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.
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

 

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Comments - page 1/2

  • Deborah Thomas

    Simply delicious! We will add this dish to our regular menu of pastas. I’ve tried spaghetti carbonara before but it wasn’t as easy or tasty, the key is truly room temperature eggs and saving enough pasta water?

  • Audrey

    Easiest recipe to make and was delicious!!
    My family loves it.

    • Nathan

      Hi Audrey,

      Thank you so much for trying it out and for commenting!

      Have a great day!

      Nathan
      @chefsavvy

    • Jason Margerum

      I made this and the pasta was sticking…I am wondering what I could do next time to make it not so sticky?? Maybe add more water?

    • Nathan

      Hi Jason,
      Yes, adding more of the hot pasta water will loosen up the sauce if the pasta is clumping together and sticky. Thank you so much for trying out the recipe! I hope it turns out better next time!
      Thank you for commenting!

      Nathan
      @chefsavvy

  • Thank You so much for posting a TRUE recipe for spaghetti alla carbonara with no cream added! I have had it served to me with a tiny bit of parsley added but this recipe is the real thing!

  • Followed the instructions to the letter, and this turned out really great! Never made pasta carbonara, and now I have a go to recipe – yay! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. Thanks!!

  • Ro

    Thank you for the recipe! It worked out perfectly, but it definitely is a heavy dish on the stomach. I think pairing it with a lightly breaded chicken breast and/or asparagus would be nice.

    • Nathan

      Hi Ro,

      Yeah, it is nice as a side. Thank you for your comment and for trying it out!

      Nathan

  • Sheila McVicker

    I want to make this to take to a church fellowship. Can I keep it warm in a crockpot for about an hour if I add more of the starchy water?

    • Nathan

      Hi Sheila,

      you can, the only problem you will probably run into is the noodles becoming overcooked and absorbing too much water. I would add the starchy water in right before you serve it to loosen everything back up. I hope that is helpful. Thank you for commenting!

      Nathan

    • Nathan

      Hi Joao,

      It Shouldn’t. The pasta water helps thin it down and makes a creamy sauce.
      Thank you for commenting!

      Nathan

  • Marjorie

    Great, quick dish. I added shredded rotisserie chicken and lots of crushed peppercorns, also the peas as suggested. Will definitely make again.