Published on 27 Apr 2024

Easy Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Pasta Carbonara is a classic favorite in Italian cuisine, celebrated for its delightful creamy texture and comforting, savory flavors. Traditionally crafted with a rich blend of eggs, cheese, pancetta, and a dash of pepper, it’s a dish that resonates with warmth and culinary tradition. But imagine savoring all the decadent flavors of this beloved dish while keeping your health in focus.

Welcome to our health-conscious twist on Pasta Carbonara! In this recipe, we introduce smart, nutritious swaps that maintain the integrity of the original dish while enhancing its nutritional profile. By opting for whole wheat spaghetti, we boost the fiber content, and by choosing turkey bacon over traditional pancetta, we significantly reduce the fat content. Additionally, we employ a clever, creamy substitute that allows us to forego heavy cream yet still achieve that luxurious, creamy texture Carbonara is famous for.

This healthier Pasta Carbonara is perfect for anyone aiming to balance indulgence with a healthy diet. It’s an excellent way to enjoy a guilt-free meal that doesn’t compromise on taste. Follow along as we guide you through creating this delicious, lighter version of the classic Pasta Carbonara right in your own kitchen—your tastebuds and your body will thank you!

How to Make Pasta Carbonara

Introducing an easy, nutritious spin on a classic Italian dish—Pasta Carbonara. This version is tailored to be both healthy and satisfying, serving up to six people with each serving containing just 263 calories. Perfect for those on the Nutrisystem plan, it counts as two SmartCarbs and one PowerFuel.

Nutritious Ingredients for a Lighter Carbonara

The ingredients needed for this recipe are simple yet flavorful. You’ll start with two whole eggs and two additional yolks, which are the base of the creamy sauce. A half cup of pecorino or parmesan cheese lends a sharp, cheesy flavor, complemented by a half teaspoon of garlic powder and a generous sprinkle of black pepper for some kick.

The dish uses 10 ounces of whole grain spaghetti for a fiber-rich base and four slices of low-sodium turkey bacon, cooked and chopped for a healthy protein addition. Half a cup of green peas adds a touch of sweetness and color to the dish.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Healthy Carbonara

The preparation process is straightforward. Begin by whisking the eggs, yolks, cheese, garlic powder and black pepper together in a medium bowl until well combined, then set this aside. Cook the spaghetti to al dente perfection, reserve about a third of a cup of the pasta water for later, and drain the rest.

Quickly transfer the hot pasta back into the pot—away from the stove—to prevent overcooking, and pour the egg mixture over it. Toss everything together gently; the heat from the pasta will cook the eggs just enough to create a creamy sauce without scrambling them. If the sauce is too thick, a bit of the reserved pasta water can be added to achieve the desired creaminess.

Finally, stir in the crispy bacon and green peas, and serve the dish immediately, ensuring it’s enjoyed at its peak of freshness and flavor.

Complementary Dishes to Serve with Pasta Carbonara

Not sure what to serve with Pasta Carbonara? With its creamy texture and rich flavor, it pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes that can enhance your dining experience. Here are some excellent choices to consider when planning your meal:

Light and Refreshing Salads

A fresh salad is the perfect counterbalance to the richness of Carbonara. Opt for a simple arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, or a classic Caesar salad to add a crunchy texture to your meal. The crispness of the greens and the acidity of the dressing will complement the creamy pasta beautifully.

Crusty Bread

No pasta meal is complete without a side of crusty bread. Choose a baguette or a ciabatta loaf that you can toast lightly and rub with garlic for an extra flavor boost. Serve the bread warm for dipping into the creamy sauce, adding a delightful texture contrast.

Grilled Vegetables

For a healthier side, grilled vegetables are a wonderful option. Zucchini, bell peppers and asparagus grilled with a touch of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper can add a smoky flavor that pairs well with the Carbonara. This not only brings color and variety to your plate but also ups the nutritional content of your meal.

White Wine

To elevate your dining experience, consider pairing your Pasta Carbonara with a glass of white wine. A light, crisp Pinot Grigio or a Chardonnay can cut through the richness of the sauce and cleanse the palate, making each bite as enjoyable as the first. Learn more about alcohol on Nutrisystem.

If you enjoyed this classic Italian dish, you’ll love our Creamy Tuscan Chicken recipe!

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