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Keto Carbonara with Zucchini Noodles

If you’re on a keto or low carb diet, then you know that pasta is a big no-no. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious and hearty bowl of carbonara! This keto carbonara recipe features zucchini noodles in place of traditional pasta, making it perfect for anyone on a keto or low-carb diet. Plus, it’s ready in under 15 minutes, so it’s the perfect weeknight dinner option. Give this recipe a try today and see just how delicious a keto zoodle carbonara can be!

keto carbonara on fork above bowl

Why You Should Make This Low Carb Carbonara

  • It’s creamy, velvety, packed with flavor, and really, really good!
  • This recipe uses zucchini noodles, but you can use any other pasta alternative you like.
  • The real star here is the sauce. It’s made with butter, garlic, heavy cream, a bit of water (to bring down the richness) and an egg yolk to help keep things super creamy.
  • It’s also loaded with bacon because well, because bacon is the best!

Tools Needed to Make Carbonara with Zucchini

The only special tool you’ll need for this keto low carb carbonara is a spiralizer. You can find them inexpensively on Amazon, at Walmart, Target, or probably even your local grocery stores.

bowl of low carb keto carbonara

Ingredients for Keto Carbonara

Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make this low carb dish. You’ll also need about 3 TBSP of water. For exact amounts, please jump to the recipe card below. You can print it out to use it while you cook!

  • Zucchini – This is your pasta substitute. You can also use spaghetti squash or any low-carb pasta substitute of your choosing.
  • An egg yolk – This helps the sauce stay super creamy and smooth.
  • Butter – For that classic buttery creamy sauce flavor.
  • Bacon strips – Bacon is a common ingredient in carbonara; plus, it makes everything better!
  • Heavy cream – For a rich sauce.
  • Garlic clove – Nearly every “pasta” dish needs a bit of fresh garlic.
  • Onion powder – To add a little more flavor.

How to Make Keto Carbonara

  1. Melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook for three minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate to save for later.
  2. While that’s cooking, spiralize the zucchini. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan. Add the clove of garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Mix in the onion powder.
  3. Add the zucchini noodles (zoodles) and cook for 2 minutes without touching or stirring. After two minutes, toss and cook for one more minute.
  4. Remove from heat. Mix in the egg yolk and toss to combine. Add the heavy cream and water and stir until creamy and shiny. Mix in the cooked bacon.
  5. Return the sauce pan to medium-low heat to warm through, about 1-2 minutes.
dish of keto carbonara made with zoodles and a cream sauce

What to Serve with Your Keto-Friendly Carbonara

While this can be a complete meal in itself, it also makes a great side dish! Serve it alongside some grilled chicken or low-carb meatballs.

Popular Substitutions and Additions

Here are some yummy additions to try:

  • Add a bit of chopped or shredded chicken to the mix.
  • Mix in about 1/3-1/2 cup of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese to make a cheesy carbonara sauce.
  • Wilt some spinach in while the zucchini is cooking to get another healthy dose of veggies.

How to Reheat and Store Keto Carbonara

You can store this in the fridge for a couple of days and reheat it in the microwave or a skillet on medium-low heat.

low carb carbonara in a light green bowl

Keto Zoodle Carbonara FAQ

Can I use store-bought fresh or frozen zoodles instead of making my own?

Yes, but if you’re using frozen zoodles, you’ll need to thaw them first, drain them, and pat them dry with paper towels.

What do zucchini noodles taste like?

Zoodles taste much like sautéed zucchini. Zucchini has a light flavor that means it pairs well with many sauces. Whether you enjoy tomato or cream-based sauces, zoodles can be a great option. As you saute them, you may want to add a bit of salt for flavor right before serving. If you add the salt too early, it will pull the moisture from the zucchini and turn it to mush.

Are zoodles keto? Low Carb?

Yes. Zucchini has very few carbs. Zucchini has only 3 grams of digestible carbs per serving. They are also very low-calorie and practically fat-free. One medium zucchini has 33 calories, 0.6 grams of fat, and 2.4 grams of protein.

How can I make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer?

You can make wider noodles, to be used in lasagna by using a potato peeler. You can also use a mandolin to make zoodles. If you’re good with a knife, you can also carefully carve noodles until you get to the core. Julienned zucchini can also be used in place of zoodles.

Why are my zoodles mushy?

If you’re cooking several zucchinis worth of zoodles, you will notice a lot of liquid is released. There are actually a few ways to deal with this. The first is to not overcook your noodles! You only need to saute zoodles for 3 to 5 minutes. The cooking time will vary based on how many zucchinis you’re cooking. If you’re cooking more than two, shoot for closer to five minutes. Another tip is to drain your zoodles before serving. Lastly, eat your meal right away. Don’t prepare your zoodles until you’re ready to eat.

How long will zucchini noodles last in the fridge?

You can store uncooked zoodles in a plastic zip-top bag along with a paper towel in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. The paper towels will soak up any excess moisture that might otherwise make your zoodles mushy.

Can zoodles be frozen?

Yes. One of the best methods is to spiralize your zucchini and then toss with kosher salt. Allow your zoodles to drain for 20 to 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Place single servings into zip-top bags and freeze. You can freeze for up to 12 months but the longer they are frozen the less taste they have. To thaw the zoodles, boil for one minute. Keep in mind that the texture will not be as good as those that are freshly made.

bowl of zucchini carbonara

Other Keto Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this keto carbonara, leave a comment to let me know how you liked it!

Yield: 2 servings

Keto Carbonara with Zoodles

bowl of low carb carbonara made with zucchini

This keto carbonara recipe is simple, creamy, and delicious! It comes together in under 15 minutes and is the perfect weeknight meal. It also makes a great side dish to chicken!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Bacon strips, sliced
  • ¼ Cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate to save for later.
  2. While that’s cooking, spiralize the zucchini. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan. Add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Mix in the onion powder.
  3. Add the zucchini noodles (zoodles) and cook for 2 minutes without touching or stirring. After two minutes, toss and cook for one more minute.
  4. Remove from heat. Mix in the egg yolk and toss to combine. Add the heavy cream and water and stir until creamy and shiny. Mix in the cooked bacon.
  5. Return the saucepan to medium-low heat to warm through, about 1-2 minutes.
bowl of keto carbonara with fork inside
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