Overhead shot of spaghetti carbonara served in a shallow pasta bowl garnished with grated parmesan and chopped parsley
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5 from 9 votes

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara - slimming-friendly

This slimming-friendly Carbonara is super easy, uses just a handful of ingredients and is completely DELICIOUS! Cooks in just 10 minutes.
Be sure to check out the step-by-step tutorial up in the post.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Authentic Carbonara, Carbonara no cream, Carbonara sauce, Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 566kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


For the pasta

  • 320 g (11.2 oz) dried pasta, I used spaghetti
  • 2 tsp salt for the pasta water

For the carbonara sauce

  • 200 g (7 oz) about 6 rashers lean bacon
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg yolks (see notes for variations)
  • 120 g (4.2 oz - aprox 1 cup 2 tbsp ) freshly grated Parmesan or other hard Italian cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley optional


  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add salt. Cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions - usually around 7-10 minutes. Set a timer – you don’t want to overcook your pasta, it should be al dente.
  • While the pasta is boiling, dry fry the bacon in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until nicely coloured then set aside.
  • Put the egg, yolks and grated cheese in a large bowl and whisk together to combine using a balloon whisk.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving about a couple of ladlefuls of the hot starchy pasta water.
  • Working quickly, add the hot pasta into the bowl containing the egg mixture and toss together with tongs to combine. Add a little of the reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until the carbonara sauce is silky and has a creamy consistency.
  • Add the bacon and chopped parsley and toss to combine. Taste the pasta: you shouldn’t need to add any salt but this is also up to personal preferences – add some if necessary.
  • Serve immediately seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.



How many eggs?

  • For a truly rich Carbonara use one whole egg and three egg yolks. Downside is you are left with lots of egg whites – use them to make meringues of Pavlova.
  • One whole egg and two egg yolks still results in a silky rich sauce, you might need to add a bit more of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce and make it creamy.

Carbonara variations

  • Chicken Carbonara: cook some skinless diced chicken breasts with the bacon and add to the pasta. Alternatively you can use leftover roast chicken meat or shredded rotisserie chicken, pan fry or microwave to heat through before adding to the pasta.
  • Salmon Carbonara: add diced smoked salmon or cooked and flaked salmon fillet to your pasta.
  • Vegetarian Carbonara: Pan fry 200g (7oz) sliced mushrooms with 1 minced garlic clove using low calorie cooking spray until nicely coloured. Replace the parmesan with a vegetarian hard cheese.
Please note I am not affiliated in any way with Slimming World or Weight Watchers.  
Those plans are often updated in line with latest nutritional guidance and may change so for accurate information it is best to join as a member.
Nutritional information is always approximate, and will depend on quality of ingredients and serving sizes.


Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 234mg | Sodium: 2128mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Calcium: 373mg | Iron: 2.3mg