Chicken Carbonara

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings

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This Chicken Carbonara is a luxurious pasta dinner that takes just 15 minutes to prep! Perfectly cooked spaghetti noodles are tossed with crispy bacon and tender chicken in a silky smooth cream sauce.

overhead image of chicken carbonara in white skillet with tongs and fresh parsley
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Table of Contents
  1. What is Chicken Carbonara?
  2. Ingredients needed:
  3. How to make Chicken Carbonara
  4. Carbonara Pasta FAQs
  5. Tips and tricks
  6. Serving suggestions
  7. More creamy pasta recipes you’ll love
  8. Chicken Carbonara Recipe

Easy pasta recipes are always a hit when our days are busy! This Chicken Carbonara is quick to prepare but feels fancy enough for a special occasion.

We also love this White Chicken Skillet Lasagna, this Garlic Parmesan Orzo Pasta, and this Taco Mac for those nights we need something easy that comes together in one pan!

If Carbonara pasta weren’t good enough already, you add tender, flavorful chicken to it and it takes the meal to a whole new level!

This recipe is super simple and results in the most decadent pasta dinner. It’s made with spaghetti noodles and crispy bacon and tossed in a light, yet rich and flavorful cream sauce.

Chicken Carbonara always makes me feel like I’m eating at a fancy Italian restaurant…but I get to stay in my comfy clothes and eat right at home.

close up image of tongs twirling chicken carbonara

Just pass me the basket of Homemade Breadsticks and Garlic Butter and I’m a happy woman 😉

What is Chicken Carbonara?

Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish that consists of spaghetti and bacon tossed in a delicate cream sauce that’s made up of eggs, parmesan, black pepper, and cream.

Chicken carbonara is just that but with added chicken…and it’s so good!

Ingredients needed:

This chicken carbonara is made up of a super simple list of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your fridge or pantry!

  • Spaghetti: or another similarly shaped pasta.
  • Bacon: I recommend using thick-cut bacon.
  • Onion: be sure to finely chop the onion.
  • Chicken Breast: you’ll need two boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces. If you have leftover shredded chicken, feel free to use that instead!
  • Garlic: use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
  • Eggs: you’ll use 4 full large eggs.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: creates an ultra creamy texture for the sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: I definitely recommend using freshly shredded parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture.
  • Seasonings: you just need salt and black pepper to give this pasta dinner just the right amount of flavor.
ingredients for chicken carbonara on white background

How to make Chicken Carbonara

This delicious pasta dinner takes just 15 minutes to prep!

  1. Cook the pasta: Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. When it’s cooked, drain, but reserve cup of the pasta water.
  2. Brown the bacon: In a large skillet, cook the bacon until browned. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Cook the onion and chicken: Cook the onion until softened, then add the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through. The onion will turn a lovely golden brown while the chicken cooks.
  4. Make the sauce: Whisk together eggs, cream, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Add that mixture to the pan along with the bacon and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Stir until the sauce comes together.
  5. Combine and serve: Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, thin with additional pasta water if needed, then serve with parmesan and parsley!

Carbonara Pasta FAQs

What pasta should you use for chicken carbonara?

Traditionally, carbonara is made using spaghetti noodles so that’s what I went with for this recipe. However, you can really use any other similarly shaped pasta. Try linguine, bucatini, fettuccine, vermicelli, etc.

Are the eggs in carbonara pasta cooked?

Yes! The eggs cook off of the residual heat in the hot pan. The low heat creates a silky smooth texture. Definitely do not cook on high heat or the eggs will scramble!
If you’re still unsure about the eggs in this pasta recipe, be sure to use pasteurized eggs as they are safe to eat even if not cooked fully.

How do you store leftover carbonara pasta?

Leftovers will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, warm on the stove with a splash of cream. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta because the texture of the sauce will be affected.

overhead image of bowl of chicken carbonara pasta with chicken and bacon

Tips and tricks

  • Reserve the pasta water. Don’t forget to set aside 1 cup of the pasta water. The starchy water is mixed into the sauce to create a thicker, creamier texture.
  • Cook the eggs carefully. Add the eggs to the pan with the heat off or on medium-low heat. If it’s set too high, the eggs will scramble and the sauce will not be smooth.
  • Grate your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses contain an anti-caking agent that can result in a grainy texture. I recommend shredded your own cheese for a smoother sauce!
  • Add veggies. “Healthify” this recipe by cooking more veggies with the onion. Try mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, peas, broccoli, red pepper, etc.
  • Spice it up. Prefer a kick of spice in your creamy pastas? Add in red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper!

Serving suggestions

Carbonara pasta is best served right away so the texture of the sauce is just right!

Fill out your meal with a simple salad, garlic bread or breadsticks, roasted green beans, or roasted vegetables.

More creamy pasta recipes you’ll love

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Chicken Carbonara

5 from 2 votes
This Chicken Carbonara is a luxurious pasta dinner that takes just 15 minutes to prep! Perfectly cooked spaghetti noodles are tossed with crispy bacon and tender chicken in a silky smooth cream sauce.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 485cal

Ingredients

  • 375 grams spaghetti (about ¾ pound)
  • 3 strips thick cut bacon (chopped)
  • ½ onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (300-400 grams) cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towel to drain.
  • In the same skillet, cook the onion until softened. Add the chicken pieces and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes on medium high heat (checking that the internal temperature is 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer is the best way to know if it's done).
  • Add the garlic to the chicken and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat but leave the skillet on the stove.
  • Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and add pasta to the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  • Add bacon and egg mixture to pan, stir in ¼ cup pasta water and continue stirring and adding pasta water until the sauce comes together. If desired, you can turn the skillet on to medium-low heat to cook the sauce, though there is enough heat in the pan to cook the eggs.
  • Serve with fresh Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 307grams | Calories: 485cal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords chicken carbonara

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Kelly! It would not, but with carbonara, you are typically tasting the prominent flavors of the bacon, chicken, egg, and pasta. Hope this helps!

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