This Zoodles Carbonara pasta recipe is gluten free, low carb, keto friendly optional and can be ready in under 30 minutes!
If you were to ask me what was in my top 10 favourite foods of all time – carbonara pasta would definitely be one of them. There is something really satisfying about a big bowl of cheesy, creamy noodles with the salty kick from pancetta or bacon.
It’s probably not an every day dish because carbonara is decadently rich, so I set out to make a version that was a little more weeknight friendly. This zoodles carbonara is a low carb, gluten free option for those who are craving that cheesy goodness.
Table of contents
What is Pasta Carbonara?
Carbonara is basically an Italian pasta dish made with egg yolks, pancetta or bacon, lots of parmesan cheese and pasta. It tastes super creamy, but miraculously, it is completely cream-free! My zoodles carbonara version swaps in zucchini noodles in place of the pasta, and adds a handful of peas in for some extra fibre and veg.
Zucchini – When choosing zucchini, make sure you have one that is very firm, and blemish free. I also prefer smaller thinner zucchini for this recipe since some fat ones won’t fit so well into your spiralizer. I also find that fat zucchini often are more watery, and the key to a good zoodle recipe is to limit moisture.
Bacon or pancetta– The difference between bacon and pancetta is that pancetta is not smoked the way bacon is and is usually a thicker cut. You can use whichever you can easily find!
Eggs – I prefer to use omega 3 eggs to bump up the healthy fats in this recipe.
Parmesan cheese – Use a good parmesan or asiago cheese and grate it yourself. There are so few ingredients, you want to use the best.
Black pepper– The black pepper is key to balancing out the salt and richness in this recipe. I promise this will not be a spicy recipe, just totally delish.
All you really need to make this zoodles carbonara is a good spiralizer. I love the Kitchen-aid spiralizer attachment, but a stand alone handheld will work great too.
I also recommend a good cast iron skillet for cooking the zoodles to keep them really crisp.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add one teaspoon of oil. Add in the pancetta, cook until crisp, then remove the bacon to a small dish.
Step 2: Saute shallot and garlic on medium heat.
Step 3: Add peas and stir until thawed through.
Step 4: Add in zucchini zoodles and saute on medium high heat until fully warmed through.
Step 5: Turn off heat and mix in egg and cheese mixture util coated. Add cooked pancetta and season with freshly cracked black pepper.
The Key to Non-Soggy Zoodles – Now, this is important. I experimented with this recipe and updated it after some people were having trouble keeping this zoodles carbonara from getting soggy. Ultimately, zucchini are mainly water so you need to find a way to get the excess water OUT. The solution? Basic osmosis.
Lightly sprinkle the zoodles with a bit of salt to dry out the water. Press them into a few sheets of paper towel and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, I rinse them off with cold water and lay them back on fresh sheets of paper towel to dry. Yes, I know it seems strange to remove water and then add water, but it DOES WORK.
Once you get them super dry, add them to the pan and let them cook ever so quickly. I like mine a little al dente so a quick little dip in the hot pan is all it takes. And there you go, NON SOGGY zoodles carbonara.
The zucchini noodles in place of regular pasta noodles makes this zoodles carbonara dish super low carb while upping the fibre and veg.
If you don’t want to invest in a standard spiralizer, you can pick up an inexpensive handheld version which can be found at the dollarstore. No fancy equipment needed!
Absolutely! You can simply omit the pancetta or replace with another veg of your choice. This zoodles carbonara recipe still has tons of protein even without the pancetta.
Yes you can. Make sure when you thaw them out to squeeze out the excess water before you cooking to prevent the zoodles from getting soggy.
What are your favourite zucchini noodle recipes? Have you tried this amazing zoodles carbonara pasta? Leave me a comment below!
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Zoodles Carbonara Pasta (Gluten Free)
- 4 medium zucchinis top and bottom sliced off
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 slices pancetta diced
- 3 tsp olive oil divided
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmigiano cheese plus more for garnish if desired
- Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel. Lay the zucchini noodles down and sprinkle with salt. Top with another few layers of paper towel, a cutting board and some heavy items like books or pots. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, transfer the noodles to a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water to remove the salt.
- Refresh the paper towels on the baking sheet with a few new layers. Gently squeeze and shake the zoodles and lay them down on the paper towel. Top with a few more layers of paper towel, the cutting board and the heavy items. Let dry for 10 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add one teaspoon of oil. Add in the pancetta, cook until crisp, then remove the bacon to a small dish and return the pan to the stove.
- Add in the remaining olive oil and return the pan to medium heat. Add in the shallot and saute for 2 minutes. Then add in the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Next, add the peas and stir until thawed through, about 2 minutes.
- Finally, add in the zucchini, increase the heat to medium high, and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fully warmed through.
- Turn off the heat.
- Beat together the eggs, egg yolk and cheese then add them to the pasta and toss gently until coated. This should take literally 2 minutes.
- Add back the bacon and season with freshly cracked black pepper.
- Divide between two bowls, add additional parmesan if desired, and season with salt to taste.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.