Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Susie Weinrich · This post may contain affiliate links. 40 Comments

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This Shrimp Carbonara recipe is a perfect pasta dinner that only takes 25 minutes to make! Perfectly cooked pasta is coated in a creamy egg & butter sauce and tossed with tender shrimp and crispy bacon. It’s a great weeknight dinner.

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (1)

Another quick weeknight shrimp pasta recipe is this Shrimp Scampi Linguine. You can’t go wrong with either one!

Table of Contents hide

1 Ingredients

2 Step By Step Picture Instructions

3 Recipe Tips

4 Audio Recipe

5 Recipe FAQ’s

6 Related Recipe

7 Did you make this recipe?

8 Shrimp Carbonara

Ingredients

Here are the things that you need to make this Shrimp Carbonara Recipe and some tips on specific ingredients –

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (2)

Room Temperature Egg – It is important that you use a room temperature egg so that it will break down properly in the food processor (or blender)

Pro Tip: To bring an egg to room temp quickly simply place it in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.

Garlic- This recipe does call for quite a bit of garlic! The flavor is amazing mixed with the bacon, cheese and shrimp. However, if you are sensitive to garlic, then I recommend that you reduce the amount of garlic to 4 cloves.

Shrimp– When you buy it in the store it may be labeled as a number value. This means how many shrimp are in a pound.

For this Shrimp Carbonara you want to use a “large” shrimp, which will generally be around 31/35.

Step By Step Picture Instructions

This recipe comes together really quickly, so I HIGHLY RECCOMEND that you prep all the ingredients before getting started: put salted water on to boil, slice the bacon, place the egg in warm water to bring to room temp, mince the garlic, measure out the butter, pepper flakes, salt, and parm cheese, also chop the parsley.

Now that you are prepared (called mise en place in French. Fancy!) grab a food processor or blender and we will make the base of the sauce.

In the processor/blender add the egg, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, softened butter, and parmesan cheese. Blend about 15 seconds until it is creamy. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down. Set the butter mixture aside for now.

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (3)

Pop the pasta in the boiling water to cook per package instructions.

Pro Tip: Place a measuring cup in your colander and you won’t forget to reserve the starchy pasta water!!

In a large skillet sauté the bacon over medium heat until it is crisped and brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.

Drain all but 2 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan.

Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the pan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, just until the shrimp are a nice pink color.

Remove the shrimp from the pan and place on the plate with the bacon.

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (4)
Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (5)

Place the now empty skillet over medium heat. Pour in ¼ cup reserved starchy pasta water and deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Deglazing – scraping up with browned bits from the bottom of the pan with hot liquid.

Stir in the pasta, butter/egg mixture, parsley, bacon, and shrimp. Give it a good toss to coat the pasta in the sauce.

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (6)

Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

Recipe Tips

  • The recipe comes together really quickly, so prep all your ingredients before you start cooking!
  • This is not a “make-ahead” recipe, it is best served immediately.
  • Make sure you use a room temperature egg. They will process properly when at room temp.
  • Don’t be shy with the cheese! If you like a creamier cheesier pasta, add another ¼ cup of cheese.
  • Don’t forget to reserve the starchy pasta cooking water! Place a measuring cup in your colander to remind you.
  • This recipe would also be delicious with fettuccine or bucatini pasta.
Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (7)

Audio Recipe

Listen to the full recipe, including tips and tricks, using the player below.

Recipe FAQ’s

What is Shrimp Carbonara

Shrimp Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish made with shrimp and bacon tossed in a creamy sauce that is made with egg, butter and parmesan cheese.

Do you use raw egg in Carbonara?

Yes, Carbonara is traditionally made with a raw egg. It is part of the sauce that makes it completely creamy and decadent. You can rest assured that the hot pasta and hot pan cook the egg enough to be safe.

What other cheese can I use in Carbonara?

If you prefer to not use parmesan cheese in Carbonara that is totally fine, there are plenty of other options. Two great options are Gruyere or Grana Padano. You can use a Pecorino Romano, although it is a little saltier than parmesan.

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Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (11)

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Did you make this recipe?

I would love to hear your review, especially if you have tips and tricks to add! Pop down to the comment section and connect with me

Rate This Recipe→

Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (12)

Shrimp Carbonara

Shrimp Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish that is made with shrimp and bacon in a creamy egg and butter sauce. It is ready in under 30 minutes, making it a great weeknight dinner!

4.88 from 48 votes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 746kcal

Author: Susie Weinrich

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg - at room temp (bring to room temp in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes)
  • 6 tablespoon butter - at room temp.
  • cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 slices bacon - diced
  • ¾ lb large shrimp peeled and deveined - (about 31/35 count)
  • 12 oz linguine
  • ½ cup RESERVED starchy pasta cooking water
  • cup Italian parsley - finely chopped

Garnish

  • additional parsley, parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper

Instructions

Mise en Place (Get Prepped)

  • This recipe comes together really quickly, so I HIGHLY RECCOMEND that you prep all the ingredients before getting started.

    Put salted water on to boil, slice the bacon, place the egg in warm water to bring to room temp, mince the garlic, measure out the butter, pepper flakes, salt, and parmesan cheese, also chop the parsley.

Shrimp Carbonara

  • In a food processor or blender add the egg, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, softened butter, and parmesan cheese.

    Blend for about 15 seconds until it is creamy. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down.

    Set the butter mixture aside for now.

    1 large egg, 6 tablespoon butter, ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, 6 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Pop the pasta in the boiling water to cook per package instructions.

    DON'T FORGET TO RESERVE ½ CUP STARCHY PASTA WATER!!

    Pro Tip: Place a measuring cup in your colander and you won't forget to reserve the starchy pasta water!!

    12 oz linguine

  • In a large skillet sauté the bacon over medium heat until it is crisped and brown. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.

    6 slices bacon

  • Drain all but 2 tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan.

  • Add the shrimp to the bacon grease in the pan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, just until the shrimp are a nice pink color.

    Remove the shrimp from the pan and place on the plate with the bacon.

    ¾ lb large shrimp peeled and deveined

  • Place the now empty skillet over medium heat. Pour in ¼ cup reserved starchy pasta water and deglaze the bottom of the pan.

    ½ cup RESERVED starchy pasta cooking water

  • Stir in the pasta, butter/egg mixture, parsley, bacon, and shrimp. Give it a good toss to coat the pasta in the sauce.

    Pro Tip: Add more pasta water and parmesan cheese if you like it creamier!

    ⅓ cup Italian parsley

  • Serve immediately topped with parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper.

    additional parsley, parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper

Notes:

RECIPE TIPS:

  • The recipe comes together really quickly, so prep all your ingredients before you start cooking!
  • This is not a “make-ahead” recipe, it is best served immediately.
  • Make sure you use a room temperature egg. It will process properly when it is at room temp.
  • Don’t be shy with the cheese! If you like a creamier cheesier pasta, add another ¼ cup of cheese.
  • Could also use Grana Padano or Gruyere cheese in place of parmesan cheese.
  • Don’t forget to reserve the starchy pasta cooking water! Place a measuring cup in your colander to remind you.
  • This recipe would also be delicious with fettuccine or bucatini pasta.

Did you try this recipe? Connect with me & let me know how it turned out by commenting below!

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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 746kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 328mg | Sodium: 1336mg | Potassium: 402mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1157IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 4mg

If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.

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About Susie Weinrich

Susie Weinrich is the recipe developer, food photographer, and content creator behind Mom's Dinner. She has over 20 years experience in the food industry. Currently, Susie shares all her recipes and food knowledge on Mom's Dinner. You will find her recipes are easy to follow and full of tips and tricks to make sure the recipe you are making turns out perfect!

Reader Interactions

Comments

    4.88 from 48 votes (21 ratings without comment)

    We would love to have you comment & rate the recipe!

  1. Debra Lemke

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (17)
    This was delicious! It was not that difficult and didn’t take that long. I didn’t have any parmesan so I used gouda. I cut the garlic in half and totally forgot the parsley. I will definitely put this into the rotation. I have left over noodles (we ate all of the shrimp). I will see how it works for leftovers tomorrow.

    Reply

  2. Peter

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (18)
    Delicious (and rich!) Th recipe is right – it doesn’t make good leftovers. WHat about the prep time though? You’d have to be a TV chef to start off with minced garlic, peeled shrimp, chopped parsley, diced bacon and grated parmesan! I estimate I took over HALF AN HOUR on prep!

    Reply

  3. Connie

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (19)
    Very good and was easy to make just follow directions. Only change I will make in future meals is cut the garlic down to four cloves instead of six recommended on recipe. I like garlic but that was very overwhelming and distracted from the bacon flavor.

    Reply

  4. Faith

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (20)
    We’re snowed in and grocery-limited, so I improvised with ingredients and used cellantini noodles, ham instead of bacon and shrimp, and the grated Parmasean that comes in the green topped shaker (so essentially I made the broke version of this 😂) and it was still SO. GOOD!!! I can’t wait to make it as written sometime soon! Also, I feel like the garlic butter Parmasean sauce would be delicious as a wing sauce 👏🏻👏🏻 Thank you for satisfying my carb cravings!!

    Reply

    • Susie Weinrich

      Oh, I love this!!! You said the broke version of this recipe, LOL! I hope you thaw out soon.

      Reply

  5. Linda

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (21)
    Made this tonight, exactly as written and it was fantastic! My husband and I both loved it! Definitely a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  6. Roy Karl Werner

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (22)
    I thought this amount of garlic would kill me, instead it made my awesome list! I am going to retry this with chicken next. Definitely prepare or it goes sideways fast. This was awesome reheated the next day too!

    Reply

  7. Shanae

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (23)
    Wow!! SO GOOD! This will become a regular 🙂

    Reply

  8. Clarissa

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (24)
    Yum!

    Reply

  9. Wendy todys

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (25)
    I doubled the recipe and added sliced red bell pepper to the shrimp while cooking. Absolutely delicious !

    Reply

  10. Kim Dezelan

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (26)
    I love this recipe. Always a hit when I make it. Comes together so nicely with your great instructions. Thanks!

    Reply

  11. RUDY E KILGORE

    Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (27)
    I loved the flavors in this but for some reason my egg did not blend well into a creamy sauce. (everything was room temperature as directed and blended as per the suggested time.) There were little bits of egg that did into the mixture and thus the final dish had visible egg particles in it. Please respond I want to make it again.

    Reply

    • Susie Weinrich

      I’m so sorry this happened. I am stumped on this one! The eggs definitely should have blended all the way down, especially if it was room temp and mixed in a blender or food processor. You could try to temper the sauce with just a splash of the hot pasta cooking water before adding it to the hot pasta. Other than that I don’t have any suggestions if you followed everything to a T, including ingredients and temps. I would give it another try for sure! I think your results were maybe just a fluke.

      Reply

    • kurt gandenberger

      Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (28)
      i have been making carbonara recipes for many years. do not get upset with little bits of egg that do not incorporate. it does not affect the flavor and is certainly a matter of technique. the longer you make it the more perfect it will be. but watch portion size because this stuff is high calorie and so delicious you will want to eat too much.

      Reply

    • Amanda

      Egg whites cook faster than egg yokes. So it would help to use 2-3 egg yokes (separate egg whites to use for breakfast, etc.) I always use a higher ratio of egg yokes to egg whites when making carbonara.

      Reply

    • Beth Ann

      I’ve done this. It’s because the pan is too hot and is cooking the eggs like scrambled eggs. Let the pan cool a little so it’s very warm, but not too hot and it’ll be a creamy sauce.

      Reply

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Easy Creamy Shrimp Carbonara - Mom's Dinner (2024)

FAQs

What is the golden rule of cooking a carbonara? ›

What is the golden rule of cooking a carbonara? The golden rule of cooking carbonara is to never cook the sauce over direct heat once the eggs are added.

Which ingredient should never be used in traditional carbonara? ›

What not to put in Spaghetti Carbonara? Don't put garlic, cream, milk or butter. It is not needed. It is fine if you want to make a dish with those ingredients, but if you want to learn how to make this dish correctly, use only pecorino, eggs/egg yolks, black pepper, guanciale, and pasta water.

What is the trick about carbonara sauce? ›

Whisk Like You Mean It

You're using more egg yolks than whites here, which is what makes carbonara so rich and luxurious. But there's still two eggs-worth of whites in there. Whisking your eggs so that the whites are completely incorporated into the yolks will give your sauce a more uniform texture.

How do you keep carbonara creamy? ›

“It's the main ingredient, so egg yolk is one of the most important aspects of carbonara. The quantity is crucial: the right amount is two egg yolks for each person. As with all pasta, you have to keep the pasta water – the starchy water is how you get a perfectly creamy sauce.

What are the biggest carbonara mistakes? ›

15 Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Carbonara
  • Adding your eggs while the pasta is still on the heat. Anton27/Shutterstock. ...
  • Not coating your pasta completely. ...
  • Using bacon instead of guanciale. ...
  • Not whisking your eggs enough. ...
  • Using parmesan instead of pecorino. ...
  • Not grinding your own pepper. ...
  • Using cold eggs. ...
  • Adding extra ingredients.
Mar 5, 2023

Do Italians put cream in carbonara sauce? ›

Taste.com.au Food Director, Amira Georgy, confirmed this, saying: “Traditionally, carbonara sauce contains no cream, just eggs and cheese. The eggs and cheese are added to the hot pasta and tossed together until a silky sauce forms.”

Do Italians put garlic in carbonara? ›

Also, I am fully aware many Italians do not use garlic in cooking carbonara. Neither is olive oil is a necessity, but the final result of my recipe is pretty spot on! If I do say so myself.

Do you put whole eggs in carbonara or yolks? ›

Why It Works. A sauce of mostly yolks has a richer, silkier, tighter texture than one made with only whole eggs.

How do you not get salmonella from carbonara? ›

The use of thermal processing is the most effective method for Salmonella inactivation in preparations containing eggs. Consequently, according to regulatory agencies, it is generally mandatory that these preparations must be completely cooked to a temperature of at least 70 °C.

How to stop carbonara from scrambling? ›

To avoid the dreaded scramble, the goal is to not let your eggs get too hot too quickly. Rather than add your eggs straight into your carbonara pan, crack them into a different bowl with the Pecorino. From there, you have a few options for how to combine the mixture with your pasta.

Why isn't my carbonara creamy? ›

If you want to go as authentic as possible, nix the cream and hunt down some guanciale, which is available is most specialty Italian supermarkets. Just keep in mind that axing the cream will result in a dish that is a bit drier, hence not quite a creamy carbonara.

What is the difference between alfredo sauce and carbonara sauce? ›

The difference between alfredo and carbonara is that carbonara contains an egg while alfredo sauce does not. Carbonara is usually thinner in consistency than alfredo sauce, using the egg to coat the noodles instead of relying on the cream.

What kind of egg is best for carbonara? ›

Egg yolks give the carbonara sauce its luscious texture and golden hue, so pick up farm-fresh eggs if you can.

What thickens carbonara? ›

Now quickly pour in the eggs and cheese. Using the tongs or a long fork, lift up the spaghetti so it mixes easily with the egg mixture, which thickens but doesn't scramble, and everything is coated. Add extra pasta cooking water to keep it saucy (several tablespoons should do it).

What is the egg rule for carbonara? ›

Egg whites will provide texture but too much could make the eggs curdle. Meanwhile, egg yolks help to bind the pork fat to the sauce. This also helps to enhance the creaminess. So a good rule to follow is to include one egg yolk per person and one egg white per four people.

How to make sure carbonara doesn't scramble? ›

Using a large mixing bowl and setting it over the boiling pasta water to create a makeshift double boiler helps prevent you from accidentally scrambling the eggs.

What makes carbonara so good? ›

Guanciale – This is a key ingredient in carbonara, and is a cured fatty pork that is similar to bacon and pancetta. It adds adds flavour into the dish and the fat makes the sauce creamy when mixed with the egg and starchy pasta cooking water.

What is the best egg ratio for carbonara? ›

Seriouseats has written about this in the past, preferring a 3:1 ratio. With so few ingredients, and the eggs receiving such minimal cooking, ultra fresh eggs will give the best flavor. Seek pecorino. The sheepy sharpness of pecorino is what cuts through the egg fat.

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