Spaghetti carbonara is a classic pasta dish, beloved for its creamy, savory sauce. If you’re on a gluten-free diet or simply looking to add more vegetables to your diet, then try spaghetti squash carbonara. The cooked squash produces strands similar to spaghetti, making a nutritious base for the flavorful sauce.
I love to cook with spaghetti squash. It’s packed with nutrients and its al dente, noodle-like texture makes it a great replacement for pasta. Serve spaghetti squash carbonara with a side of sautéed vegetables or a salad and a glass of dry white wine.
Microwave or Oven? You Pick!
I prefer to cook my spaghetti squash in the oven for deeper flavor, but you can save time by cooking the squash in the microwave.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place one of the halves cut-side-down in a microwave-safe dish and add about an inch of water to the bottom of the dish. Microwave until fork-tender, about 10 minutes, then repeat with the other half.
Does Carbonara Sauce Contain Raw Eggs?
Classic carbonara sauce has a creamy texture without a drop of heavy cream. Partially cooked eggs and melted Parmesan cheese give it its flavor and texture.
The eggs in the carbonara sauce will slightly cook and thicken when you mix the sauce with the hot squash. If you are hesitant about cooking with raw eggs, you can use pasteurized eggs in this recipe.
Tips for Making Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
This recipe is relatively simple but it can turn out mushy if you don’t use the proper technique. Adhere to these tips for the best possible spaghetti squash carbonara:
- Remember to salt the squash before placing it in the oven. The salt draws out moisture and prevents the squash from getting watery.
- Don’t overcook the squash. Overcooking will make the squash mushy, and you will not be able to pull out good strands. If you have a smaller squash, reduce the cook time to 30 to 35 minutes.
- Once you add the carbonara sauce to the hot squash, mix vigorously to prevent the eggs from curdling.
It’s easy to customize this recipe to fit your preferences:
- If you can’t find pancetta, use bacon in this place.
- Add peas to this dish for additional color and texture.
- Use a blend of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano for even more flavor.
Pasta Dinners Without the Pasta
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
The eggs in this recipe are not heated enough to destroy Salmonella bacteria. Those who have compromised immune systems or are pregnant, very young, or very old may want to consider using pasteurized eggs.
1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
4 ounces pancetta, cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, packed
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook the spaghetti squash:
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle on the salt. Place the squash cut-side-down on the baking sheet and bake until you can easily pierce through the interior with a fork, about 40 minutes.
Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash strands into a bowl. Discard the peel.
Cook the pancetta:
Add the pancetta to a pan over medium heat. Sauté until slightly crispy around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the carbonara sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine all of the ingredients:
Add the spaghetti squash, pancetta, and garlic to a large skillet over medium heat. Use a spatula to sauté the ingredients together over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and pour in the carbonara sauce. Immediately stir the spaghetti squash and carbonara sauce together vigorously for 2 minutes. The hot squash should melt the cheese and slightly cook the eggs in the sauce, resulting in a creamy texture.
Serve immediately. While it’s best enjoyed fresh, leftover carbonara can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, add the carbonara to a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir over heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until you reach your desired temperature. Make sure that you are stirring constantly in order to prevent the eggs from curdling.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 25g||32%|
|Saturated Fat 9g||44%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 12mg||61%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|