14 Decadent Dinners For The Carbonara-Obsessed (Recipes)

14 Decadent Dinners For The Carbonara-Obsessed (Recipes)

Addicted to pasta carbonara? Welcome to the club. It's not hard to become obsessed with the silky, creamy sauce, peppered with bits of bacon, sprinkled with Parmesan and finished with black pepper. Since you can't eat spaghetti every night (or, at least, you shouldn't), here are 14 dishes that allow you to enjoy the flavors of carbonara in excitingly fresh ways. Buon appetito!

1. Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

I know I said "fresh ways," but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Spaghetti is tossed in the fat of crispy pancetta, covered in a rich mixture of egg yolks and Parmesan cheese, and made glossy with the hero of this classic dish: salted water from the cooked pasta. A generous helping of pepper adds a hint of spice to this fantastically rich and satisfying Roman meal.

2. Carbonara Pizza

In this recipe, the ingredients of carbonara are placed atop perhaps the only thing more addictive than pasta: pizza. Soft yet crispy crust wears a beautiful crown of bacon, garlic-and-herb cheese, mozzarella, runny eggs and black pepper.

3. Spaghetti Carbonara Pie

Something very awesome happens to pasta when it's baked into a pie: It stays soft yet al dente in the middle, and its edges get a delicate golden brown crust. This version of carbonara is brightened up with chopped broccoli rabe; but don't worry, it still has plenty of pancetta and cheese.

4. Quick Creamy Gnocchi Carbonara

Have you ever seen such a beautiful sight? It gets even prettier when you realize it comes together in minutes with pre-made gnocchi and a luscious sauce of cream cheese, Parmesan and bacon bits.

5. Creamy Parmesan Carbonara Chicken

This chicken dinner is free of pasta and eggs, but it satisfies any craving for carbonara with its ultra-creamy sauce, served over crispy chicken breasts. You'll want to drizzle extra spoonfuls on your serving, making sure you don't skimp on the bacon pieces.

6. Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Carbonara gets a low-carb twist when it's made with soft strands of spaghetti squash. That's code for: you don't have to feel guilty when you go back for a second plate.

7. Carbonara Arancini

Arancini are a crave-worthy Italian street snack of fried rice balls. They often feature tomato and mozzarella, but you should definitely make yours alla carbonara: with pancetta, pecorino, eggs and parsley.

8. Carbonara Mac 'n' Cheese Souffle

Beneath that golden brown, parsley-flecked crust lies the world's gooeyist, most decadent, outrageously comforting mac and cheese. It's oozing with white cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, speckled with bits of crispy bacon and flavored with just a hint of nutmeg. Sure, you could serve it with a side salad, but why waste your stomach real estate on greens when you have this thing of beauty?

9. Butternut Squash Carbonara with Fried Sage and Caramelized Onions

Need an autumnal dish? You've got one with this fettuccine carbonara, coated in a silky sauce of blended butternut squash and heavy cream. The pasta is tossed with pancetta, which cooks with onions to give them a salty, caramelized finish, and is finished with crispy fried sage leaves. No, you're not the only one drooling.

10. Carbonara-Stuffed Potatoes with Crispy Pancetta

Carbonara has had enough time in the spotlight in this post, so let's allow it to be a talented backup dancer for a moment. Flanking an Italian-inspired entree like steak or veal, it makes an appearance in baked potatoes with Parmesan, pancetta, scallions and runny eggs. 

11. Pasta Carbonara with Leeks and Lemon

If you're well accustomed to the bacon-and-eggy flavors of carbonara and want something with a little more complexity, look to leeks and lemon for pizazz. Golden brown leeks, cooked in bacon fat, offer an onion-like savory touch, and lemon adds brightness to the creamy sauce. 

12. Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach and Mushrooms

Decadent carbonara usually sends you straight to the couch for a post-meal nap, but it "achieves superfood status" when it's made with spiralized sweet potatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Try this lightened-up version for the days you crave carbonara but need the energy level of a personal trainer.

13. Chicken Carbonara Soup

Warm even the most shriveled of souls with this cozy carbonara soup -- thickened with milk, chicken stock, onion and flour, freshened with sun-dried tomato, and made hearty with bacon and penne pasta.

14. Carbonara au Gratin

A bacon-and-fontina crust adorns this creamy baked carbonara, made extra exciting with twirly corkscrew pasta that any kid would love.