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Pasta Carbonara

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Pasta Carbonara is a creamy pasta dish that comes together quickly and has the amazing flavors of bacon and parmesan cheese. Easy enough to make on a busy weeknight for a simple dinner.

fork holding up some pasta carbonara with bacon and spaghetti noodles
Carbonara Photo by Sarah Alvord

Carbonara is one of those pasta dishes I see on a menu at an Italian restaurant and think is so fancy and probably too hard to make at home. When, in reality, it is so simple to make and only takes a few ingredients.

Bring home the flavors of your favorite Italian place and make carbonara in your own kitchen. Serve it up with a simple garden salad and some crusty bread for a complete meal.

You are going to love this recipe because of how easy it is to make, it takes just a few ingredients, feels fancy enough to serve at a dinner party, and is easy enough to make for a quick weeknight dinner.

What You Will Need:

This is what you need to add to your grocery list to make this spaghetti carbonara recipe:

  • Bacon– this carbonara recipe is made with bacon, a salty pork product is always used in carbonara. Look for a thick cut bacon if you can find it.
  • Spaghetti-really any kind of pasta can be used in carbonara, but a long spaghetti or linguine works great in this recipe.
  • Butter– helps make a creamy sauce for the pasta
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Eggs– be sure to use room-temperature eggs
  • Parmesan Cheese– if you can, buy a block of parmesan and grate it yourself, it really provides a lot more flavor.
  • Ground Black Pepper

⭐️ Full ingredient measurements and recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

How to Level Up This Recipe

Don’t get me wrong here, this carbonara recipe is delicious as prepared but if you want to add more veggies or protein, let me give a few suggestions.

  1. Add in cooked chicken– bump up the protein in this recipe with some shredded rotisserie chicken or just some cooked chicken breast that has been cut into smaller pieces.
  2. Add in some veggies– you can easily add in some frozen peas or even spinach to this recipe to up the vitamins
  3. Use freshly cracked black pepper– if you have it, grind your own pepper, it adds so much flavor.
piles of spaghetti noodles mixed with bacon and parmesan cheese
Photo by Sarah Alvord

Recommended Equipment

  • Large Enameled Cast Iron Skillet– I use this pan almost daily in my kitchen, it is perfect to use on the stovetop or in the oven.
  • Garlic Press– this is an essential in our kitchen, make fresh minced garlic in seconds.

How to Make Pasta Carbonara Recipe

This is a perfect weeknight meal idea because it comes together quickly. The process is super easy. Let’s walk through what you need to do:

  1. Cook the Pasta: liberally salt water in a large pot and cook the pasta in boiling water until it is just tender, or according to the package instructions
  2. Crisp the Bacon: cook the bacon until it is crispy. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan with a paper towel.
  3. Make the Sauce: add the garlic to the pan with the bacon and cook for just 30 seconds. Place the cooked pasta into the pan and add in the butter and parsley, toss to coat. While the pasta is still hot, pour in the beaten eggs and quickly lift and lower the pasta to coat it with the eggs. Add pasta water as needed to loosen the noodles.
  4. Season: lastly, season with freshly ground black pepper and parmesan cheese

Storage and Leftovers

To store leftover carbonara, place it into an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

To reheat the leftovers, microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each time until it is heated through.

This can also be reheated in a pan over low heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t separate or scramble the eggs.

swirled piles of spaghetti mixed with bacon and parmesan cheese

What to Serve with Pasta Carbonara

We like to eat this delicious pasta carbonara with some garlic butter broccoli or asparagus. Really any steamed vegetable or even cold salad would go perfectly with this pasta recipe.

You could also serve this alongside some baked chicken thighs or a nice sliced steak for some added protein.

More Easy Pasta Recipes

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spaghetti noodles with bacon, parsley and parmesan cheese
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Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is a creamy pasta dish that comes together quickly and has the amazing flavors of bacon and parmesan cheese. Easy enough to make on a busy weeknight for a simple dinner.
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 595kcal


  • 1/2 pound spaghetti cooked
  • 1 pound thick bacon sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup parsley minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 3 eggs room temperature and beaten
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ground black pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Be careful not to oversalt the water with this dish. Reserve 1 cup hot pasta water
  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring until crisp, about 7-8 minutes.
  • Drain off all but 1 teaspoon of bacon grease from the pan.
  • Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • In a separate mixing bowl beat the eggs.
  • Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the pan with the bacon and garlic.
  • Add in the butter and parsley. Mix quickly to blend.
  • Then at once pour in the egg mixture and mix into the hot spaghetti by lifting and lowering the noodles until well combined.
  • Sprinkle in parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper and mix in.
  • Serve immediately. Add pasta water in small amounts to loosen sauce if needed.


  • Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are just an estimate. 
  • make sure the eggs are at room temperature. Easily raise the temperature of cold eggs by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes. 


Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 743mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 874IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Comfort Food, Dinner, Italian, Pasta
Keyword: Pasta Carbonara
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