Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara recipe is creamy and on the table in less than 30 minutes! Spaghetti coated in a light carbonara sauce and topped with peas and thick cut bacon. It’s my favorite!!
What You Will Love About Cheesecake Factory’s Carbonara
This Cheesecake Factory Pasta Carbonara Recipe is easy to make – and you’re basically doing everything at once! I love the thick cut meaty bacon on top. The sauce has a very light consistency – definitely not a thick heavy alfredo It’s so yummy! I made double the recipe just for the leftovers!
Cheesecake Factory Carbonara Ingredients
So here’s where I was a little stunned – there’s no eggs in this carbonara. That’s like THE MAIN INGREDIENT in a carbonara!!! When I’m tackling a copycat – I look to the restaurant website first and see what I can find. For this I went to the allergen menu – their Pasta Carbonara has dairy but no eggs. Uh – ok! So here’s what you’ll need for this egg-free carbonara. (aka – basically – it’s a light alfredo sauce)
- 8 ounces spaghetti – any pasta will be fine – use what you have and like (even spaghettini or penne)
- 4 slices bacon – I like to use thick cut smoked bacon
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas – fresh peas work as well
- Garlic-Parmesan Cream Sauce
- 5 tablespoons butter – I use salted but you can use either salted or unsalted
- 1 tsp minced garlic – or use 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice – because I wasn’t using any other lemon – I used bottled juice
- 1/2 cup heavy cream – you could use half and half if you want to lighten it up a bit
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese – please don’t buy pre-grated Parmesan!!! It doesn’t have any flavor! Buy a wedge of real Parmesan Reggiano or Romano cheese. You will never turn back!
How to Make Carbonara Pasta like the Cheesecake Factory
This pasta dish is pretty easy – but you sort of need all hands on deck because you’re making everything all at once. But it’s easy and quick to make.
- Boil a large pot of water for your spaghetti. (Add 1 tbsp salt to water)
- While water is boiling, in a skillet over medium high heat, fry bacon. When bacon is done to your liking, lay slices on paper towel to drain. Once cooled, break bacon up into 1/2 inch bite-sized pieces.
- Pour out all but 1 tsp of oil from skillet, add peas and stir gently over medium heat until heated through. Set peas aside in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Rinse and wipe out skillet to remove grease.
- When water is boiling, add your pasta. Cook for 9 minutes or until al dente (whatever your package directions say). When you drop pasta, you can start your sauce.
- Over medium heat, in cleaned skillet or pan, melt butter.
- Add minced garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard and lemon juice
- Lower heat – Add heavy cream and parmesan cheese and boil until reduced by one-third.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta.
- Add drained noodles to the skillet over low heat and toss with cream sauce. Add in 1/3 cup of the reserved cooking water to add creaminess. (Add more if you want to loosen the sauce more.)
- Serve immediately, top with bacon pieces, heated peas, grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh Italian parsley.
Tips, Tricks & FAQs
Well no – traditional carbonara gets its creaminess from eggs instead of cream. But if you review the allergens on the Cheesecake Factory site – this recipe has dairy but no eggs. And they label it a “Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce”. So basically – this is Carbonara only in name.
I never use canned peas – they’re mushy. But yes – fresh peas can be used interchangeably. Either will heat thru in just 1-2 minutes.
Yes – you can make bacon in the air fryer – or even in the oven.
Well there’s salt in the butter and the cheese and the bacon – so you don’t need any more! 😉
This carbonara has a cream sauce which will thicken up after refrigeration. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to a week – or freeze up to three months. If you have more than one portion, add a little milk and reheat in a saucepan. If one portion, add a little milk (or even water) and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Traditional – If you’re wanting a more traditional carbonara made with eggs – try this Tuna Carbonara recipe (don’t like tuna – just leave it out)
- Protein – this does have bacon, but you can easily air fry a marinated chicken breast for 11-12 minutes and add that to the pasta
- More Veggies – I think this dish would be delicious with mushrooms – you could add sliced mushrooms with the peas
- Spice Level – If you like more spice, you could add red pepper flakes to the cream sauce. Want more? Add Smoked Chipotle Seasoning or Jerk Seasoning to the cream sauce for an added kick.
Cheesecake Factory Carbonara Recipe
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Boil a large pot of salted water for your spaghetti.
- While water is boiling, in a skillet over medium high heat, fry bacon. When bacon is done to your liking, lay slices on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, dice into 1/2 inch pieces.4 slices bacon
- Pour out all but 1 tsp of oil from skillet, add peas and stir gently over medium heat until heated through. Set peas aside in a bowl and cover to keep warm.1/2 cup frozen peas
- Rinse and wipe out skillet to remove grease.
- When water is boiling, add your pasta. Cook for 9 minutes or until al dente. When you drop pasta, you can start your sauce.8 oz spaghetti
- Over medium heat, in cleaned skillet, melt butter.5 tbsp butter
- Add minced garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard and lemon juice1 tsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp lemon juice
- Lower heat – Add heavy cream and parmesan cheese and boil until reduced by one-third.1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Dice bacon
- Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta.
- Add drained pasta to the skillet over low heat and toss with cream sauce. Add in a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce and add creaminess. (I used about 1/3 cup)
- Serve immediately, top with diced bacon, heated peas, grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.