Breakfast Pasta Carbonara

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My Breakfast Pasta Carbonara recipe with leftover ham, apple wood smoked bacon, eggs, garlic, Parmesan and a handful of fresh parsley is an irresistible skillet pasta!

Breakfast pasta carbonara is perfect for the most important meal of the day.

I have to say, this easy pasta recipe is a pretty good multi-tasker.  It managed to snap me out of a 4-am-round-trip-to-LAX induced stupor, it distracted me from the fact that one daughter was here and gone in a five day flash, it gently eased me back into blogging after the holiday hiatus, and it even fed a couple of ravenous late rising 20 year-olds.  I’d say that’s one talented pasta.

Fresh herbs are non-negotiable in this comforting meal.

I’m so happy that the recent rains brought my herb garden back to life.  I finally gave up trying to water it during our recent heatwave and it was frizzled down to nothing by November.  I love it when a plant magically pops back on its own.  Parsley and chives are pretty good at that, and it’s so helpful to have them on hand when you get the yen for a quick dish like this that really benefits from even a small amount of fresh herbs.

True pasta carbonara contains no cream

The ‘creaminess’ comes from the eggs, cheese, and a little starchy pasta water and it’s pure satisfying comfort food.  I use thin spaghetti to keep it on the lighter side.  The combination of salty ham, crisp bacon, fresh parsley and creamy egg and Parmesan ‘sauce’ makes an irresistible breakfast lunch or dinner.

Don’t forget to shower your breakfast pasta with lots of coarse black pepper. 

And don’t be afraid to pair it with a cup of strong coffee.  Yes, coffee. This is a breakfast pasta, remember? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Breakfast Pasta

I adore my Lodge cast iron skillet and it’s the perfect tool for this job!

Looking for more hearty breakfast ideas?

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3.73 from 29 votes

Breakfast Pasta

Breakfast Pasta ~ it's modeled after pasta carbonara, but with a heavier emphasis on the meat and eggs.  I used the ever present leftover ham, and a few slices of apple wood smoked bacon for this magical skillet pasta!
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 3/4 lb thin spaghetti
  • 4 slices apple wood smoked bacon
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • about a cup of chopped leftover ham
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • extra large handful chopped parsley
  • salt and coarse ground fresh pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta in salted water until just al dente.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet until it's crisp. Add the ham and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add a little olive oil if the bacon didn't render much fat.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cheese into the beaten eggs, and grind some black pepper in as well.
  • When the pasta is ready, drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet and toss, along with the egg and cheese mixture, and parsley. Continue tossing over medium heat, adding a little of the reserved pasta water, until the eggs are cooked and the sauce is silky and thick. Add salt (if necessary) and more pepper to taste.
  • Serve with extra parsley and cheese as garnish.


Breakfast Pasta ~ it's modeled after pasta carbonara, but with a heavier emphasis on the meat and eggs. I used the ever present leftover ham, and a few slices of apple wood smoked bacon for this magical skillet pasta! #breakfastpasta #pasta #breakfast #brunch #eggs #bacon #carbonara #skilletmeal

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    We tried this with our leftover ham and it was incredible! We have a new post holiday tradition in our house, thanks Sue!!

  • Reply
    Donna Lendach
    November 1, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    This would make a great lunch, along with a green salad. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      November 1, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      I love this any time of the day, it’s addictive!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Hi Sue, this is my first time visiting your blog, and I can’t wait to try out this recipe. Just out of curiosity, is the restaurant you mention 17th Street Cafe, in L.A.? They make a delicious breakfast pasta like this, and I have been dying to try out a recipe similar to theirs (which is why I am so excited to make your pasta!). Just curious. Thank you for sharing the deliciousness!

    • Reply
      September 24, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Hey Radina—no, it was Hugo’s. There’s one in West Hollywood and one in Sherman Oaks, maybe more, I’m not sure. Now you’ve got me curious about the 17th st cafe 🙂

  • Reply
    January 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    wow.. amazing! bacon makes everything better 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    January 2, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I felt so sad when my daughter left last week. It’s a good thing I didn’t have this pasta to drown my sorrows in. I would have easily eaten the whole skillet. Great recipe.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    i’m pretty sure i’ve never even considered having pasta for breakfast, much less actually done it! tasty idea, sue!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 3:35 am

    I have breakfast/lunch/dinner for the week. And guess what? Have all the ingredients. Happy New Year 2013! May it bring all good things.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I hope that 2013 brings as many riches as the past year. I have a good ind to start my year off with breakfast pasta fro good luck.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    December 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Now, THAT’S my idea of a good plate of pasta! And for breakfast? Even better! Breakfast of champions, I say! And I am a bit jealous that you can go out and pick fresh herbs at this time of year! Mine are finally covered with snow!

    Happy New Year, Sue! I look forward to seeing all the delish posts you’ll be putting up in 2013!

  • Reply
    Joy Bee
    December 30, 2012 at 2:02 am

    This is such an interesting idea. I would never think of pasta for breakfast, but this looks amazing. It will be added to my list of ‘must tries’.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    December 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Sue, I just love how you always have something unique and delicious at the same time. This sounds wonderful and such a departure from the everyday! Love, love, love it

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    December 29, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Love this! Nice presentation in the cast-iron skillet.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I was up early comforting the cats who were terrified by a short bout of thunder. When I opened the post I found myself envious of the warn hearty breakfast (as opposed to my almond butter toast). New Year’s rez will definitely be, “Think and cook like Sue!”

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      🙂 That thunder was a surprise. They make this at Hugos, I think it was one of the first places we went and the first thing we ordered when me moved here, and it’s still one of my favorites.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    December 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks Lea Ann, I am a late comer to cast-iron, and I’m using it all the time lately.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    December 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    How could I knock this?? it’s perfection! If there’s enough of it, it could be breakfast, lunch and dinner as far as I’m concerned!
    Mary x

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      It went pretty quick in our house, but I like it for breakfast. Just as filling as oatmeal, but a lot more interesting!

  • Reply
    Nantucket Daffodil
    December 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Drooling…..again. My husband and I have decided we are opening an Inn, and you are officially hired! Ok????

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    December 29, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    This is a pasta I love..

    Never thought of it for breakfast..
    I eat lightly..yogurt..flax..chia:)

    But for dinner? Perfect!