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Keto “Penne” Carbonara Recipe (Low Carb Pasta Substitute)

Keto “Penne” Carbonara Recipe (Low Carb Pasta Substitute)

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Egg yolks, heavy cream, bacon and Parmesan…what’s not to love about this quick and easy keto recipe?

These ingredients come together to create a deliciously creamy alfredo-like sauce that’s perfect for your favorite low-carb pasta alternative!

Unlike traditional spaghetti carbonara, this recipe uses yellow squash cut into penne pasta shapes (more info on that below) instead of wheat pasta.

Once you have your prep done, this whole dish comes together in about 15 minutes.

keto carbonara plated next to garlic and parsley

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keto penne carbonara plated with pancetta and a fork

Keto “Penne” Carbonara Recipe (Low Carb Pasta Substitute)

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


Quick and easy keto carbonara recipe with yellow squash instead of pasta noodles!


  • 5 medium yellow squash 
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced (or 4 thick pieces of bacon, sliced)
  • 3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 3.5 cups—plus more for serving)
  • 2 large egg yolks 
  •   cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cook pancetta in a large non-stick pot over medium heat until crispy (about 5 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, cut the ends off the yellow squash then cut into quarters, lengthwise. Carefully slice away the spongy core (save for soups) then cut on a bias to create shapes that resemble penne pasta.
  3. Thoroughly mix together cream, egg yolks and parmesan in a bowl and reserve.
  4. Once pancetta is crispy, add the squash and cook until just softened (about 2 minutes).
  5. Turn down heat to lowest setting then add the cream mixture and stir continuously until thickened.
  6. Serve immediately and grate plenty more fresh parmesan on top!


Net carbs: 5.5g

This recipe can be stretched further by serving with things like grilled chicken thighs and bright salads!

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauteing
  • Cuisine: Italian

How to Slice Yellow Squash into Penne Noodle Shapes

This little keto cooking hack is one you’ll want to hold onto!

These little squash “penne noodles” are super versatile and easy to prepare (no spiralizer or any other fancy kitchen equipment required).

Give these a shot with your favorite meat sauce (or this keto tomato sauce), Italian soup or even mac and cheese!

Here’s how to make them!

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