Chicken Carbonara Recipe

Chicken Carbonara

 Anita Schecter

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
627 Calories
15g Fat
69g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 627
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 275mg 92%
Sodium 1031mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 69g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 632mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Carbonara is the name of an Italian pasta dish made with a sauce of eggs, cheese and cooked bacon. There are no specific rules about what type of pasta although fettuccini or linguine are common choices because the raw egg sauce needs pasta with a large surface area to properly adhere. Likewise, the choice of cheese is optional with Parmesan and Pecorino Romano the two types most likely to be used. Some recipes call for whole eggs, others for egg yolks and some combine the two. Pancetta can be substituted for the bacon and chicken is a common addition. Some recipes also include vegetables such as peas, broccoli or even mushrooms.

The bacon fat is the source of the oil used to cook the shallots or onions and garlic. If adding chicken, it too gets cooked in the same pan with the bacon fat. Hot pasta water is used to slowly temper the egg and cheese mixture to prevent the eggs from scrambling and they are then added into the hot pasta to create the classic carbonara sauce. It's a simple yet hearty dish that uses ingredients usually on hand.


  • Salt, for pasta water

  • 12 ounces pasta (such as fettuccini)

  • 4 slices bacon

  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 shallot, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or Romano cheese, plus more for topping

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta water.

  2. Put the bacon in a large skillet (a braiser-style pan works very well) and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it is crispy and browned to your liking. Transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.

  3. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and add to same skillet with the drippings. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the chicken for a few minutes, until it turns opaque. Add the diced shallot and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through (165 F) and then remove from the heat.

  4. Move the chicken and shallots to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil.

  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and the black pepper until well combined. Slowly whisk in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to raise the temperature of the eggs slowly.

  6. When the pasta has cooked, drain and add it to the skillet. On medium-low heat, toss the pasta with 1/4 cup more of the reserved water and then slowly pour the egg mixture into the pan, tossing constantly. Stir in additional pasta water as needed until the sauce has thickened. Crumble the bacon, slice the chicken and add to the pasta. Stir in the chopped parsley and season with additional salt, if needed. Top with additional grated cheese, if desired.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

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