the beans and (a little of) their bean stock (or veg stock) into the pan and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Pour in the egg mixture – the pan will help to cook the egg gently, rather than scrambling it, so make sure your pan isn’t too hot.
  5. If the mixture is looking a little thick, add about 100ml water and add this to the pan to loosen. Toss well, Toss well until it’s creamy and glossy.
  6.  Season well with cracked black pepper.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Bean carbonara