Skillet Pasta Carbonara

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Here’s a quick and easy, family-friendly dinner recipe, and it’s all made in just one pan:  Skillet Pasta Carbonara

Skillet Carbonara

If I were a skinny little thing who never had to worry about expanding thighs or declining health due to my choice of food intake, I’d eat carbonara every single night for dinner.  Yep, I love it that much.  When I sit down in an Italian restaurant to browse the menu… I usually opt for the chicken piccata or the veal marsala, thinking that a higher protein option is somehow the better choice.  But it’s the carbonara that I secretly have my eye on.  Thankfully, my husband is a big fan of pasta carbonara too, so if he orders it then I get a tasting bonus!  I love to make carbonara at home since I know there aren’t ridiculous amounts of fat being added to the mix.  This recipe is just that- much lighter on the cream.  But it’s still just as good!

Skillet Carbonara #Recipe

I must admit that pretty much the best part of this much-loved pasta dish is the bacon.  I love the sauce it’s tossed in, but the bacon tops it all off and turns it into a 5-star dinner.  My family loved this recipe, so I’m going to dub it as “family-friendly” too.  This recipe comes from a cookbook called, The Best 30-Minute Recipe (Cooks Illustrated).  It’s a cookbook I reach for quite often when I’m looking for something new and easy-to-make for dinner.

Skillet Pasta Carbonara

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 25 min


6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces thin spaghetti (aka spaghettini), broken in half
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese


1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Spoon off and discard all bacon fat from the pan except for 1 tablespoon.

2. Add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet and saute for 30 seconds. Add wine to the skillet and simmer until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

3. Stir water, broth and pasta into the skillet. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened slightly (15 to 18 minutes). Remove the skillet from heat. Meanwhile, whisk cream, eggs and cheese together in a small bowl. Mix the liquid slowly into the pasta and toss to combine. Add the bacon and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

SOURCE: (adapted barely from Cooks Illustrated' The Best 30-Minute Recipe)

More one-pan dinners you might enjoy:
One Pot Paprika Chicken Thighs by Reluctant Entertainer
One Pot Coconut- Chickpea Curry by RecipeGirl
Tortellini Skillet Lasagna by Lemons for Lulu
Skillet Baked Ziti by RecipeGirl
Easy Italian Chicken Skillet by Gimme Some Oven

Disclosure:  There are Amazon affiliate links included within this post.

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

Meet The Author: Lori Lange

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  • Keely wrote:

    This was so delicious, thanks! My husband doesn’t usually like creamy pasta dishes and he took seconds. It’s so rich. Our 18 month old loved it too! Will be keeping this recipe in the permanent file.

  • Jamie | My Baking Addiction wrote:

    Carbonara is always a dinner favorite around here. I need to make this really soon.


  • Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction wrote:

    I have to watch my expanding middle. Everything in moderation though. Since you lightened it up, I can have double – right?

  • Kate @ Framed Cooks wrote:

    I have that same cookbook and it’s gotten me through more crazy I don’t want to cook weeknight dinners than I can say. LOVE carbonara, and yours looks extra gorgeous in that festive red plate!

  • Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek wrote:

    Way, way back I used to be a waitress at Olive Garden. At that time they served spaghetti carbonara and I would always get it if I ordered something to eat after my shift. So good. Of course I was in my early 20’s and calories never seemed to matter. Not so twenty plus years later 🙁

  • Sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog wrote:

    Talk about comfort!! YUM

  • Laura @ Laura’s Culinary Adventures wrote:

    I want to be a skinny little thing who doesn’t have to worry about those things either!

  • Jenny Flake wrote:

    Looks delicious Lori! Perfect weeknight dinner idea!

  • marcie wrote:

    I’ve made carbonara once at home at loved it so much…a little TOO much…that I never made it again. I’m craving it so much again after seeing this post, that it’s time to make it again! This looks so delicious. 🙂

  • Joshua Hampton wrote:

    I adore carbonara. And one-pan meals too. Thanks for this recipe.

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious wrote:

    oooh I haven’t had carbonara in ages! I’m definitely craving it now… this might be dinner tonight!

  • Liz wrote:

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  • Amy @Very Culinary wrote:

    That. Looks. So. Good. !!

  • Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen wrote:

    I am making this for dinner or maybe lunch, I don’t think I can wait for dinner!

  • Julia wrote:

    I haven’t made a dish like this for so long and it looks great! Personally, I use Tyler Florence’s version that does not call for cream, though.

  • tanya wrote:

    I hate having to watch out for those darn thighs! I love pasta carbonara and like you it probably has a lot to do with the bacon! A winner.