Creamy chicken carbonara

This creamy chicken carbonara is irresistibly good. Ready in 25 minutes, it's an easy and great value weeknight meal that’s full of flavour.

4

10m

15m

Ingredients

  • 500g penne pasta
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g Coles RSPCA Approved Chicken Breast Fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 250g short-cut bacon rashers, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup (250ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 2 Coles Australian Free Range Egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) thickened cream
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

STEP 1

Cook the penne in a saucepan of boiling water following packet directions. Drain.

STEP 2

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 4 mins, turning, until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Add bacon to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until golden and starting to crisp.

STEP 3

Whisk garlic, stock, egg yolks, cream, cornflour and half the parmesan in a bowl. Season. Return the chicken to the pan over low heat. Add the egg mixture and pasta. Cook, tossing, for 1-2 mins or until pasta is coated and the sauce thickens. Top with parsley and remaining parmesan.

Chicken Carbonara Recipe

A good carbonara recipe is great to have in your repertoire because it’s comforting, family friendly and quick and easy to make. What many people think of as the most authentic carbonara is made with just four ingredients – pasta, eggs, pancetta or bacon and grated cheese, such as parmesan. When the egg mixture is tossed through the hot pasta with a little of the cooking water it creates a creamy sauce. Other recipes replace the pasta water and some of the egg with cream and add extra ingredients such as protein and veggies. If you’re looking for a creamy, hearty pasta dish, you can’t go wrong with this creamy chicken carbonara recipe.

Ingredients you will need for chicken carbonara

To make this traditional chicken carbonara recipe, you need a packet of penne pasta. Some recipes use a longer pasta, such as spaghetti or fettuccine, but using short pasta makes it easier to toss all the ingredients together before serving. Penne is a great choice because the ridges on the side help the creamy sauce cling to the pasta, and the tube shape can trap those tasty bacon pieces.

For the bacon, short-cut rashers are a great choice because they’re meaty and easy to slice into even pieces. You’ll need 250g bacon and 500g chicken breast fillets – these need to be cut into 2cm pieces before frying in a little extra virgin olive oil until golden. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and fry the bacon until crispy.

Some carbonara recipes use whole eggs for the sauce, but this one is made with egg yolks, cream and chicken stock and a little cornflour to help the sauce thicken. It’s also packed with flavour, thanks to crushed garlic cloves and plenty of grated parmesan. Save some of the parmesan to sprinkle over the dish at the end, along with some chopped parsley for freshness.

Equipment you will need for chicken carbonara

This easy chicken carbonara doesn’t require any special cooking equipment. All you need is a large saucepan for cooking the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente, and a frying pan to cook the chicken and bacon. If you can, choose a pan that’s large enough to hold all of the ingredients in the finished dish – that way when you toss it all together you won’t lose any of that bacon flavour that’s still in the pan. If you don’t have a large enough pan, just use the empty saucepan to combine the ingredients instead.

Now get cooking

This recipe is just what you need if you want to make a creamy chicken carbonara from scratch. Give it a go and make it your new family favourite. For more easy chicken dinners, head to our Chicken Recipes collection. If you want to try authentic carbonara, check out Michael Weldon’s classic carbonara recipe. To see how easy it is to add extra veggies to the mix, try Curtis Stone’s creamy carrot carbonara. Other tasty twists on the basic recipe include our smoky chorizo carbonara with peas, and carbonara Florentine, with spinach and poached eggs. If you’re short on time and need a quick fix, ready-made carbonara sauce is a handy shortcut. Use it to make our creamy carbonara and sausage pasta, or try a fusion twist with our Japanese-style carbonara recipe.

FAQs

  • How to store chicken carbonara?
    Turn tonight’s chicken carbonara into tomorrow’s pasta bake – here’s how. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish, adding a little water as the pasta keeps absorbing liquid after it cooks. Cover and store in the fridge, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake at 180°C until golden and heated through.

  • Can I freeze chicken carbonara?
    Freeze the cooled chicken carbonara in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake as above.

  • Can I make it with any pasta?
    Yes, any pasta will work in this recipe – just cook it following packet directions.

  • What else can I add to this dish?
    If you’d like to add veggies, try frying sliced mushrooms with the bacon, cooking peas or chopped greens with the pasta or adding baby spinach leaves with the sauce and tossing through until wilted.

  • What else can I serve with chicken carbonara?
    This hearty dish can easily serve four to six people without anything extra. If you’d like to add a side, try serving with mixed salad leaves or some steamed veggies such as baby broccoli or green beans.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.