Lemon Chicken Carbonara Recipe

Lemon Chicken Carbonara -spaghetti noodles tossed with an egg and cream sauce then topped with lemon chicken and bacon. This delicious carbonara is ready to eat in 20 minutes or less!

lemon chicken carbonara recipe

Chicken Carbonara Recipe

My husband LOVES Chicken Carbonara from Olive Garden so I decided to surprise him with my own version. It was cheesy, delicious, and ready in less than 20 minutes.

I even went and picked up fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market to make it – and it turned out AMAZING!

Of course, one of the most important steps to making carbonara is perfectly cooked noodles.

We use spaghetti noodles, (and traditionally, that’s what is used in carbonara), but you could use any noodles you have on hand for this recipe.

How to cook noodles perfectly:

  1. Make sure you have a big enough pot. Don’t try and squeeze all your noodles into a pot that barely fits them – give them space to cook.
  2. Use plenty of water. Even though less water will come to a boil faster, you run the risk of not having evenly cooked pasta if you don’t use enough.
  3. Salt the water. And we’re talking more than just a sprinkle. We typically use 1-2 teaspoons of salt in our water every time.
  4. Stir, stir, STIR. Afraid of clumping noodles? Make sure you stir them 2-3 times during cooking to prevent them from sticking together (or to the bottom of the pot).
  5. Don’t overcook them. Check your noodles when they have about 2 minutes left of cooking time to make sure they aren’t overdone. Overcooked noodles are mushy and soggy. Perfectly cooked al dente noodles should be firm, but not crunchy.

How to make lemon chicken carbonara:

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp – about 8 minutes – then cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley.
  3. While the bacon is crisping, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti noodles and cook until just tender but still firm to the bite (al dente), stirring occasionally (it will take about 10 minutes), then drain.
  4. Add the chicken to the pan with the bacon and garlic and still to combine. Next add the spaghetti noodles, cream mixture, and diced tomatoes and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is warmed through and sauce thickens (about 4 minutes).
  5. Season the pasta with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and sprinkle the lemon zest over the top and serve.

To store and reheat:

Although we think this pasta tastes best fresh, it can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3-4 days.

To reheat, avoid using the microwave. Instead, opt for heating it back up in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s warmed through. If needed, add a dash of olive oil to bring it back to life.

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What to serve with this Carbonara recipe:

Serves: 6

Lemon Chicken Carbonara Recipe

Spaghetti noodles tossed with an eggy cream sauce and topped with lemon chicken and bacon - and it's ready to eat in 20 minutes or less!

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced bacon (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti noodles
  • 2 cups chicken (cooked and shredded)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon peel, finely grated

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp - about 8 minutes - then cool slightly
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti noodles and cook until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes), then drain.
  4. Add the chicken to the pan with the bacon and garlic and still to combine. Next add the spaghetti noodles, cream mixture, and diced tomatoes and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is warmed through and sauce thickens (about 4 minutes).
  5. Season the pasta with pepper and salt if desired. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and sprinkle the lemon zest over the top and serve.
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