SkinnyDecadent Chicken Carbonara

chicken carbonara.1jpg
This is such a popular dish in most Italian restaurants. I personally never order it since it’s loaded with fat and calories.
One order of Olive Garden’s Carbonara has a whopping 1,144 calories and 88 grams of fat…Gulp!  Happily, my skinny version is still loaded with flavor and absolutely delicious! It will come together pretty quickly if you get it all prepped and out on the counter ready to go. Each skinny serving has 388 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 7 Blue WW Freestyle Points, and 10 Green. This one-bowl meal is gourmet enough for special occasions but makes a lovely weeknight dinner too.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients for Chicken Carbonara:

4 slices bacon, see shopping tips

1 cup (~6 ounces) raw chicken breasts or chicken breast tenders, diced

3 ounces dry whole grain or whole wheat spaghetti

½ cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Parmesan, grated

1 egg, I like using Egg-land’s Best eggs

3 tablespoons fat-free milk

¼ teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste


Ingredients for Topping:

2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated, optional


Instructions

1. Place bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Cover top with more paper towels and cook in microwave 2 minutes.

2. In a large nonstick pan, add bacon and continue to cook until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Cool and crumble.

3. To the same pan with bacon drippings, add chicken; sauté about 3 minutes per side until cooked. Transfer cooked chicken to the plate.

4. While the chicken is cooking, cook spaghetti in pot or pan of boiling water until al dente (not overcooked) Drain pasta into a colander with the frozen peas. Shake pasta to remove excess water.

5. In the same pan, the chicken was cooked in, deglaze the pan with wine, broth, and juice, scraping up any bits on the bottom. Reduce a little, about 30 seconds to 1 minute over low heat.

6. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, egg, milk, salt, and pepper.
In this same bowl, combine the crumbled bacon, chicken, and deglazed sauce with this egg mixture. Add hot pasta and toss well to combine and coat. If not hot enough zap the entire bowl in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

7. Divide among 2 plates. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings (each serving, 1.5 ounces pasta, 3 ounces chicken, 2 slices bacon and sauce)


Food Facts

Chicken Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish featuring chicken cooked in a creamy sauce. Most recipes for the dish include bacon or pancetta, cream, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. The chicken and bacon are usually cooked first, mixing the sauce separately, and combining all of the ingredients just before serving with spaghetti.


Healthy Benefits

I cut the calories and fat way down from a traditional, full-fat dish by cooking the bacon in the microwave first to drain fat onto paper towels. Using fat-free milk instead of cream and just a small amount of Parmesan cheese. In addition, serving with a whole grain, high fiber spaghetti. Each serving of my skinny chicken carbonara has 6 grams of fiber!


Shopping Tips

Happily, Oscar Meyers and many other brands now offer uncured, no nitrate bacon. It such a healthy choice. Once cooked on paper towels, most of the fat soaks into the paper, not in the bacon, and the fat is further cut down.

Whenever a recipe calls for using eggs, I LOVE Egg-land’s Best eggs! They have less saturated fat, less cholesterol, more Vitamin D, more Vitamin E and double the Omega 3 than regular eggs. Most supermarkets see them in the egg aisle.

WW Freestyle Points 7-Blue
WW SmartPoints
10-Green
WW Points Plus 9

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (w/out cheese topping)
388 calories, 8g fat, 4g sat. fat, 142mg chol, 39g prot, 39g carbs, 6g fiber, 621mg sodium, 4g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
240 calories, 2g sat. fat, 2g sugar, 14g protein

Comments

  1. This is delicious. I have an intolerance to egg white and so only use the yolk. It still tastes wonderfully rich and I make it at least once a month.

  2. Marie, the SKINNY FACTS are the complete nutrition facts for each recipe. The other FACTS are for people on Weight Watchers (WW). If you’re on their program, certain foods are “free” and get subtracted out (don’t count).
    So unless you are on WW, use the SKINNY FACTS.
    I hope this has helped.
    All the best,
    Nancy

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!