Brussels Sprout Carbonara is a satisfying, comforting, 30 minute meal that's also good for you! ~

Brussels Sprout Carbonara is a huge deal for me, this is so good that it instantly earned a place in my family’s regular dinner rotation.  You’re going to love this classic Italian comfort food made even more irresistible with one of my favorite veggies.

Brussles Sprout Carbonara is a fabulous healthy 30 minute meal! ~

This is one of those combinations that just makes sense.  Pasta carbonara is probably one of the first things a lot of us learned to make, maybe back in college, where easy but satisfying recipes ruled.  I love it, but don’t find myself making it so much these days, I guess because it seems a little too simple for a full family meal.  But get this — sauteing a whole bunch of shredded Brussels sprouts along with the diced pancetta transforms this plain meal into a really well rounded dish and somehow makes it even more cravable.  It’s a great way to introduce kids to Brussels sprouts, too, because their flavor and texture are toned down.

TIP: Cut the sprouts in little wedges instead of shredding them if you’d like more texture.  Just make sure to saute them a little longer.

Brussels Sprout Carbonara ~

This is a 30 minute meal, too, here’s the timetable ~

0-15 minutes: Set the pasta water on to boil.  Put the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat.  Meanwhile thinly slice the green leafy parts of the sprouts and discard the stem ends.  When the pancetta is crisp, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and saute just until the sprouts soften and turn bright green.

Brussels Sprout Carbonara ~

15-30 minutes: Add the pasta to the boiling water.  Beat the eggs with 1/2  of the cheese and set aside.  When the pasta is done, lift it from the water right into the pan and toss with the egg mixture, remaining cheese, and a little of the pasta water if needed to create a creamy sauce.  Toss over the heat until everything is piping hot, and season with lots of fresh ground pepper. 

Brussels Sprout Carbonara isn’t a fancy, complicated, or even particularly pretty dish, but it’s good old fashioned homey food that really hits the spot.  We had this meal, and the leftovers, for a couple of days and we’re hooked.  I highly recommend you try it.

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.

Brussels Sprout Carbonara

Yield: serves 4-6

Brussels Sprout Carbonara


  • 1 5-ounce package of pancetta, already cut in small dice
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, or an Italian blend, divided
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Put a big pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  2. Thinly slice the green parts of the sprouts, and discard the stems.
  3. In a large skillet, saute the pancetta until crispy. Add the Brussels sprouts and saute for just a few minutes until the sprouts have turned bright green and have softened a bit.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup beat the eggs well. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese.
  5. When the pasta is just al dente (usually a minute or two BEFORE the package says so) remove from the pot with tongs directly into the skillet with the sprouts, it's ok if a little of the pasta water gets in there too, it will help make the sauce creamy.
  6. Toss the pasta with the brussels sprouts and pancetta to combine, and then with the egg mixture, and the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese, making sure to get everything evenly coated. The eggs will cook as you toss the pasta over the heat. Serve asap with the parsley and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.


  • I buy my pancetta (or Italian bacon) already diced, which saves time.
  • Add garlic and or red pepper flakes as additional seasonings if that appeals to you.
  • If you really really really don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this with asparagus, broccoli, or kale.


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Brussels Sprout Carbonara is a hearty, comforting 30 minute meal ~

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30 Responses to Brussels Sprout Carbonara

  1. Leah Halverson says:

    This dish was VERY tasty! Can it be frozen? We have a baby on the way and I am trying to freeze meals.

    • Sue says:

      I don’t usually freeze pasta Leah, sorry, so I can’t be of much help here. This dish is fairly easy to prepare, so I might suggest not bothering to make this particular one ahead. Good luck with the new baby!!

  2. I can totally have my kids devour this without minding the greens at all. Amazing Sue!

  3. Love this! But, to be truthful, I’d be the guy browning the edges of all those sprouts strips. Slightly sautéed just doesn’t have enough oomph to say dinner.

    • Sue says:

      That’s why I mention the option to cut them in wedges — you could get some browning on those — roasted Brussels sprouts are unbelievable, I agree!

  4. sippitysup says:

    I love every version of carbonara and this is particularly luscious. GREG

  5. Loving this beautiful dish, Sue. It’s funny because I often think the same thing when the idea of carbonara pops into my head – too simple. Well, simple is best and when you add gorgeous fresh veggies, it rules! A great dish!

  6. cheri says:

    What a heavenly meal you have created Sue, my husband loves Brussel sprouts. Pinned!

  7. Sue, just had to Pin this one! Sending it to the top of my must-make-soon list!

  8. Susan says:

    Yum! Looks like jazzed up Straw and Hay! I just saw new Brussels sprouts at the market! It’s almost time for all those autumn dishes! This one’s going into the rotation!

  9. Monique says:

    I recently made an Orecchiette charred brussel sprout carbonara and it’s on our fave list too..must compare..So delicious! And have to make again soon:)

  10. As a long time hater of Brussel Sprouts I just would have ignored this recipe but my son-in-law put me on the spot when he cooked a meal for us, grilling a variety of foods. It was a good meal, and Props to the SIL for cooking. But, he grilled the hated B.S. I had to try them, or not support his growth in being a supportive husband. To my total shock these things were delicious. I got his recipe, of course. I duplicated it using my oven broiler.
    So I’m combining that method with your recipe.
    Then I get to tell him about this dish.
    Makes us Even-Steven, right?

    • Sue says:

      Broiled or roasted Brussels sprouts are unbelievable, that’s how I discovered them, too. True believers have even referred to them as ‘candy’ — I have to agree ;)

  11. Tara says:

    This carbonara looks amazing! I love the addition of the brussels sprouts. So bright and colorful.

  12. A simply gorgeous meal made even more so by your photos!

  13. Sue, I really like your idea of adding the brussels sprouts. Adds great flavor and texture.

  14. What a terrific idea, marrying these two. A must do. And it’s family approved, too!

  15. Lisa says:

    Yum! Brussels sprouts and carbonara-I need this in my life very soon!

  16. Nupur says:

    Thats very new! The combo. I would have never thought to mix these two.

    Lovely photos! Glad I came here through FBC :)

    • Sue says:

      We were so pleasantly surprised by it, I’ve actually made several pasta dishes with Brussels sprouts and they’ve all been really great.

  17. You are forever amazing me with your wonderful takes on classic recipes. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve never made pasta carbonara but I think I know where to start! This one’s way more interesting!

  18. I have to admit – I’ve never made carbonara! But it sounds fantastic and I love that you used Brussels Sprouts – the green is so pretty. Nothing better than a simple, but flavorful, satisfying meal! Have a great weekend Sue :)

  19. Still no sight of Brussels Sprouts over here..I really love this winter veggie. And you are right, it makes sense to pair them with rich carbonara. YUM!

    • Sue says:

      We have them all year round in our supermarkets, but I also see them at the farmers market, so they must grown year round here. This is family approved, Angie, hope you try it once your sprouts arrive!

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