Lower-fat penne carbonara recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 15 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 409 kCal 20%
Fat 9g 13%
  -  Saturates 4g 20%
  -  of which Sugars 8g 9%
Salt 1.7g 28%
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  • Our lower-fat penne carbonara recipe is ideal if you're looking for a diet-friendly recipe but want to satisfy those hunger pangs.

    Creamy carbonara is hard to beat. But a version that has all the flavour but less of the fat? Heaven. Tuck into this filling dinner when you’re craving comfort food but trying to eat healthily. This recipes serves four people and will take around 25 mins to prepare and cook. Serve a portion of this delicious pasta dish with a side salad or toss through spinach leaves to bump up your daily dose of veg.


    • 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


    • Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the pasta or spaghetti and cook for 8-12 minutes, according to pack instructions.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 this 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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