Roasted cauliflower & hazelnut carbonara

Roasted cauliflower & hazelnut carbonara

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(47 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
Stir roasted cauliflower, hazelnuts, eggs, double cream and thyme into penne pasta for a vegetarian version of the classic carbonara

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal693
  • fat37g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre7g
  • protein33g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 1 large cauliflower (about 700g), cut into small florets



    A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • small bunch thyme, leaves picked


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 350g penne
  • 100g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 2 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • small pack parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the cauliflower with the oil, thyme and seasoning, and spread out on a large baking tray. Roast for 15-20 mins until starting to soften and caramelise. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the cauliflower and cook for another 5 mins until the nuts are lightly toasted and the cauliflower cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions.

  2. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water, then return to the pan. Take the baking tray out of the oven and add the cauliflower and hazelnuts to the pasta, then stir in the Parmesan, egg, cream, parsley and 1 tbsp of cooking water. The heat from the pasta should be enough to just cook the egg without scrambling it. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash more cooking water. Check the seasoning and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Bookgirls's picture
10th Jun, 2020
This is so nice, and so simple to make. My daughter did say it might be nice with the addition of a bit of lemon which I might try next time.
Sophiehendo's picture
22nd Apr, 2020
I received a cauliflower as part of a veg box. I’d never normally buy it. This was such a good recipe; more interesting than normal carbonara. My boyfriend said it was ‘restaurant standard’, which was nice.
17th Sep, 2019
This recipe is delicious. The roasted cauliflower and hazelnuts gave the dish a real depth of flavour that made it both interesting and satisfying. I didn't have Parmesan so I used Cheddar.
16th Mar, 2019
It's not great. Didn't like it. Egg turned to fried.
Frantic Flapjack
9th Jan, 2018
This was a lovely and very unusual combination. The sauce had a good depth of flavour and the cauliflower and hazelnuts added a good texture. We really enjoyed this.
9th Oct, 2017
Delicious! The hazelnut with the Parmesan tastes so good! I added extra cream instead of water and it worked really well. Next time I'm going to add some mushrooms for some extra veggies.
19th Sep, 2017
This was very quick and easy to throw together. Sauce was smooth and tasty but I felt the hazelnuts dominated a little though. Might just be personal taste.
27th Jan, 2017
Unfortunately this recipe did not work for me. It didn't seem to have much flavour despite all fresh ingredients. The sauce crumbled immediately and the dish was dry.
9th Nov, 2016
Highly recommend, this is s quick recipe and is so yummy! The only negative is that is it a bit white looking, but the taste more than makes up for it. I didn't have hazelnuts, so I used cashews and it worked out just fine.
28th Oct, 2016
This is a fantastic recipe, delicious and easy. We are trying to eat more vegetarian meals, I wish there were more recipes like this!


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17th Nov, 2017
This recipe worked really well. I was out of a whole load of storecupboard ingredients at the time and so I used almonds and walnuts instead of hazelnuts- this worked fine! I also used smoked cheese instead of parmesan and sprinkled some cayenne on the cauliflower before roasting. It was still delicious- I think its the mark of a good recipe when its quite hard to get it wrong no matter how many deviations you make.
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