Ready for a dinner that will have everyone asking for seconds?
This Shrimp Carbonara recipe brings together creamy pasta, crispy bacon, and tender shrimp for an easy and fantastic meal.
Using only familiar ingredients, you already have on hand, you can whip up this impressive restaurant-quality shrimp recipe you'd expect from an Italian trattoria!
Elegant and decadently delicious Shrimp Carbonara is an incredibly easy pasta recipe. Made with creamy egg yolks, crispy bacon, and Parmesan cheese, this dinner is ready to be served in under 30 minutes.
It's one of those dishes that, once you've made it, you'll want to make it again and again.
Why This Shrimp Carbonara Recipe Works
EASY TO MAKE - You only need one skillet and a pot for boiling pasta. No fancy kitchen tools are required!
QUICK COOK TIME - You're looking at 30 minutes tops from start to finish. Perfect for busy weeknights.
FLAVOR PACKED - Between the garlic, bacon, and parmesan, each bite is loaded with a taste you'll love.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
SHRIMP - Look for fresh or frozen deveined white shrimp.
PASTA - Spaghetti or linguine are both perfect for Shrimp Carbonara.
EGGS - Two eggs plus one egg yolk. The eggs make the sauce rich and creamy.
BACON - You can also use pancetta or guanciale (bacon from pork cheeks) in carbonara sauces, but regular bacon works perfectly fine. And you don't need to make an extra trip to the store for specialty bacon. We typically have a slab of thick-cut strips of bacon in the fridge, which works great.
CHEESE - Both Pecorino Romano and Parmesan work well. I use whichever one we have in the fridge. Pecorino is a bit saltier. If I use it, I'll tend to reduce the added salt.
WATER - Don't skip adding a cup of reserved pasta water. It'll make your sauce creamy.
How To Make Shrimp Carbonara
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Boil spaghetti as directed. Save 1 cup of pasta water.
- In a skillet, cook bacon and garlic with olive oil. Remove and set aside. Cook shrimp and set aside.
- Turn the heat to low. Add cooked pasta to skillet. Mix with bacon fat and olive oil. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the egg mixture and hot pasta water into the pasta. Mix for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add back bacon, garlic, and shrimp.
Recipe Success Tips
DON'T RUSH - Take your time cooking bacon and garlic to get them right.
PASTA WATER IS KEY - The starchy pasta water helps the sauce stick to the spaghetti, making it extra creamy.
FRESH INGREDIENTS - Fresh parsley and parmesan will bring the best flavor. Don't skip them!
KEEP IT HOT - Make sure to use hot pasta water when making the sauce. It helps in blending all the flavors.
TOMATO SALAD - A refreshing chopped tomato salad adds a bright contrast to the dish's rich flavors.
CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD - Its cool and creamy texture is a delightful sidekick to the main course.
WHITE WINE - If you're in the mood for a drink, a glass of chilled white wine fits right in, complementing both the creamy and seafood elements.
STORE - Got some extra? Place it in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. It'll be good for up to 2 days. This makes it easy to have a tasty meal ready to go.
FREEZE - I don't recommend freezing the Shrimp Carbonara. The sauce can split, and you'll lose that nice creamy texture.
REHEAT - When you're ready for more, warm it up in a skillet on low heat. If the sauce looks a bit thick, a small splash of milk will help bring back its original creamy texture.
Favorite Easy Comfort Recipes
CHICKEN STROGANOFF - Creamy mushroom chicken dinner.
CHICKEN PARMESAN - Easy, cheesy, and delicious.
LASAGNA ROLL-UPS - Traditional lasagna with an easy but elegant spin!
BEEF STROGANOFF - Easy version of a restaurant classic.
CHICKEN PAPRIKA - Creamy and flavorful chicken dinner.
- PASTA - Cook pasta according to the package instructions — reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- EGG MIXTURE - Combine 2 eggs plus one egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add parmesan cheese and parsley. Set aside.
- BACON - Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Cook bacon on medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer it onto a plate. Pat dry and set aside.
- GARLIC - Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook in the bacon fat for 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove garlic and set aside.
- SHRIMP - Sauté shrimp in the same skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp and set aside.
- PASTA - Reduce the heat to low. Add cooked pasta and toss in the bacon fat/olive oil mixture. Turn off the heat.
- ADD EGG MIXTURE - Pour in egg-cheese mixture and one cup of hot pasta water. Toss the pasta for about 2-3 minutes.
- ADD BACON & GARLIC - Add garlic and bacon to the pasta and combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the sauteéd shrimp. Serve immediately.