Take the carb out of carbonara, this spaghetti squash carbonara is rich and smoky comfort-in-a-bowl. A classic carbonara sauce meets the virtuous shredded “noodles” of the spaghetti squash for a lighter, yet still oh-so-satisfying plate of perfection.
Love carbonara, not a fan of carbs? Check out my shrimp carbonara!
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Is Spaghetti Squash Carbonara Healthy? Keto? Paleo? Gluten Free? Vegetarian?
This recipe replaces traditional pasta with spaghetti squash, for a veggie-forward, gluten free, low carb, and keto friendly swap.
It’s not paleo due to the parmesan in the sauce. You can make this spaghetti squash carbonara vegetarian by skipping the meat–but be sure to add olive oil to the pan before sauteing the garlic.
If you haven’t cooked with spaghetti squash before, let me tell you, it’s nature’s alternative noodle. No special equipment required (other than a good, sharp knife), just bake and shred with a fork for the veggie noodles of your dreams.
You’ll also need a few other goodies, here’s what you should know:
- Why room temp eggs? Room temp eggs blend more easily into a silky smooth sauce. Place your eggs on the counter for about 30 minutes before you add them to the sauce.
- What kind of meat should I use? You have a few options: guanciale, or salt cured pork jowl, is the most traditional. I typically use diced bacon or pancetta.
- Is there cream in carbonara? Traditionally, absolutely not! The egg yolks and parmesan make an incredibly rich and creamy sauce, no cream necessary. I sometimes add cream when reheating carbonara, more on that below.
Other Keto Pasta Options
There are plenty of keto pasta substitutes you can use instead of spaghetti squash. Just keep in mind, they need to be warm for the sauce to set. Here are some options to consider:
- Zucchini noodles
- Butternut squash noodles. Psst–these are sweeter than other veggie noodles.
- Edamame noodles, I like Explore Cuisine’s products.
- Chickpea noodles, I like Banza.
- Almond flour pasta, my version is too delicate for spaghetti shaped noodles (it makes better keto gnocchi), but you can use storebought.
Can I Add More Protein?
Sure can! Although this dish is delicious on its own–feel free to toss in some cooked and shredded chicken, or even shrimp, to finish off your spaghetti squash carbonara.
Or, opt for protein packed pasta dishes like my keto shrimp scampi.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Spaghetti squash carbonara takes about 15 minutes of hands-on cook time and comes together seamlessly if you follow my pro tips (below).
Make the spaghetti squash by slicing it in half, removing the seeds with a spoon, and baking it flesh side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Shred squash with a fork into spaghetti strands.
Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside.
Crisp bacon, saute garlic and toss in the spaghetti squash. Make sure the squash is heated through.
Remove your pan from heat and slowly add the egg combo while tossing the spaghetti squash with tongs.
Pro Tips For Silky Smooth Keto Carbonara
Carbonara is all about the technique. Here are all the tricks you’ll need for a silky smooth carbonara sauce. every. time.
- Whisk those eggs well. You want the whites and yolks to fully incorporate for the silkiest of sauces.
- Remove your pan from heat. I know, it seems weird, but the warm noodles are enough to set the eggs into carbonara perfection. If you keep the heat on, your eggs will scramble, which is not what we want here.
- Add the eggs slowly! This is a task for both hands, you’ll want to slowly pour the eggs in while tossing the pasta. This allows the sauce to thicken, set, and incorporate.
How to Reheat Carbonara
Scoop a serving into a microwave safe bowl, and pour a few teaspoons of liquid on top–use heavy cream or broth for more flavor. Place a damp paper towel on top, and microwave at 50% power until heated through.
Know that the sauce won’t be as moist, so feel free to add more liquid and toss your pasta before serving.
Can You Freeze Carbonara?
Carbonara sauce will separate when frozen (similar to keto alfredo sauce), and reheating frozen spaghetti squash will get mushy. So I don’t suggest freezing this spaghetti squash carbonara.
More Pasta Swaps to Try
- Cauliflower Lasagna
- Zucchini Ravioli
- Eggplant Lasagna
- Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Spaghetti Squash CarbonaraPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 Pounds Spaghetti Squash about 2 small or 1 large
- 2 Egg Yolks room temperature
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 4 oz Parmesan Finely Grated
- 12 ounces Bacon roughly chopped. You can also use pancetta or guanciale
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Parsley chopped to serve
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Option to line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.
- Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out/discard the seeds. Place spaghetti squash flesh side down on yourn prepared baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven until the strands separate easily with a fork–about 30-45 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of the spaghetti squash you use).
- Once spaghetti squash is fork tender, flip and allow it to cool. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred the squash into spaghetti strands.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the room temp eggs, yolks, and parmesan until really well combined. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat–Make sure to use a pan large enough to fit all the squash! Add the sliced bacon and saute until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant. Add the spaghetti squash and salt. Toss to coat in the bacon and garlic, and the squash is heated through.
- Remove pan completely from heat (even the grates–I set the pan on a trivet on the counter). Use two hands to toss the spaghetti squash with tongs, while slowly pouring in the egg combo.
- Plate with a sprinkle of parsley and additional parmesan. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Room temp eggs and yolks are important, as they’re easier to whisk into a smooth sauce. I do this by placing them on the counter just after I toss the spaghetti squash in the oven.
- Use two hands when combining the spaghetti squash and eggs, this is the easiest way to get a silky-smooth sauce.
- The heat of the squash should set the eggs, no need to leave the pan on the stove. This is why it’s important to use warm squash and a warm pan. The most frequently made mistake with carbonara is to scramble the eggs by keeping the pan on heat.
- When reheating leftovers, I like to pour a little heavy cream or chicken broth in, as the microwave will dry out the sauce. The addition of liquid makes this sauce beautifully silky again.