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Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Chickpea tofu. Spaghetti is tossed with pepper and vegan parm and then topped generously with smoky chickpea tofu bacony bits for a wonderful weeknight meal. Vegan Recipe, Soy-free, Can be Gluten-free. Jump to Recipe

Our Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Chickpea Tofu Bits in a while skillet

This Cacio e pepe is a fabulous pasta dish with flavors which feel like you spent hours making it but it is super quick to put together! Mix up the vegan parmesan, crisp up some chickpea tofu with smoky flavors, make the spaghetti and mix with loads of freshly ground black pepper and herbs and done. You can use store bought vegan parm to speed it up even more.

This Black pepper parmesan spaghetti pasta is flexible, has no soy, can be made without nuts(see recipe notes). Lets make this!

Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Roasted Chickpea tofu in a grey bowl

Ingredients for Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Chickpea Tofu Bits

  • The Smoky Chickpea Tofu needs chickpea tofu, garlic powder, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt or liquid aminos or soy sauce. You can add a few drops of liquid for extra smokyness.
  • The Vegan Parmesan is mix of almond flour, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, lime zest, lime juice, brine from pickles or pickled jalapeno.  You can use other vegan parm, to make nut-free, use a mix of pumpkin seeds and breadcrumbs.
  • The Pasta has Spaghetti, garlic, loads of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and fresh herbs.

How to make Vegan Cacio e pepe with Step Photos

Make the smoky chickpea tofu bacony bits by cooking all the ingredients together until the mixtures starts to dry up. Taste and adjust if needed.

Ingredients for Smoky Balsamic Chickpea Tofu Bits in bowls

Smoky Balsamic Chickpea Tofu Bits for our Vegan Cacio e Pepe in a while skillet

Mix the ingredients for the vegan parmesan. Add more lime juice if needed to make a mixture which has fat crumbs.

Ingredients for our Vegan Cacio e Pepe in bowls

Garlic and pepper for our caci de pepe in a white skilleet

Saute the garlic, then add in black pepper, pepper flakes and broth, then mix in the spaghetti. Then mix in some parm and some of the smoky chickpea tofu. Cover and rest for a few minutes, then top with more chickpea tofu, black pepper and herbs to serve.

Pepper, vegan parmesan and broth for our vegan cacio e pepe in a white skillet

Spaghetti for our Cacio e Pepe in a white skillet

Our Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Chickpea Tofu Bits in a white skillet

More Pastas for everyday or the Holidays

Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Roasted Chickpea tofu in a grey bowl

Can I make this Cacio e Pepe gluten-free?

Yes, use gluten-free spagheti or other pasta of choice. Cook according to instructiton on package. Add more pasta water if the pasta dries out too much during sauteing.

Can I make this without Nuts?

To make the parm mixture without almonds, use other nuts such as cashews, macadamia, walnuts or for Nut-free, use mix of 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds blended into a coarse meal and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs.

Our Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Chickpea Tofu Bits in grey Bowl

Vegan Cacio e Pepe

5 from 3 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 3
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Chickpea tofu. Spaghetti is tossed with pepper and vegan parm and the topped generously with smoky chickpea tofu bacony bits for a wonderful weeknight meal. Vegan Recipe, Soy-free, Can be Gluten-free

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Ingredients 
 

For the Balsamic Roasted Chickpea Tofu:

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped chickpea tofu , or pressed and chopped firm tofu
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup, , or use sugar/sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt , or 1 tsp soy sauce/liquid aminos for soyfree

Pasta:

  • 8 oz Spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, , divided , use less for less heat
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, (use less for less heat)
  • 1/3 cup vegan parm, (recipe below) or use other store bought parm
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley or basil or othr herbs for garnish

Vegan Parm:

  • 1/3 cup almond flour, , (or a mix of 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds blended into a coarse meal and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs for nut-free)
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp lime or lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp brine from pickle jar or pickled jalapeno, or use 1/4 tsp white vinegar

Instructions 

  • Cook the spaghetti according to instructions on the package and set aside
  • Make the Smoky Chickpea Tofu: Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, Add the chickpea tofu (or pressed and chopped firm tofu). Mix for a few seconds. add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. cook until the sauce thickens. Taste carefully and adjust flavor with more salt, vinegar or maple. and a few drops of liquid smoke for extra smokyness. (This topping is optional, there is tons of flavor in the pasta + vegan parm!)
  • Make the Parm: Mix everything under parm until it resembles fat crumbs. Press and mix a couple of times. Taste and adjust salt and zest.
  • Pasta: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for half a minute. Add the black pepper and half the pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden
  • Add half of the parm and pasta water and bring to a good simmer. Add the spaghetti and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle in rest of the parm, half the smoky tofu, black pepper, remaining pepper flakes and parsley and toss lightly and serve. Top each bowl with more smoky chickpea tofu.
    Store: Refrigerate for upto 2 days. The pasta absorbs moisture on sitting so Reheat with some water or broth.

Notes

Nut-free: Use a mix of 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds blended into a coarse meal and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs.
Nutrition is for 1 serve with regular flour spaghetti.

Nutrition

Calories: 552kcal, Carbohydrates: 75g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 429mg, Potassium: 448mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 263IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 3 votes

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12 Comments

  1. Al Livingstone says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner for the hubby and I. I added some arugula and swapped the chickpea bacon for tempeh bacon. It is AMAZING! Highly recommend it

    1. Richa says:

      Awesome! Yes any bacony topping will work!

  2. Pam says:

    I made this tonight and it was very good, but I can’t figure out what went wrong with the Parm. It seemed as if there was no where near enough liquid to get clumps. I kept mixing, but it remained just way too floury. Luckily I had store-bought vegan Parm to stand in, but I was frustrated with why the recipe wouldn’t work for me.

    1. Richa says:

      You can add more lime juice. it is somewhere between flour and some lumps.Just press and mix. If you want it clumpier, add lime juice and olive oil a few drops at a time and mix in. If you see the video on facebook, it is floury and clumpy mix which works well in the recipe.if it is too clumpy, then it will be big clumps for garnish. you can adjust it depending on preference.

      1. Pam says:

        Thank you! I think I was anticipating that it would come out more like the vegan feta recipe, so I probably panicked too soon. It was a delicious dinner even without that!

        1. Richa says:

          awesomee! thanks

  3. Emily says:

    5 stars
    Amazing! I skipped the topping and served with some roasted veggies and gardein. Gosh what a meal!

    1. Richa says:

      Awesome!

  4. Teja says:

    Hello Richa,

    All your recipes are awesome. Every recipe tastes good. Please keep doing the good work 🙂

    1. Richa says:

      Thankyou!

  5. cherilyn says:

    5 stars
    This looks delicious thank you for sharing it.

    1. Richa says:

      Thanks!