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This chicken carbonara pasta is an Italian pasta dish consisting of hot pasta tossed with fatty bacon and chicken in a classic carbonara sauce. It’s an easy meal the entire family will love.
Table of Contents
Creamy chicken carbonara recipe
With every bite, you’ll get the satisfaction of crispy bacon, chicken sautéed in bacon fat, garlic, pasta and a subtle creamy, silky sauce.
One of the keys to this dish is chopping up the bacon and chicken into bite-size pieces. That helps them blend into each bite of creamy pasta.
What is carbonara?
Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish usually made with spaghetti noodles.
What makes it unique is that classic carbonara sauce is made with eggs, cured pork like bacon or pancetta and hard cheese like Pecorino Romano.
There is no cream or milk in carbonara. Instead, egg yolks and pasta water are the base to the creamy sauce.
The dish is said to have been popular among Italian coal miners, and the flecks of black pepper are supposedly symbolic of the coal flecks that may have dropped onto their plates as they were cooking it in the mines and fields.
- 8 ozs spaghetti noodles
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, shredded
- 1 cup pasta water
- 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Boil Noodles: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the noodles in the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Chop: Chop the raw bacon and chicken.
- Cook: Place a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season: Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add: Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Save the pasta water.
- Finish: Reduce the heat to low. Add the egg yolks, 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of pasta water. Stir well and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
- Garnish: Sprinkle with extra cheese and fresh parsley.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Ingredients for chicken carbonara
- Spaghetti noodles
- Bacon: Adds a smoky and savory flavor to the chicken carbonara, contributing richness and depth. If you can find chopped bacon or lardons, great! If not, chop it yourself.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: You need one pound, which is about one large breast.
- Garlic cloves:Infuses the dish with aromatic and savory notes, enhancing overall flavor.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper is best, because it will provide a more robust flavor.
- Italian seasoning: Typically found in the spice aisle. Provides a blend of herbs that enhances the Italian flavor profile of the dish.
- Egg yolk: Adds richness and velvety texture to the carbonara sauce, creating a luscious coating for the pasta.
- Pecorino Romano cheese: Adds a nutty and salty flavor, as well as a creamy texture to the sauce. For the best results, grate a block of fresh cheese, instead of buying pre-grated.
Substitutions: You can use any type of pasta you like. You can also use sliced boneless, ground chicken instead of chicken breasts and Parmesan cheese instead of pecorino romano.
See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to make chicken carbonara
- BOIL: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the noodles in the boiling water while cooking the chicken. Cook until al dente.
- CHOP: Chop the raw bacon and chicken into small pieces and mince the garlic.
- COOK BACON: Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Leave the bacon grease in the pan. It will help create the sauce.
- COOK CHICKEN: Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute.
✔️ PRO TIP
Reserve the starchy pasta water to add to your pasta carbonara. This helps the sauce become smooth and coats the cooked pasta.
- DRAIN: Remove the noodles from the pot, saving the water, and add them to the pan of cooked bacon and cooked chicken.
- BLEND: Reduce the heat to low. Add the yolks, 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until the cheese melts.
How to serve chicken carbonara
Sprinkle pecorino Romano cheese and a little bit of fresh parsley on top and serve with a huge salad and Rosemary Bread for the perfect meal.
Leftover chicken carbonara can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Place a pot on the stove on medium heat, and place leftover pasta in the pot and heat until warm. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve. Or reheat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
If the noodles have soaked up all of the sauce, you can bring it back to life by adding a little bit of warm water or chicken broth.
Traditional carbonara is an egg-based sauce; whereas Alfredo is a cream sauce. Carbonara also infuses bits of bacon or pancetta into the sauce.
An oaky white wine blends perfectly with the creamy sauce in this recipe.
Nope. Feel free to experiment with different types of pasta.