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Pasta Carbonara (Gluten and Dairy Free with Vegan Options)

I'm sure plenty of you have that one recipe you make that EVERYONE asks for. Maybe it was handed down to you from your Great Grandma on your Fathers side. Maybe your recipe (like this one) started off as something simple and basic and has morphed over the years into something new. Something elevated. Something special.

This dish was born out of my first season visiting the Coppell Farmers Market here in the DFW area. If you have talked to me once or twice you might know I grew up on a mini farmlette (is "farmlette" a word? It should be. #farmlette ) in Indiana. We grew our own produce, raised chickens and goats for milk and eggs, ground our own grain to bake our own bread, yadda yadda. Moving to the Dallas metroplex in my Senior year of high school really switched my script, and while we always ate pretty healthy and homemade, my appreciation of local food had a renaissance.

Anyway, the farmers market. I was chatting with a lovely booth owner, and purchasing some garlic and herb cream cheese they had made from scratch. They recommended mixing it with hot pasta, some greens and bacon. Boom. Grown up Mac and Cheese, yall.

I'm all ruddy from working out while I made this sooooo.

My family loved it, I loved it, we all went into a fat and carb coma, and all was good in the world. Over the years I have added meat and veggies (I need more protein and we all need some veggies. #fingerwag ) During my grain free days I subbed roasted potatoes for the pasta. We now use Kite Hill dairy free cream cheese and gluten free pasta so all of my household can enjoy. Vegans can easily use fake bacon and skip the chicken. When I was paleo....Well I just skipped this dish and was really quite sad about it to be honest.

Still reading? Well done, hang in there, recipe is next. I just hate when people add a ton of words in between recipe instructions. Why? Why tease me? I've calculated the macronutrients if you are into that sort of thing, but know that if you change the recipe at all, (which I totally recommend, this is an easy recipe to adjust!) the macro counts will be off.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a comment or email at

I'd love to keep posting recipes if you like them. I have a LOT to share!


Serves 8

gluten free, dairy free

additional options below


1 lB Short, Chunky Pasta (we like Penne or Shells)- Gluten Free optional

1/2 lb Bacon (or more, up to a lb works great!) Chopped

1 lb Roasted Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast- Chopped

1/2 Cup chopped Onion

1 Cup sliced Crimini Mushrooms (or any favorite Mushrooms

1 Cup Finely Minced Kale (or Rainbow Chard)

1/2 Cup Sliced Asparagus

1 Egg

1 Container Kite Hill Garlic and Chive Cream Cheese (dairy free)

salt and pepper to taste


1- I said roasted chicken for this recipe, but if you are starting with raw, let's cook that first. Either roast on a pan in the oven at 375F about 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer hits 165 at the thickest part OR toss that stuff in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes under pressure on High. But really, trust me, it's more fun with meat that's all ready to go.

2- Set a large pot of water to boil. Follow the package directions to cook the pasta to al dente, drain and set aside

3- While the pasta is cookin, cook the chopped bacon in a large, heavy bottom pot or dutch oven on medium. You want this to get cooked but not crispy, so stir often. Once the fat is rendered we are going to use that to cook our onions.

4- Add onions and saute til soft. Add remaining vegetable matter and saute until tender. Season with salt and pepper

5- Dump that cream cheese up in there, and right on top, crack your egg. Stir it all up well, and this will cook the egg into the cheese and veggies. It starts to look a little fluffy.

6- toss in pasta and chicken, fold all together well and allow to all warm for 10 minutes or so

EAT and enjoy topped with parmesan or crushed red pepper.


1- switch out veggies! Don't like mushrooms? I mean you are crazy but sure, take those out. Add in some zucchini, or tomatoes or whatever you like, grow, or found at the market.

2-switch out meats! This is where you could make it vegan, with vegan bacon, chicken, meaty crumbles, or whatever. Or go full carnivore and add more meat. Italian sausage would be nice here.

3-Switch out the pasta! Add more protein by using the new lentil pastas (brand is called Pow!)

or take out the grains entirely by folding in crispy roasted red potatoes or other root vegetables.

Get creative, get weird, let me know what you think!

Nutrition (as written, no variations)

Calories: 520


Sat Fat:4.6

Poly Unsat Fat:0.7

Mono Unsat Fat : 1.2

Trans Fat : 0

Carbs :47

Fiber 1.7

Protein : 35.5

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