Mom de Cuisine

Skinny Carbonara
November 2, 2011, 11:21 am
Filed under: Main Course, Pasta & Rice | Tags: , ,




I’ve mentioned before that when my husband has to be away for work, I usually take the opportunity to try a recipe I know he probably wouldn’t want to eat and watch movies he probably wouldn’t want to watch.  Well this last time my husband was away for the evening, I wanted to make carbonara.  It’s not that I haven’t made it before, I have plenty of times; or even that my husband doesn’t like it, he does; but because it’s probably high in cholesterol, I thought it best I not make it and not offer him any.  When I made this pasta, it was the middle of the week, and my running shoes have been gathering dust (well I should say sand) since we moved, so I wanted to do a lighter version of carbonara. 

Instead of whisking the yolks with heavy cream, I used 2% milk; I omitted an extra pat of butter at the end to finish the pasta; I threw in a handful of spinach for good measure; and instead of pork bacon with all it’s salty, fatty, high calorie goodness, I swapped for turkey bacon.  Just the swap out for turkey bacon saved me like 100’s of grams of fat (I’d be over exaggerating if I hadn’t eaten 10 pieces of turkey bacon!)

The verdict:  this was a good weeknight pasta dish.  It wasn’t as decadent as the carbonara I would have liked to eat, but it comes together quickly and isn’t too unhealthy (if you can refrain from eating 10 pieces of turkey bacon along the way like I did.)



Skinny Carbonara


3 cups dried bow tie pasta (or whatever shape you like, that’s just what I had on hand.)

4 egg yolks

1 cup milk

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

4 slices turkey bacon

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 bunch of fresh spinach, chopped



Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until al dente and drain, reserving few tablespoons of the pasta water.

While the water comes to a boil, brown the bacon over medium low heat to render the fat.  Once the bacon is browned and crispy, remove it from the pan and roughly chop.  Add the onions to the pan with the drippings and sauté (if there is not enough of the bacon drippings, add a little more oil to the pan.)  After 2-3 minutes, add the garlic.

While the bacon is browning, combine the yolks, milk and cheese.  Add a tablespoon or two of the pasta liquid to the yolk mixture to temper the eggs.

To assemble the pasta:  Add the hot pasta and spinach to the pan with the onions and garlic.  Pour in the yolk mixture and toss until all of the pasta is coated and the spinach wilts slightly.  Serve the pasta immediately with the chopped bacon on top.

9 Comments so far
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I applaud any dish that delivers a comfort meal on the skinny!!! Well done!

Comment by Ramona

Looks fantastic… I will have to make this we all love carbonara so a skinny version is perfect.

Comment by Susie

I love it when one can make a healthier version & still be so flavorful, as your recipe!

Comment by Nazarina

Sometimes pasta can be too much dairy with all that cream, glad you posted a lighter version of this dish. This is also a great way to close out a busy day. I am sure you consumed less fat with this one-even if you ate all that turkey bacon! Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Tina@flourtrader

I like your lighter version! It looks yummy! Pasta is always so comforting after a busy day!

Comment by Stephanie

Fantastic! This is ONE recipe I was unable to make “skinny”. In fact, Honey Bunny and I were discussing it tonight! I tried with skim milk and egg substitute – too skinny – it was awful!

It was the meal that he BEGGED me not to blog – a disaster! We didn’t even finish it!

This one looks DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for figuring it out…because I certainly couldn’t!

Comment by Ann

I do the same way. When my husband is on business trip I tend to make some dishes he doesn’t normally care, like pasta for example. This light version is nice – I don’t always have cream in the fridge, but didn’t think about making carbonara with milk. I should make this. Looks delicious!

Comment by Nami | Just One Cookbook

I love Carbonara, but usually avoid it as it so fattening! This ‘Skinny’ version sounds so good! A definite ‘must try’!

Comment by Jennie

Hey Foodies, MomdeCuisine’s Skinny Carbonara recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Invite fans to play:

Comment by Christine

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