Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta

6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

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

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

Bacon Carbonara Pasta with peas on a plate

A quick and easy recipe for spaghetti carbonara topped with bacon and peas made without intimidation! 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. This recipe has been tested multiple times before publishing, with pasta tossed with the eggs even taking an extra minute or so, tossing it slower or faster, trying to come up with the easiest approach.

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. By following the directions below you’ll end up with a wonderful creamy pasta that doesn’t curdle.

Bacon Carbonara Pasta bacon sliced on cutting board with knife

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

How long should I cook pasta for Bacon Carbonara Pasta?

Remember to cook pasta al-dente, this means with a bite. The recipe instructs 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 then try cooking 2 minutes shy of the directions before draining the pasta.

What ingredients should I select for Bacon Carbonara Pasta?

This recipe shines because of its simplicity, but it also requires the use of good ingredients. You’ll want to use 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.

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.

Bacon Carbonara Pasta bacon cooking in cast iron pan

Variations on Traditional Carbonara Recipe Ingredients:

  • Peas: Carbonara is wonderful with peas, but you can certainly skip the peas. Add them in frozen as you toss the pasta as 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 its 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, 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 you aren’t cooking anything in fat, but if you’re adding any additional vegetables you can certainly add olive oil or cook them in the bacon fat.
Bacon Carbonara Pasta close up of pasta with sauce

More Delicious Pasta Recipes

Tools used in the Making of 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.

How to Store Bacon Carbonara Pasta

  • Serve: Do not leave Bacon Carbonara Pasta at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this recipe, as the pasta will become mushy and the sauce will change texture.

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Bacon Carbonara Pasta

Bacon Carbonara Pasta is a classic Italian dish with creamy egg sauce, noodles, eggs and bacon topped with Parmesan cheese in 30 minutes.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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


  • Cook the pasta in a large pot to one minute less than the directions on the box and keep ½ cup of pasta water to the side to drain pasta (do not rinse pasta).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add in ¼ cup of the pasta water and peas, tossing again to create a saucy consistency to the pasta then topping with bacon before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 1035mg | Potassium: 371mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Carbonara Pasta, Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
Bacon Carbonara Pasta Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Bacon Carbonara Pasta
Carbonara Pasta on fork
Carbonara Pasta in bowl
Carbonara Pasta Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. for the bacon parmesan carbonara, the recipe is not clear – says 2 eggs, yolk – does that mean 3 whole eggs and the yolks?? or just 3 yolks – says to whisk eggs/parmesan but too thick – how to you make the sauce creamier before mixing with pasta

    1. The recipe states 3 eggs, yolks. Instruction 3 will walk you through what to do with the 3 egg yolks. At the beginning of the blog post you can read about the egg sauce and why the recipe is written the way it is to create a traditional Bacon Carbonara Pasta you’ll enjoy.

  2. This receipt really worked out well for me and it was very good. I have tried several carbonara recipes but this was the easiest and tasties so far!

  3. This was fantastic and I followed every step. I’m not sure where people are going wrong because it was delicious! Thank you!

  4. Sabrina, that was so easy to prepare. I loved the addition of the peas. . . and they didn’t end up mushy at serving time. I have to tip my hat because I never would’ve thought to finish cooking the pasta in the bacon fat . . . Wow, increased flavor. Never saw a recipe with that step/method. You know how us at-home-cookers like to get creative, so next time, I’m going to follow your recipe exactly, but also try adding small diced ham pieces slightly fried with the bacon just before I pull the bacon!

    1. The issue is that people will have ingredients of different sizes. Packaged products are weighed and measured at the time of creation which makes their measurements accurate. The only way to accurately know the measurements of meals is to weigh and divide.

  5. I didn’t have milk or cream, but I had eggs so I made this for dinner tonight – worked out beautifully! Even when it gets a little dry, it still tastes creamy. Thank-you!

  6. Made this tonight. Followed to a T except without peas. In addition to the 1/4c of water, I added 1/4c of heavy cream. Came out so so good!

    1. Can be made without cheese, but it would change both the consistency and the flavor. Have you ever tasted a cheeseburger with no cheese?

    1. Hi Aileen, I don’t believe you read through/ cooked this recipe. In the blog I mention that I enjoy the peas added, but you can skip it. The recipe calls for you to add the frozen peas with the pasta water so that they thaw/cook.

      1. I cooked through but had to do a lot of overhaul. Not sure how the peas can cook when heat was turned off at step 2. I pity I didnt read through the comments before cooking it. No taste at all

      2. The recipe says twice to just toss them in at the end while frozen because they will “thaw”. Doesn’t say anywhere about boiling them with the pasta, which would make more sense. Perhaps recipe needs some revision?

        1. I’m sorry if the recipe is unclear, but the peas get added into the pan where the pasta is still cooking, then toss until the peas are defrosted/cooked. Hope this clears it up!

      3. I can’t even…. Folks, frozen peas are already cooked. They just need to be thawed – which the hot pasta will easily do when you add them from frozen into the dish as clearly directed. If you don’t like peas – skip them, or substitute a veggie if your choosing – like bite-sizes steamed asparagus or no veggie at all. Food is meant to be fun and flexible. That’s the joy in cooking. This is a marvelous dish as written.

  7. Made this as directed except that I added onion and garlic in when cooking the bacon. My pasta fell apart and the “sauce” didn’t make a saucy texture at all. Very dry and weird, but it tasted alright because it’s just pasta with bacon and cheese.

    1. Hello Lou, I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out as you had hoped. Maybe there is another recipe of mine that will work better for you.

  8. This recipe disappointed me, unfortunately. I had to sprinkle garlic powder on it to add any kind of flavour. Perhaps the leftovers will taste better?

    If I were to ever make it again, I’d include onion and a ton of garlic, without it, it’s just too bland.

    1. I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work out well for you, maybe another recipe I have would work better for you some other time.

    1. Sounds wonderful! After you remove the bacon from the pan, add the mushrooms with the rendered bacon fat and cook until tender. Good luck!