I really enjoy good carbonara, and when you try this recipe for Spaghetti Squash Carbonara, you won’t even miss the pasta! Carbonara is an Italian dish traditionally made with eggs, cured pork, and black pepper, and topped with cheese. This version of the classic dish is just as filling, with less calories and carbs!
The recipe requires about 15 minutes of prep time, and cooks in less than 30 minutes. You’ll have your next meal on the table in less than an hour.
Making Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
To get started, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and discard them. Put the squash onto a microwave safe plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap (See below for directions on how to cook the spaghetti squash in the oven or instant pot if you prefer). Microwave on high for 13-14 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flesh can easily be detached from the skin with a fork. Now use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash into spaghetti-like strands and place into a bowl.
Mix together the Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, set aside.
Next, cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring for an additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
Stir in the heavy cream, scraping up any brown bits in the pan (that’s where all the flavor is!) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the squash strands. Toss together until the squash is well coated.
Add the Parmesan and egg mixture slowly and toss to gently cook the eggs and make a creamy sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.
Now it’s time to enjoy! Divide the carbonara among 4 plates and serve. You can add more Parmesan and parsley for garnish, if desired.
Oven and Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Cooking Options:
Oven Method: 400 degrees for 30-40 mins
Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, and slightly tender on the inside.
Instant Pot Method: 7 Minutes on high
Place a trivet or steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add a cup of water, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then place the cut squash halves on top of the trivet/steamer basket and secure the lid and set to seal. Use the pressure cook or manual button to set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 5 oz pancetta cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Scoop out and discard the seeds with a spoon. Put the squash onto a microwave safe plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 13-14 minutes, until tender and the flesh can easily be detached with a fork.(See below for alternative spaghetti squash cooking methods using the oven or instant pot.) Use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash into spaghetti-like strands and place into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, egg yolks, salt and pepper and set aside.
- Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes, until crisp. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook, stirring for about 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the heavy cream, scraping up any brown bits in the pan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the squash strands. Toss together until squash is coated.
- Add the parmesan and egg mixture slowly and toss to gently cook the eggs and make a creamy sauce. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Divide among 4 plates and serve with more Parmesan and parsley for garnish if desired.