Spaghetti Carbonara

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This Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe is so rich and decadent yet so incredibly easy to make!

Pasta is tossed in a delicious and easy parmesan sauce with savory pancetta. The heat from the pasta cooks the sauce making for a quick and creamy dish in no time at all!

Spaghetti carbonara in a bowl with a fork and spoon


Sounds fancy, right?  Spaghetti a la Carbonara is one of the easiest recipes you can make and it’ll make you look like a master in the kitchen.

This dish adds an uncooked egg mixture to hot pasta and the heat from the pasta cooks the egg mixture making for a rich creamy sauce.

  • Pancetta adds a delicious salty flavor to this recipe (although it can be substituted with bacon)!
  • In Italy, pasta carbonara is usually made with guanciale (pork jowl) but it’s hard to find here so we use pancetta (from the pork belly).
  • Parmesan Cheese is common in North America (as it’s easy to find) although spaghetti carbonara is traditionally made with Pecorino Romano.
  • A long pasta works well in this recipe but a classic spaghetti carbonara is traditional.

Spaghetti carbonara ingredients on a wooden board

How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara

A pasta carbonara has a creamy sauce with an egg base. The heat from the noodles cooks the eggs so it’s best of the eggs are room temperature and you have it prepared so it can be added to the hot pasta quickly!

  1. Whisk Sauce Whisk eggs, parmesan cheese and black pepper bowl and set aside.
  2. Boil Pasta Cook the pasta until it is ‘al dente’ (not soft, but ‘to the bite which is what al dente means.’).Do not rinse the pasta, the starch helps the consistency of the sauce.
  3. Toss Together Quickly add the egg mixture to the hot cooked pasta and toss to combine. The heat from the pasta will thicken the egg. Add a bit of pasta water if needed to get the right consistency.

Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley for garnish!

Spaghetti carbonara with bacon and parsley on top

Work Quickly for a Smooth Sauce

Remember that your pasta has to be hot to cook/thicken the egg mixture. If it’s too hot your sauce will not have a smooth consistency (so remove the pan from the heat just before tossing the egg mixture with the hot pasta).

Save one cup of the pasta water because it is starchy and you can use it to adjust the consistency of your sauce if needed.

Add a few tablespoons or so of the reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Cream isn’t traditionally added to carbonara but you can add a small splash of cream if you’d like.

More Italian Favorites

Serve it with a fresh Italian Salad and Homemade Garlic Bread for the perfect Italian inspired meal!

Wine Pairing: Spaghetti Carbonara is a rich pasta dish so the best wine pairings will always be crisp whites like Pinot Grigios or Gris. Let the full-bodied flavors of the eggs, cheese, and garlic take center stage and pair with a light, pear or citrus flavored wine.

Did you enjoy this Spaghetti Carbonara? Be sure to leave a rating or a comment below!

Spaghetti carbonara in a bowl with Parmesan cheese bacon and parsley on top
4.98 from 279 votes
Review Recipe

Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Spaghettini carbonara features pasta in a delicious parmesan-egg sauce with savory pancetta.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 6 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • freshly ground black pepper

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  • Whisk eggs, parmesan cheese and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and add garlic. Cook 1 minute.
  • Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Place hot pasta in pan with garlic and toss to coat. Quickly remove from heat and add egg mixture.
  • Using tongs, mix well adding pasta water if needed. Stir in pancetta/bacon and add parsley/parmesan for garnish.

Recipe Notes

Have eggs out and at room temperature before beginning.
Cook the pasta until it is ‘al dente’ or firm.
Do not rinse the pasta, the starch helps the consistency of the sauce.
It's important that you are prepared as the heat from the pasta cooks the egg.
Add a bit of pasta water if needed to get the right consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 437, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 102mg, Sodium: 395mg, Potassium: 241mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 250IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 227mg, Iron: 1.6mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword easy spaghetti carbonara, how to make spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti carbonara
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Spaghetti Carbonara garnished with parmesan cheese, pepper and fresh parsley.
Spaghetti carbonara with parmesan cheese, pepper and parsley.
Spaghetti Carbonara in a bowl with serving spoons on the side.
Spaghetti Carbonara in a bowl and the ingredients to make Spaghetti Carbonara laid out on a wooden board
Spaghetti carbonara in a bowl and ingredients for spaghetti carbonara on a wooden board with a title
Spaghetti carbonara in a bowl with parsley and a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Basic, quick, and very tasty recipe. I have made this several times and am always pleased. I use the recipe as a guide and add spices and herbs. I also love to add some peas at the end for texture (and I love peas).5 stars

  2. This was very good! My daughter wanted to make a carbonara dish for dinner, so we tried this last night. We all enjoyed it very much.5 stars

  3. The technique here is the real star! The best explanation for carbonara I’ve found outside of Italy, all the little homestead tips and tricks that usually only grandmas know and teach!

    The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless. I didn’t have bacon and only a single egg, but I upped the pecorino and black pepper as well as some red pepper flakes to achieve more of a cacio e pepe dish with a kick and it was DELICIOUS. Silky, creamy, smooth. Everything.

    Thanks for the awesome pasta! I’ll share this with anybody who wants a simple weeknight dinner with a little indulgence.

  4. I didn’t have bacon and instead used linguica for a Portuguese take, and it was delicious. Thanks.5 stars

  5. I am excited to try this recipe. I plan on using Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan because that’s what I have in the fridge. Should I use a full cup or should I cut the amount down a bit?

  6. I am a novice in the kitchen and this recipe is Perfection! The combination of the simplest ingredients creates a super quick, easy and delicious dish. Thank you!5 stars

  7. This is very easy to make. I followed the recipe to the T. It taste rather bland. I recommend adding salt, and fresh parsley. I also added some crushed red pepper3 stars