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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
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