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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

No waiting for water to boil here: Spaghetti squash proves (once again) that it can sub out pasta. It's perfect in this pancetta-and-egg enriched cream sauce. Microwaving the squash is a clever trick that cuts down on time.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 large spaghetti squash (2 1/2 pounds each)

3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving, optional

1 large egg yolk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

A green salad, for serving


  1. Cut the squash in half crosswise 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 until very tender and the flesh can easily be flaked with a fork, 13 to 14 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the sides of the squash into spaghetti-like strands into a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the Parmesan, egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper in a medium bowl. 
  3. Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the heavy cream, scraping up any brown bits in the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the squash strands and toss until well coated.  
  4. Add the Parmesan mixture and toss to gently cook the eggs and make a creamy sauce. Sir in the parsley. Divide among 4 plates and serve with more Parmesan, if using, and a green salad on the side.

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