Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara will be your new favorite weeknight meal! Spaghetti coated in a thick and creamy egg sauce with crispy bacon and parmesan cheese. All you need is 30 minutes and 6 ingredients to make this!

pasta carbonara in skillet

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Pasta Carbonara is such a simple yet delicious meal. It’s comfort food at it’s finest! Whole eggs get tossed in hot pasta to create a thick rich and creamy sauce. It then gets sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese and crisp smokey bacon. This is the perfect pasta carbonara recipe you will ever make!

One of the reasons why I love this dish is the fact that it comes together in less than 20 minutes. It’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight. While the pasta is boiling I cook the bacon and shred the cheese. When the pasta’s done I reserve some of the water and toss in the raw eggs, parmesan cheese and bacon. Best of all you only need 6 ingredients to make this recipe most of which you probably already have on hand!

What is Pasta Carbonara?

Authentic Pasta Carbonara is an Italian based dish that’s made with crispy bacon, parmesan cheese and egg. The warm pasta and cooking water combined with the eggs create a creamy rich sauce that is amazing yet so simple.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti: You can also use thin spaghetti or fettuccine.
  • Garlic: I like to add lots of fresh garlic to this dish. It adds so much flavor!
  • Eggs: Are the base of the sauce. They make the sauce creamy and rich. Make sure to bring your eggs to room temperature before adding them to the hot pasta.
  • Bacon: You can also substitute pancetta or guanciale.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Helps to thicken up the sauce and adds a nice saltiness to the dish. I also love using pecorino romano in this recipe.
  • Parsley: Adds a nice pop of color and freshness to the dish. You can substitute fresh basil if you have that on hand!
  • Variations: I like adding peas, mushrooms, onions or spinach to this recipe as well! If you have any veggies you want to use up add them in!

carbonara pasta in white bowl with fork

How to make Pasta Carbonara

  • Boil pasta: Until al dente according to package instructions.

reserving boiling pasta water for carbonara

  • Cook bacon and garlic: Meanwhile in a large skillet add cubed bacon and cook over medium high heat until golden brown. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.

sautéing bacon in skillet with garlic

  • Toss everything together: In a small bowl whisk eggs and cheese together, set aside. When pasta is ready drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the bacon and garlic mixture. Add in the egg / cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Slowly toss the pasta until the pasta is coated. Add more pasta water if needed.

tossing pasta in carbonara sauce in skillet

  • Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired. This pasta carbonara recipe is best served immediately.
  • Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: Pasta on the stovetop with a bit of butter or olive oil! It will still taste good reheated however pasta carbonara is never as good as it is when it’s fresh.

Tips

  • The trick to making carbonara pasta is to start with room temperature eggs. This helps to keep your sauce smooth and clump free. Also to avoid scrambling the eggs it’s very important to take the pan off the burner when adding the eggs.
  • Use freshly grated parmesan cheese not the sprinkle cheese. I like to buy the cheese in blocks and shred it myself. It makes such a difference.
  • To add an extra protein boost add diced chicken, shrimp or scallops to this easy pasta carbonara.
  • Make sure to properly salt your water when boiling your pasta. This helps to flavor the whole dish!

What to serve with Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Here are more Easy Pasta Recipes to try!

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20 Minute Pasta Carbonara

4.75 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
20 Minute Pasta Carbonara. Pasta coated in a thick egg sauce with bacon and parmesan cheese. A super easy weeknight dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 ounces bacon cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • pepper and salt to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving

Instructions

Images:
  • Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions until al dente. (Mine took 9 minutes). When pasta is ready drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile in a large skillet add cubed bacon and cook over medium high heat until golden brown. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk eggs and cheese together, set aside.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet with the bacon and garlic mixture. Add in the egg / cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Slowly toss the pasta until the pasta is coated. Add more pasta water if needed.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

Originally published Sep 6, 2018

Nutrition Facts
20 Minute Pasta Carbonara
Amount Per Serving
Calories 672 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 627mg27%
Potassium 371mg11%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 314IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 336mg34%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Easy Dinner, Pasta, Pasta Carbonara, Weeknight Dinner