Easy Tuna Carbonara

Tuna carbonara recipe

​The Spruce 

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
621 Calories
29g Fat
52g Carbs
36g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 621
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 278mg 93%
Sodium 646mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 36g
Calcium 322mg 25%
*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.)

This recipe for tuna carbonara is ready to eat in about 20 minutes, start to finish. It uses ingredients you most likely have on hand in your pantry, fridge, and freezer, so it's a great choice to make when you haven't been to the store for a while or if you're stranded due to weather or illness.

You can substitute leftover cooked tuna, or salmon for that matter, for the canned tuna in this recipe or use canned salmon or canned chicken if you'd like. The whole point of a recipe like this is to use what you have in the house. If you don't have bell peppers, use sliced mushrooms or some sliced zucchini, grated carrots, or yellow summer squash. If you don't have spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine will do just fine.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package spaghetti pasta
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can white tuna (drained)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turkey carbonara ingredients
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  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until just al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

    Bring salted water to boil
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  3. Cook bacon until crisp in a large saucepan over medium heat. 

    Cook bacon
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  4. Drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside.

    Drain the bacon
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  5. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.

    Drain off fat
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  6. Beat the eggs in a large bowl.

    Beat the eggs in bowl
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  7. Add cream and beat again.

    Add cream
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  8. In the saucepan you used to cook the bacon, add butter and oil and melt together over medium heat. Sauté the bell pepper, garlic, and onion in the fat until tender.

    Cook bacon
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  9. Drain the pasta and add immediately to the pan with the peppers.

    Pasta in pot
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  10. Add the tuna and cook, stirring, until heated through.

    Add the tuna and cook
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  11. Add the egg mixture to pan. Cook and stir, lifting pasta with tongs to allow the sauce to coat the pasta thoroughly.

    Add the egg mixture to the pan
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  12. Add the reserved pasta water, cheese, reserved bacon, and parsley, and stir until well-coasted and cheese has melted.

    Add toppings
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  13. Serve immediately and enjoy!