Easy 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.

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 upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being 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. 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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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. 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. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. Good recipe. Just wanted to say that when you convert it to metric you don’t have to change everything to grams. We measure in cups as well!

  6. It was great! We’ve attempted multiple recipes trying to master carbonara after our favourite Italian restaurant closed. Thank you for this recipe. It’s the only recipe that did not scramble the egg and was creamy. Next time I’ll add more pasta water for a creamer texture.

  7. My first time making this dish and I thought it turned out pretty well. The flavor was great which is half the battle. One issue I had was the egg yoke/cheese mixture was very very thick and had a hard time mixing in well and the pasta got dry and sticky pretty fast. I cant really figure out what I might have done wrong. I made recipe exactly as written. Any help/suggestions would be appreciated, I really want to nail this. I will make it again but would love it to be less sticky. Thanks!!

    1. I’m so glad you decided to give the dish a try. It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong but next time, possibly reserve more of the pasta water to pour in a bit at a time to help get it to more of the consistency you’re looking for. Hope that helps!

  8. You have really good recipes! I turn to your site often for them. Pasta carbonara is a little nerve racking, so I was nicely bolstered by your comments. That’s a lot of testing you did! But I didn’t get scrambled eggs, so I thank you for your efforts. I ended up using the full cup of reserved pasta water. This was super easy and very delicious. Thanks!

  9. 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!

  10. 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,

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you liked it! Thanks for sharing with me and hope to see you around the site – love the feedback!

  20. 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. I actually added the pasta water in at the same time as the peas (step 4). I hope you enjoyed the dish!

        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 🙂

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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!!

  24. 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!….

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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’.

  28. 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

  29. Mmmm! One of my favorite dishes! This looks wonderful! This is such an easy recipe, I can’t wait to make it soon!