Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Bacon Carbonara Pasta is an Italian classic pasta dish with creamy egg sauce with noodles, pasta, eggs and bacon topped with salty Parmesan cheese in under 30 minutes.

Classic Italian recipes are a popular section of recipes on the site including Meat Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan and Marinara Sauce.

Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
 Easy Carbonara Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for spaghetti carbonara topped with bacon and peas made without being intimidating! This recipe is as easy as making the pasta and bacon and tossing it together with rich egg yolks and a bit of reserved pasta water to make the creamiest easiest sauce ever. It’s like stepping into Rome, Italy with the benefit of it taking as long as a normal weeknight dinner.

One of the most intimidating things about making carbonara pasta is the egg sauce. People worry about scrambling the eggs or eating raw eggs because of the heat of the pasta. Before publishing this recipe I tested it 5 times and tossed it with the eggs even taking an extra minute or so, tossing it slower or faster, trying to come up with ways you guys may approach the directions differently.

The only version that ended with scrambled eggs was pouring in the eggs directly into the pan fully before tossing (which is not how the directions are written, but I wanted to test all the ways it may be carried out.

WHY SAVE PASTA WATER?

Pasta water is saved for this Carbonara Pasta because the extra starch in the water from the cooking process helps to create a creamier sauce. This makes it easy to create a thick, rich sauce without waiting for anything to cook down or without adding a lot of cream or excess cheese.

Remember to cook pasta al-dente, this means with a bite. I always instruct that pasta should be cooked one minute shy of the instructions on the box for this reason. As you toss ingredients together and finish the recipe your pasta will finish cooking naturally instead of becoming overcooked. If you like eating pasta al-dente I would recommend cooking 2 minutes shy of the directions before draining the pasta.

THE INGREDIENT QUALITY MATTERS:

This recipe shines because of its simplicity, but it also requires the use of good ingredients. I love thick cut bacon, or even high quality standard cut bacon. Use a freshly ground black pepper, the bigger the grind the more bold the flavor (shaker black pepper will hurt this recipe). Use shaved parmesan (or Romano) instead of grated for a less gritty texture.

Carbonara Pasta on fork

Save Recipes
Create An Account & Save Recipes

WHAT GOES INTO A TRADITIONAL PASTA CARBONARA:

There are many recipe variations of carbonara that are not traditional (including cream cheese or mozzarella cheese), but the traditional variety seen here including a raw egg mixture being mixed and brought to a sage temperature by the heat of the pasta.

For a fully traditional option, use pancetta instead of bacon, and skip the peas.

More traditional and less-traditional Carbonara Recipe ingredients:

  • Peas: I’m love carbonara with peas, but you can certainly skip the peas. Add them in frozen as you toss the pasta they will thaw quickly.
  • Garlic Cloves: While not traditional you can of course add them in as raw, roasted or cook them in olive oil or bacon fat first.
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese: If you have it on hand or don’t like Parmesan Cheese, you can use Romano in it’s place.
  • Fresh Parsley: An easy topping, but not needed as the parsley flavor will overpower the egg yolk flavor.
  • White Wine: You can of course add this in place of or in addition to the pasta water, but the starch in the reserved cooking water helps the creamy texture of the sauce.
  • Whole Eggs: There is never a reason to add whole eggs to this recipe, if you see a recipe call for it, I’d look to another recipe unless they call for it in the creation of fresh pasta.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream can be used if you are avoiding the use of raw eggs to create a creamy cheese sauce.
  • Olive Oil: No need to use oil in this recipe since we aren’t cooking anything in fat, but if you’re adding any additional vegetables you can certainly add olive oil. I would cook them in the bacon fat though.

Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes?

Tools Used in the making of this Bacon Carbonara Pasta:
Cast Iron Skillet:
This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well.
Chef’s Knife: This knife is one of the three most used tools in my kitchen.
Tongs: are great for tossing all the eggs and cheese together without making a mess.

Carbonara Pasta in bowl

Pin This

Like this recipe? Save it to your Pinterest board now!

Pin

Recipe

Save

Bacon Carbonara Pasta

5 from 18 votes
  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta with just 5 ingredients is as easy as cooking pasta and bacon and it's ready to eat in 30 minutes. A classic recipe made EASY.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 10 slices bacon , cut into small pieces
  • 3 large eggs yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan , shaved
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot to one minute less than the directions on the box and keep 1/2 cup of pasta water to the side to drain pasta (do not rinse pasta).
  2. In a large skillet add the bacon and cook it until crisp then turn off the heat and remove the bacon with a slotted spoon then add the pasta and toss it in the bacon fat.
  3. Add the eggs, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to a large bowl and whisk well before adding slowly while tossing the hot pasta quickly to prevent it from scrambling.
  4. Add in 1/4 cup of the pasta water and peas, tossing again to create a saucy consistency to the pasta then topping with bacon before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 Servings, Amount per serving: 562 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 562g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Carbonara Pasta, Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
Save
Carbonara Pasta Collage

Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






Comments

  1. Hello! I was just wondering if this recipe would work without any cheese. I don’t know if there’s a substitute for the cheese in the recipe, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    1. I’ve not tested it so I’m not comfortable giving suggestions. I would recommend looking for dairy free options through google. Good luck!

    1. I just let mine sit out until needed so they are thawed a bit. I like mine to still have a bit of bite (and keep their shape) to it and not turn to mush once stirred in. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, you can use the slider tool that pops up when you hover over the servings. You can adjust up to double. Enjoy!

  2. I made for the first time for dinner for myself and my husband. This was an easy and delicious recipe ?. Sabrina thank you for this fabulous recipe, I know I will be making again, please keep on posting delicious recipes.

    Thank you,

  3. I like the simplicity of the recipie tastes good too but I will use less cheese next time was too cheesy for me personally but everyone else liked it

  4. Couldn’t suss out the sauce ratio to the pasta…Never used egg yolks before. Needs tweeking but then I think it will be lovely. Thanks. Practice makes perfect

  5. The flavor was excellent but the pasta was too dry for my husband’s taste. If I make it again, I’ll use less pasta and more pasta water to make it creamier.

  6. I recently visited Rome Italy and fell in love with this dish. I was happy to find this recipe and was very pleased with the way it turned out. So yummy!

  7. This turned out sooooooo good! I was apprehensive because I wasn’t sure how whisking shaved Parmesan with the egg yolks would work…. it was chunky, lol. But I added it in spoonfuls to the hot pasta making sure to toss well in between each spoonful… and it turned out perfect!

  8. This was really delicious! I used ham instead of bacon along with 3 tbsp butter. My husband wants mushrooms next time but this recipe is so simple and perfect the way it is. We loved it so much!

  9. Just made this for supper with a side salad. I got an unsolicited “this is GOOD” from my husband while we were inhaling it. We thought it was great, thanks.

  10. Awesome, awesome, Sabrina. We had this for Christmas Eve dinner. We made it suffice for the 7 fishes :-). It was hands-down a favorite. Thank you!

  11. I have made this recipe a few times now, and it’s absolutely dynamite. It immediately became a family favourite. I haven’t found a need to try any substitutions or alterations at all, other than sometimes adding another egg yoke or two if the eggs are on the smaller side. I’ve also never left a review for a recipe before, but wanted to say thanks for sharing it!!

  12. I think you need to mention mixing 1/4-cup of the pasta water with the eggs, and cheese (and mix continuously so the egg doesn’t cook, but the cheese melts)…before adding it to the pasta. You have to save a 1/2-cup of water but you don’t say where the other 1/4-cup goes. After watching other videos on the topic, I realized it needed to go in the eggs and cheese to create the sauce.

        1. It’s extra in case you need more water. It’s always better to have some on reserve which is why I write 1/2 cup in case you need more than 1/4 cup. Hope this clears up any confusion 🙂

  13. Can you please provide the steps without using the pasta? I am using cauliflower gnocchi which I will top with the sauce at the end. Thank you

  14. Awesome as written- only change I would make is to add the cheese after you’ve tossed the pasta with the eggs. For me it melted too much before serving.

  15. Sorry but hat is not correct. You do not use whole eggs. Only egg yolks mixed with heavy cream and Parmesan. That is what gets tossed in at the end while the fire is off!!

  16. It was wonderful… Thank you for sharing your recipe… It will be my 3rd time making this dish…. My boys love it… As well as i do!….

  17. So made this tonight for dinner. We like fresh minced garlic and some sweet onion. So I put some of both in the bacon grease before I added the noodles. It turned out really good and add another layer of flavor to the dish.

  18. I am using ground 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 pork italian sausage instead of beef. Should I adjust any of the spices? The recipe sounds amazing. I have already made the easy marinera and will be putting the lasagna together tomorrow. I am excited for the outcome.

  19. Fantastic!! I used to make this for my beloved husband…May he rest in peace. He worked nights, sometimes when I couldn’t sleep I would make Spaghetti Carbonaro and his face as he walked in the door and smelled it was worth the sleep deprivation. Also the best thing in the world to make when starving ‘apres amore’.

  20. This was so easy to prepare and delicious I used a whole pound of bacon but only because my boys said the other wasn’t enough. Drained all grease except aye a tablespoon