Lower-fat carbonara recipe

(1598 ratings)

This delicious lower-fat healthy carbonara recipe is ideal if you're trying to be good or looking for a diet-friendly recipe. Packed with all the flavours

Lower-fat penne carbonara recipe
(Image credit: Steve Lee)
  • healthy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories409 Kcal20%
Sugar8 g9%
Fat9 g13%
Saturated Fat4 g20%
Salt1.7 g
Salt1.7 g

A diet-friendly version of carbonara, that the whole family will still love.

Carbonara is one of the most delicious, comforting and best loved pasta dishes. But it's also pretty hard on the waistline. With acres of egg yolk, fatty pancetta and plenty of grated cheese over the top - some Anglicised versions of it even have cream added in. But this lower-fat carbonara is just as delicious as the creamy version, while still being a little lighter. It's one of our favourite healthy pasta recipes (opens in new tab). This serves four, and we recommend a big bowl of salad on the side too, to add to your daily vegetable portions.


  • 300g penne, dried pasta shapes or spaghetti
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 rashers lean back bacon (or use turkey rashers), snipped into pieces
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 150g lower-fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 150ml 1% fat milk
  • 40g reduced fat Parmesan or reduced fat mature cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Ground black pepper




  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the pasta or spaghetti and cook for 8-12 minutes, according to pack instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the bacon and spring onions and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat together the soft cheese and egg in a mixing bowl, then stir in the bacon and spring onions. Add the milk, half the cheese and the parsley (if using). Season with some pepper.
  4. Drain the pasta, then return it to the saucepan. Add the egg mixture and heat gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture cooks and thickens. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining cheese.

Top tip for making lower-fat carbonara

Want more veg? Try adding 75g thawed frozen peas, stirring them in just after adding the egg mixture to the pasta.

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