15-Minute Chicken Carbonara Recipe – Your New Favorite Shelf Cooking Freezer Meal!

Sep 27, 2021 | Food, Recipes

This chicken carbonara recipe is so dang easy and cheap to throw together, you'll want to make it every week. With only a handful of ingredients, this quick and easy meal is full of flavor the whole family will love!

Chicken carbonara on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free.

This chicken carbonara recipe packs a seriously big flavor punch with only minimal effort and just a few ingredients. Really… This is the perfect meal to toss together on a busy weeknight when you just aren't sure what to make!

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Made from common ingredients, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen. If not, no worries—we have plenty of swaps and shortcuts to show you how to use what you have! Let's do it!


Different types of pasta in jars from Fun Cheap or Free.

This chicken carbonara is a great recipe to shelf cook with! Here are some of our favorite easy swaps to make when you're out of what the ingredient list calls for.

  • Pasta – This chicken carbonara recipe doesn't call for a specific pasta because any pasta will work. Farfalle, penne, linguine, fettuccini, etc. Literally… ANY. Use whatever you have on hand, including chickpea pasta, veggie pasta, or even gluten-free pasta!
  • Half-and-Half – If you're out of half-and-half, simply use half the amount of milk, and half the amount of heavy cream. Easy peasy.
  • Frozen Peas – Fresh out of frozen peas? (Ha, get it?) Use a can instead! Heck, you can even use another veggie if peas aren't your thing. Try steamed broccoli or mixed veggies instead!
  • Chicken – You do not have to cook chicken for this recipe! Pull a bag of diced or shredded chicken out of that well-stocked freezer you have and toss it in! No chicken? Use cooked turkey or pork!
  • Onion – The diced onion in this recipe is optional. You can totally just use onion powder if that's all you have!

See… We told you this recipe is so easy to make your own! Swap away and use what you have so you're not wasting a dime of your grocery budget running to the store last minute.


This chicken carbonara recipe stores and freezes like a dream! Feel free to make this dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. When you're ready to eat it, simply toss it in a pan to heat. You can also reheat it in the oven if you want. Pop it out of the fridge, sprinkle a little water on top (to keep the pasta from drying out), pop it into the oven, and bake at 350°F until it's warm! Voila!

To freeze, store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container and store it for up to six months. When you're ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat with one of the methods mentioned above.


Spinach salad with strawberries in a bowl from Fun Cheap or Free.

One of the great things about this recipe is you can have it as an easy, one-dish, stand-alone meal! No sides required on a busy weeknight is a win for sure, right? However, if you've got some time and want to whip up a yummy side for your carbonara, these are our favorites!

Not that you know what to swap, how to store, and what to eat your chicken carbonara with… Let's get to this recipe already!


This chicken carbonara recipe is seriously yumm-o! You'll be shocked at how easy it is to make!

Chicken carbonara on a plate from Fun Cheap or Free.

Chicken Carbonara

Quick, easy, and delicious, this stovetop recipe makes the perfect busy weeknight meal. Make ahead or whip it together when you need it! Either way, you wont be dissappointed.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup diced onion

Optional Ingredients

  • Bacon crumbles
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, combine cornstarch, eggs, and half-and-half in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic until onion is tender. Then stir into the egg mixture bowl.
  • Add chicken to the hot skillet to warm. Add peas and stir for one minute or until heated through.
  • Pour egg mixture into the skillet. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens or thermometer reads 160 degrees.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove the sauce from heat and add the drained pasta. Top with bacon and parmesan, if desired!


Store your leftover chicken carbonara in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months! 
Keyword bacon, chicken, chicken carbonara

Is your stomach growling yet? Yeah, ours too! You'll want to eat this again and again.

Try this recipe out and let us know what you think and your favorite swaps in the comments below!

image with text that reads "easy 15 minute chicken carbonara", from Fun Cheap or Free

Have you checked out ShelfCooking.com yet? Our sister site is dedicated to helping you cook delicious, homemade, down-home-cooked meals for your family without spending all your time in the kitchen! Basically every parent's dream, right? Join our Shelf Cooking Community today!

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  1. Krisen O.

    That sounds delicious!!!!!!

  2. melissa

    Here is another easy, delicious recipe that maybe you’ve tried?


    “This is a 4 ingredient dish that will become one of your go-to dishes. You can make ahead first thing in the morning up to the point of baking, place in the refrigerator, then just pop in the oven for a little over an hour, add a side and a tossed green salad. Dinner is served!

    8 chicken thighs – You can use a whole chicken or other parts. We love thighs the best. And we want them on the bone with the skin.

    1 package dry french onion soup mix

    1 (8 oz bottle) Russian dressing (I prefer Wishbone Russian dressing)

    1 small jar of apricot preserves or about a cupful.

    Mix all ingredients, except chicken, in a bowl.

    Place chicken pieces in a baking pan. Sprinkle with pepper. No extra salt is needed.

    Pour sauce over chicken and make sure it’s coated well.

    Roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until chicken is done. Baste several times during cooking. “

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Sounds AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Scott

    This turned out absolutely nothing like the picture! This recipe will turn into scrambled eggs. Follow common sense on this one based on the ingredients. 0 out of 10.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Oh no! I’m sorry it didn’t turn out for you! Did you try the original recipe? I didn’t stray too far from it. Maybe it got too hot and the sauce broke? Either way, sorry you didn’t like it – thanks for the feedback!

  4. Shayne

    This is now one of my families new favorites! It turned out fantastic. I made sure to turn the heat down as low as possible while adding the eggs/cream so they wouldn’t scramble. It was perfect. Thank you!

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      SO glad you loved it!


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