Asparagus and Zucchini Noodle Carbonara

in Asparagus, Carbonara, Lighter & Healthier, Pasta, Spiralized, The Great Detox of 2015, Veggies, Zoodles, Zucchini

Asparagus and Zucchini Noodle Carbonara

I got your green food right here.

And bonus, it’s coated in a sauce of parmesan, black pepper, and just a leeeettle bacon grease – just the way God intended fake pasta to be.

Asparagus and Zoodle Carbonara

If there’s one thing we take seriously around here, it’s margaritas. And if there’s a second thing, it’s carbonara in its many beautiful forms. No cream, no extras. Just parmesan, eggs, black pepper, and (in the case of real pasta) a splash of pasta water.

When we substitute zucchini, we first run the squash through a spiral vegetable cutter (I have a Spiralizer and I adore it) to make zucchini noddles. Zoodles! (I love that word even more than my 5 year old.) Then the zoodles get a quick high-heat stir-fry to soften and remove some of the excess water before proceeding with the standard carbonara recipe.

Asparagus and Zoodle Carbonara

What you get is a bowl full of vegetables in a deceptively not-overly-unhealthy sauce. Without a cup of cream or a bottle of green food coloring to be found.

But still, bacon.

Asparagus and Zoodle Carbonara

A healthier pasta carbonara made with zucchini noodles, bacon, and parmesan.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ~1/4-inch squares
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into ~3-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan (~1.5 oz by weight) plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/4 lb zucchini, cut into spirals (I have this tool)


  1. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl (big enough to mix everything together at the end) and leave behind as much of the bacon drippings as possible (you want ~1 Tbsp of oil in the pan).
  3. Grind a generous amount of black pepper into the pan and add the asparagus and a pinch of salt, cooking for ~5 minutes until fork-tender.
  4. In the bowl with the bacon, add the egg, yolk, and parmesan and whisk it all together.
  5. Add the asparagus to the bowl and mix well for ~10 seconds to melt the cheese and prevent the egg from scrambling from the heat of the vegetables.
  6. Return the pan to the heat and add the zoodles, cooking uncovered and stirring frequently for ~5 minutes (there should be no standing liquid in the pan).
  7. Scrape out the pan to get all of the black pepper and bacon goodness into the bowl with the asparagus mixture.
  8. Use a large fork and spoon to toss the zoodles and mix well. Serve immediately.
  9. Best on the day of cooking - the zucchini will release a little more liquid after sitting a while and will create a standing thin sauce as leftovers. It's still delicious, but messy.


Yields: 2 generous servings

Adapted from Zucchini Carbonara

Estimated time: 30 minutes

1 comment… add one
  • Danielle

    This sounds so good! I love the fact that you’ve been posting some zucchini noodle recipes… I have a spiralizer and am always looking for different ideas!

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