20 Minute Pasta Carbonara. Spaghetti coated in a thick and creamy egg sauce with bacon and parmesan cheese. A super easy weeknight dinner! Only 6 ingredients!
20 Minute Pasta Carbonara
Pasta Carbonara is such a simple yet delicious meal. It is 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.
- 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, onions or spinach to this recipe as well! If you have any veggies you want to use up add them in!
How to make Pasta Carbonara
- Boil pasta: Until al dente according to package instructions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- The trick to making Pasta alla Carbonara 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 to this easy pasta carbonara.
- Add in your favorite veggies! I have made this recipe with peas and it is amazing! Just make sure to add thawed room temperature peas!
What to serve with Pasta Carbonara
- Homemade Focaccia
- Easy Dinner Rolls
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Chicken Parmesan
- Honey Garlic Salmon
- Garlic Bread
- Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts
Here are more Easy Pasta Recipes to try!
- Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Pasta with Garlic and Oil
- BLT Pasta Salad
- 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta
- Spaghetti Pea Carbonara
Watch how to make this 20 Minute Pasta Carbonara in the video below:
20 Minute Pasta Carbonara
- 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
- Boil the pasta per package instructions until al dente. (Mine took 9 minutes).
- 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.
- 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.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired.
Originally published Sep 6, 2018