Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara is a mouthwatering twist on the classic Italian pasta dish, offering a quick and convenient way to enjoy rich and creamy flavors in every bite!

instant pot bacon carbonara
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Serve the Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara piping hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon bits for an irresistible finishing touch. This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you crave comfort food but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, offering a satisfying and flavorful meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

This is a traditional carbonara with all of the same flavors, except today, I added some bacon and brought it up a notch. There is nothing more comforting than a huge vat of pasta.


Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

What Is Bacon Carbonara?

Bacon Carbonara, more commonly known as Spaghetti alla Carbonara, is a classic Italian pasta dish from Rome. It’s a simple yet flavorful combination of pasta, eggs, cheese, and cured pork, traditionally pancetta or guanciale, similar to bacon. The dish typically includes spaghetti or another long pasta coated in a creamy sauce made from eggs, grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and the rendered fat from the cooked pork. The eggs are lightly cooked by the residual heat of the pasta, creating a silky smooth sauce that clings to each strand of pasta. Bacon Carbonara is loved for its rich, indulgent flavors and velvety texture, making it a beloved comfort food in Italy and worldwide.

Why You Will Love This Recipe!

  • Quick and Easy: This recipe offers a hassle-free way to enjoy a classic Italian pasta dish in a fraction of the time. With the convenience of the Instant Pot, you can have a satisfying meal on the table in no time.
  • Rich and Creamy: Indulge in the luxurious creaminess of the carbonara sauce, made with eggs, cheese, and a touch of heavy cream. Each bite is velvety smooth and packed with savory flavors.
  • Crispy Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a delicious smoky flavor and satisfying crunch to the dish, elevating it to a new level of deliciousness.
  • Versatile: While traditional Carbonara uses pancetta or guanciale, this recipe calls for bacon, making it more accessible and budget-friendly without compromising taste.
  • Perfectly Cooked Pasta: The Instant Pot ensures perfectly cooked pasta every time without babysitting a boiling pot of water. Cooking the pasta directly in the sauce infuses it with even more flavor.
  • Family-Friendly: Loved by kids and adults alike, this Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara will indeed become a family favorite. It’s a comforting and satisfying meal that everyone will enjoy.
  • Customizable: Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your taste preferences. Add extra garlic for a more intense flavor, sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a spicy kick, or toss in some peas or spinach for added color and nutrition.
Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Indulge in the comforting flavors of Italian cuisine with Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara. This recipe combines simple yet flavorful ingredients like spaghetti, crispy bacon, eggs, and Parmesan cheese to create a creamy and satisfying pasta dish that will become a family favorite. With the convenience of the Instant Pot, you can enjoy this classic Carbonara recipe with minimal effort and maximum flavor.

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Spaghetti: Uncooked pasta provides the base for the dish, offering a hearty and satisfying texture that pairs perfectly with the creamy sauce. Any pasta will work, such penne pasta, or ziti.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: For a creamy sauce.
  • Chicken Broth: Provides liquid for cooking the pasta and infuses it with savory flavor, creating a delicious base for the Carbonara sauce.
  • Bacon: Adds rich, smoky flavor and crispy texture to the Carbonara, infusing the dish with savory goodness.
  • Garlic: Adds aromatic flavor to the dish, complementing the smokiness of the bacon and adding complexity to the sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Offers a nutty and salty flavor to the Carbonara sauce, enhancing its richness and depth.
  • Large Eggs: Form the foundation of the creamy sauce, binding the cheese and pasta together for a luscious texture.
  • Heavy Cream: Adds richness and creaminess to the sauce, ensuring a velvety texture that coats each strand of pasta.

How To Make Bacon Carbonara In Instant Pot

To make Bacon Carbonara in the Instant Pot, follow these simple steps:

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Step One: Break spaghetti noodles in half and arrange them in the Instant Pot in a crisscross pattern. Ensure the noodles are submerged in water. Close the lid, seal the pressure valve, and pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. Once cooking is complete, perform a manual pressure release.

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Step Two: Drain the cooked noodles, reserving 1/2 cup of the noodle water. Set the drained noodles aside for later use.

Step Three: Switch the Instant Pot to sauté mode and add oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the bacon until it becomes crispy.

How To Make Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Step Four: Add minced garlic and butter to the Instant Pot and sauté until the butter melts.

Step Five: Turn off the Instant Pot’s sauté mode. Add the cooked pasta to the pot, stirring to combine.

Step Six: Whisk together the egg and grated Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Slowly stir the egg and cheese mixture into the pasta in the Instant Pot, ensuring the eggs do not scramble. Gradually add the reserved noodle water and mix until well combined.

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Recipe Variations

Here are some delicious recipe variations for Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara:

  • Vegetarian Twist: For a meatless version, omit the bacon and instead add sautéed mushrooms or diced roasted vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers for added flavor and texture.
  • Turkey Bacon: Substitute traditional bacon with turkey bacon for a lighter and leaner alternative. Turkey bacon still offers that smoky flavor but with less fat and fewer calories. You can also use Italian bacon.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the sauce mixture for a spicy kick—the heat pairs well with the creamy richness of the Carbonara sauce.
  • Herb Infusion: Mix chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or thyme into the sauce for freshness and aroma. Herbs add depth of flavor and elevate the overall taste of the dish.
  • Extra Cheese: Amp up the cheesiness by adding extra grated Parmesan, hard cheese, or Pecorino Romano cheese to the sauce. The cheese adds a salty and nutty flavor that complements the smoky bacon beautifully.
  • Egg Yolk Only: Use only egg yolks instead of whole eggs in the sauce mixture for an even richer sauce. The yolks add creaminess and richness without the risk of the sauce becoming too eggy.
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce for a tangy sweetness. The tomatoes add depth of flavor and a delightful contrast to the savory bacon.
  • Green Peas: Stir in a handful of cooked green peas at the end for a pop of color and sweetness. Peas add freshness and texture to the dish, making it even more satisfying.

Mix and match these variations to create your unique twist on Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find your perfect combination

instant pot bacon carbonara

Pro Tips

  • Render Bacon Fat: When cooking the bacon in the Instant Pot, allow it to cook until crispy and the fat is fully rendered. This not only ensures maximum flavor but also provides the base for the sauce. If you have excess bacon grease, drain it from the pressure cooker.
  • Quick Release Pasta: To prevent overcooking the pasta, perform an immediate release of the pressure as soon as the cooking time is complete. This stops the pasta from continuing to cook and becoming mushy.
  • Temper the Eggs: To avoid scrambling the eggs when adding them to the pasta, it’s essential to temper them first. This means gradually adding a small amount of the hot pasta to the egg mixture while whisking continuously. This helps to raise the temperature of the eggs slowly without curdling them.
  • Use Freshly Grated Cheese: For the best flavor and texture, use freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Pre-packaged grated cheese often contains additives that can affect the sauce’s consistency and taste.
  • Adjust Seasoning Carefully: Since bacon and Parmesan cheese are salty, be cautious when adding salt to the dish. Taste the Carbonara before seasoning to avoid over-salting.
  • Creamy Sauce: For an extra creamy sauce, stir in a small amount of reserved pasta cooking water at the end. The starchy water helps to emulsify the sauce and create a silky texture.
  • Garnish Just Before Serving: Add the crispy bacon pieces and chopped parsley before serving. This ensures the bacon stays crisp and the parsley remains vibrant and fresh.
  • Reheating: If reheating leftovers, add a splash of chicken broth or cream to the dish before heating to prevent it from drying out. This helps revive the creamy sauce and keeps the pasta moist and flavorful.
Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara


Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe? While spaghetti is traditional for Carbonara, you can use other pasta shapes like fettuccine or linguine. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

What if I don’t have an Instant Pot? If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make Bacon Carbonara on the stovetop. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then follow the rest of the recipe in a large skillet as directed.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara is best served fresh, but you can prepare the components beforehand. Cook the bacon and garlic in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use. Cook the pasta just before serving for the best texture.

Is this recipe suitable for meal prep? While Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara is best enjoyed fresh, you can portion leftovers into airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or microwave, adding a splash of chicken broth or cream to revive the sauce.

Can I freeze Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara? To store leftover carbonara, let it cool to room temperature before placing it into an airtight container. The leftovers will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Cream-based sauces like Carbonara don’t freeze well as they can separate upon thawing. It’s best to enjoy this dish fresh for optimal flavor and texture.

What can I serve with Bacon Carbonara? Bacon Carbonara is a hearty dish but pairs well with a simple green salad or garlic bread for a complete meal. A glass of crisp white wine or sparkling water complements the flavors nicely.

How can I adjust the recipe for dietary restrictions? You can use turkey bacon or omit the heavy cream for a lighter parmesan sauce. You can also substitute gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free option. Adjust the recipe according to your dietary needs and preferences.

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

Equipment Used

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes

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instant pot bacon carbonara

Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


This is such an easy recipe for Instant Pot Bacon Carbonara. With only a few simple ingredients, you can create a mouth-watering dinner in minutes.


  • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black p;epper


  • Break spaghetti noodles in half and place in instant pot layered and crossed. Add water until noodles completely submerged. Close the lid, seal the pressure valve, and pressure cook on high for 7 minutes. When finished, manually release the pressure. 
  • Drain the noodles saving 1/2 cup of noodle water. Set noodles aside.
  • Set instant pot to sauté and add oil. When oil is hot, sauté the bacon until crispy. 
  • Add garlic and butter and sauté until butter is melted. 
  • Cancel the instant pot from sauté mode and add pasta stirring it in. 
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and Parmesan. Slowly stir egg and cheese mixture in so that the egg does not scramble. Add the noodle water and stir well.
  • Garnish with salt and pepper.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Instant Pot, or Pressure Cooker


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 529kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 22gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1231mgPotassium: 242mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 450IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 327mgIron: 1mg

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