Our chicken and shrimp carbonara recipe makes a creamy and super-addictive meal with the delicious combination of earth and seafood. The al dente spaghetti is tossed in a creamy carbonara sauce and topped with pan-fried chicken, succulent shrimp, and crispy bacon.
It is a perfect plate of comfort food that you’ll want to make again and again.
Is This Chicken Recipe Healthy?
The short answer is yes, our chicken and shrimp carbonara recipe is healthy.
Our recipe uses chicken and shrimp as the main source of protein. Each serving contains approximately 40 g of protein — up to 80% of the recommended daily intake from the USDA.
With about 500 calories and only 10 g of saturated fat per serving, we believe our recipe is lower in calories and healthier than most take-out chicken and shrimp carbonara. We also used just enough salt to complement the ingredients’ flavors and ensure the main nutrients stayed within the healthy limits.
As with any exquisite Italian dish, high-quality ingredients are key. The list may look a bit elaborate, but the result is worth the time and effort.
Chicken: The recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breast since it doesn’t require much prepping. Once sliced into thin strips, the chicken can be browned in minutes and will retain its tender, juicy texture.
Shrimp: We used large shrimp for this carbonara recipe, as they generally have a similar size to chicken pieces. Both fresh and frozen shrimp are good to go, and if you want to save some time, pick the frozen type that is peeled, deveined, and tail-off.
Sauce: The carbonara sauce is a classic Italian sauce that uses cream, beaten egg, and cheese. More details of the sauce will be provided in the next section.
Pasta: Any long-shaped pasta is perfect for those dishes with a creamy but not too heavy sauce.
Seasoning: Since most of the flavors intensify with the rich and savory sauce, we simplified the chicken and shrimp seasoning. The blend of garlic powder and paprika infuses a nice color and aroma.
Best Pasta for This Dish
Carbonara is actually not assigned to any specific pasta shape or size. Spaghetti is the most common pasta for the dish, but other variants like fettuccine, rigatoni, or linguine also work well in this carbonara recipe. Just follow the instructions on the package carefully since all types require different cooking times.
Carbonara is a thick, creamy sauce made with garlic, butter, milk, heavy cream, egg, parmesan cheese, and bacon. Our technique to make the sauce is quite simple.
We added the chicken broth and dairy to the sautéed garlic to deglaze the pan. Then we allowed the pasta and bacon to simmer in the sauce for a minute on medium heat.
Once the pasta was cooked, we slowly drizzled the beaten egg and stirred it into the pasta. It works best if you toss the pasta frequently the entire time to coat it and prevent the eggs from turning into scrambled eggs.
The residual heat from the pasta will help to cook the egg until all the ingredients are incorporated. Our finishing touch of parmesan cheese helps thicken the sauce to the signature luxurious and ‘sticky’ texture. Now your carbonara sauce is ready to serve.
Store and Reheat
Containing seafood and dairy, any leftovers from the chicken and shrimp carbonara should be kept in an airtight container or sealed bag in the fridge for later use.
We encourage you to label the container so that you know what’s inside and when you’re ready to eat them again. The refrigerated carbonara will last for 2 – 3 days and about 2 months in the freezer.
To properly reheat, it’s best to let your carbonara thaw overnight. You can either reheat the pasta on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe dish with a plastic wrapper covered. Sprinkle with a little oil or water; this prevents the noodles from sticking together.
What to Serve With
Packed with proteins and carbohydrates, our chicken and shrimp carbonara is often served as a satisfying main dish. We have complemented the dish with a light kale salad and fresh lime juice to make the whole combination a complete meal.
This spaghetti has the basics: spaghetti, creamy tomato sauce, and tender meatballs, all done just properly. We used chicken instead of beef to make the meatballs—there’s a slight texture difference, but they’re still delicious.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
This recipe is easy and not too time consuming. Next time I may use lobster or crab (my favorite.) Delicious!