Low Carb Pasta Carbonara with Palmini Pasta

Low Carb Pasta Carbonara with Palmini Pasta

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified sales. Click here to read my full disclosure.

This low carb pasta carbonara is the perfect dinner for two, calls for just 7 ingredients and about 20 minutes, and has right under 10 grams of carbs per serving. It’s super creamy and loaded with bacon as you’d expect from a carbonara recipe. And thanks to the Palmini, you’ll barely be able to tell you’re eating an impasta! 

How to Make Pasta Carbonara

Pasta carbonara, despite its creaminess, is actually made without cream. The creaminess comes from a blend of eggs and cheese that are cooked into the pasta with minimal heat to thicken but not scramble.

If that sounds complicated, it’s not. Trust me! 

For this low carbonara version, you’ll need to pan fry a bit of chopped bacon before adding minced garlic and a bit of cooking wine (substitution options below) to deglaze the pan.

chopped bacon and minced garlic on a cutting board, and cooked bacon with cooking wine after deglazing the pan

Then you simply reduce the heat, toss the pasta in the bacon mixture, and add the eggs and grated parmesan. Toss it together over a super low heat for a minute or two, and you’ll have creamy pasta carbonara. 

eggs mixed with grated parmesan and black pepper, palmini pasta tossed with the bacon and wine before adding the eggs

Easy enough, right?

Low Carb Pasta Carbonara Ingredient Notes

I’ve made a few changes to a traditional carbonara with this version. I’ll briefly run through some of the primary ingredients and answer potential substitution questions. 

What is Palmini Pasta? 

Palmini makes their pasta from palm hearts and one serving has just 20 calories and 4 grams of carbs. I first used it in my Kung Pao Shrimp Noodles recipe and love the product. 

I’ve described it as a blend between zoodles and a closer impasta like chickpea pastas. You can soak it in milk to reduce the acidity or even boil it for a few minutes for a softer texture, but I like it straight out of the package (after rinsing).

kung pao shrimp with red pepper and brussels sprouts on noodles

Is it real pasta? Of course not. But it’s the best I’ve tried with calorie content this low. 

Palmini has a store locator to help you locate some unless you want to order online. If you have trouble finding it or want to use a different pasta, go right ahead. I’d use 10-12 ounces (cooked weight) of another pasta for this low carb pasta carbonara. 

Update: If you’re having trouble finding Palmini noodles, you can find Pastability on Amazon as well. I’ve used it in recipes like my rotisserie chicken spaghetti.

Doesn’t true carbonara use guanciale or pancetta? 

It does. But if you’re familiar with my recipes, you should know making grocery runs to specialized stores is not part of my M.O. 

Also, center cut bacon is much lower in fat. Technically the others would still be low carb, but I like to keep the total calorie load under control when possible. 

If you wanted to use a different type of bacon, go right ahead. They should all work fine. 

bacon in a pan with garlic and cooking wine

What can I substitute for white cooking wine? 

Aside from flavor, the acidity of the wine is great for balancing the fatty richness and deglazing the pan. If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, there are a few other options that should accomplish the same goals: 

  • sparkling white grape juice
  • white wine vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • worst case: chicken or vegetable broth

Can I use egg whites?

You DO need some fat for the creaminess of the pasta carbonara. And too much protein from the egg whites on their own might not work the same way in terms of thickening. If you want to reduce the fat content, you might use 4 slices of bacon instead of 6 or use reduced fat parmesan. 

Then, if you decided to take it further, substitute 1 of the whole eggs for 3 tablespoons of egg whites. Let me know how it turns out! 

Final Pasta Carbonara Notes

The final steps of adding the eggs might be the only spot that needs troubleshooting. Be sure to reduce the heat and if you notice eggs scrambling, remove the pan from the heat. Go slow and you can always increase the heat if your sauce isn’t thickening. 

And finally, I’d encourage you to try this recipe several different ways. I decided this version was the best after testing 4-5 variations. You may find you like the pasta boiled for a few minutes or soaked in salt water better than simply drained. Or you may find you like 2 fewer slices of bacon or 2 eggs instead of 3. Have fun! 

low carb pasta carbonara twirled on a fork

Low Carb Pasta Carbonara

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This low carb pasta carbonara is the perfect dinner for two. It's super creamy, loaded with bacon, and takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces, peel and mince the garlic, whisk the eggs together with the black pepper and parmesan, and drain the pasta. (You'll want all your ingredients ready to go as this is a fast cooking dish.)
  2. Add the bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fully cook the bacon before adding the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the wine.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the wine, cooking for about a minute to cook off the alcohol. Reduce the heat to a low-medium.
  4. Add the pasta and toss with the bacon and garlic sauce before pouring the egg mixture over the top.
  5. Use tongs to continually toss the pasta around in the sauce. Be careful to not scramble the eggs and reduce the heat to low or remove from the heat altogether. After a few minutes, the eggs should thicken and resemble a cream sauce for the pasta.
  6. Serve warm with fresh parsley and additional parmesan, if desired.

Notes

Each serving (1/2 the recipe) has 4 Smart Points.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 17gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 23g

Want more kinda healthy recipes?

Follow me on Pinterest to see all of my recipes organized in one place with photos!

More Healthy Pasta Recipes You Might Like



14 thoughts on “Low Carb Pasta Carbonara with Palmini Pasta”

  • 4 stars
    Loved the taste! One thing I’d recommend is adjusting the method for adding in the sauce – my eggs cooked even when I took the pan off the heat before adding/stirring it in. I then went ahead and researched the recipe with the NY Times, who advise to never combine the ingredients in the pan you have had on the burner since it’ll lead to eggs cooking. They instead recommend filling a serving bowl with hot water (to heat it), then draining the water and drying the bowl just before adding the pasta. You then add the sauce into that bowl and toss for a minute before serving.

    • But then you wouldn’t be making carbonara. 😉 Gotta keep ’em moving to avoid scrambling and make sure your pan wasn’t scorching hot from the bacon before adding the eggs.

  • 4 stars
    Flavor was great but this was my first time using palomini pasta and after using it in this recipe I would recommend boiling the noodles before throwing them in with the bacon because when I was all said and done my noodles had a crunch to them

  • 5 stars
    (Attempt 2 bc I forgot the stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ And this one should be reviewed properly.)

    This recipe was fantastic! Even better the second time we used our usual GF pasta. Reasons: we don’t mind carbs and the gf pasta is cheaper than palimi. However, if have more self control on the carbs than we do- you will love it either way!

    I’m not sure how well it kept since we basically demolished it the same night. Teenagers and husbands who lift definitely don’t leave many opportunities for left overs around here making masons recipes

  • 5 stars
    This tastes like a full on real carbonara except with this you can have a massive serving and still meet your goals! This is also delish reheated after being frozen!

  • 5 stars
    My sister and I made this on Halloween and it was great! She’s doing a low carb diet and I’m more IIFYM so it was perfect for both of us 🙂 Followed Mason’s recipe exactly but we didn’t boil our noodles and wished we would have. They tasted great but were slightly crunchier than we expected so next time I think we’ll boil them first. Only other thing I might add when I remake it is some sauteed onions and maybe some frozen peas at the last second!

  • 5 stars
    This is my go to when craving Olive Garden! I usually add more chicken and some broccoli in, definitely not needed but I like the extra protein to keep you fuller longer

  • 5 stars
    OBSESSED. I love the tanginess of the Palmini noodles with this dish but if that isn’t for you then try soaking the noodles in milk for 30 minutes. It definitely does come together quickly so make sure you have everything ready to go when you start the bacon and if in doubt deglaze for a little longer to cook off the white cooking wine because I made it once where I didn’t let it cook off long enough and there was some extra flavor in there (not necessarily bad but the dish is better the way it’s intended to be made haha). If you’re looking for an extra bit of protein chop up some spiraled ham or even just lunch meat ham!

  • 4 stars
    This was absolutely fantastic! I will be making this again. Next time though, I will cook the pasta as well because it was a little crunchy. Other than my own preference, every bite was amazing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *