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Tortellini Carbonara

Tortellini Carbonara features all the flavors you love in a creamy carbonara but with bacon and cheese tortellini!

A CLASSIC DINNER WITH A TWIST

This insanely easy Tortellini Carbonara recipe is a twist on the classic Italian dish, combining cheesy tortellini with a creamy, bacon-infused sauce. Not only is it incredibly flavorful, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can whip up a restaurant-quality meal right in your own kitchen.

A large plate of Tortellini Carbonara.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I use frozen tortellini?

Sure, I made this Tortellini Carbonara with fresh tortellini, but you could use frozen. Just cook it according to the directions on the package.

Can I use pancetta instead of bacon?

You bet! For a more traditional carbonara recipe, swap out the bacon for some pancetta.

Why did my tortellini fall apart?

Typically this happens if you overcooked the tortellini. Cook your tortellini to just a tad bit before al dente since it will continue to cook in the sauce a bit. Usually, that means cooking them about 2 minutes less than the package directions.

Why do the ingredients need to be room temperature?

Using room temperature heavy cream, egg yolks, and grated Parmesan cheese help to create a smooth and creamy sauce without curdling the ingredients.

How can I thin out my sauce a bit? It’s too thick!

No worries! I recommend saving some pasta water once you drain the tortellini. Using starchy pasta water helps to adjust the sauce consistency if you need to. Only add a little at a time so you don’t make it too runny though since it’s difficult to thicken it back up.

What else can I add?

Options are endless, add in whatever you like. Here are a few favorite options:
sautéed mushrooms, diced cooked chicken, or roasted cherry tomatoes.
Make sure to hold off on adding additional salt until you taste it since the bacon can be salty already. Add pepper as you see fit.

How to store leftovers?

Let your Tortellini Carbonara cool to room temperature, but don’t wait longer than 2 hours for food safety. Then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or 2-3 months in the freezer.
Just remember that it is common for any cream-based sauce dishes to change texture when they’re stored or reheated. So when you reheat your leftovers, you will want to add a splash of milk or cream to help get that creamy consistency back.

A serving utensil holding a scoop of Tortellini Carbonara.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • cheese & spinach tortellini – this could be swapped out for just cheese tortellini, or any other tortellini variety that you enjoy.
  • thick cut bacon– can also use any other type of bacon you prefer. If you only have regular bacon, just use that.
  • heavy cream– if you don’t have this, try half and half or whole milk. You may end up with a thinner sauce though. Don’t use anything lighter than whole milk.
  • egg yolks – really important that these be room temperature.
  • shredded parmesan cheese– room temperature. Save some extra to use as an optional garnish. You could use Pecorino Romano cheese, which is a similar hard Italian cheese with a slightly saltier and tangier flavor than Parmesan. I think it melts better when it is freshly grated if you have the time.
  • frozen peas– you can use canned peas. Just be careful when mixing them in, fold them in gently so they don’t get crushed and become part of the sauce. Canned peas won’t have the bright color that frozen ones do.
Tortellini, frozen peas, egg yolks, bacon, parmesan cheese, and heavy cream.

HOW TO MAKE TORTELLINI CARBONARA

Cook the tortellini according to package directions (cook for about 2 minutes less than al dente directions.) Drain then set to the side. Note: save some of the pasta water in case you want to thin out your pasta sauce later. 

In a large skillet, cook the bacon for 5-7 minutes or until slightly crispy. Drain off all but 1 ½ Tablespoons of the bacon grease (keeping the bacon and reserved bacon grease in the skillet) Turn heat down to low.

collage of two photos: cooked tortellini in a pot; cooked bacon pieces in a skillet.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolks and parmesan cheese until fully combined. Slowly add the cream mixture to the skillet, whisking constantly. Then mix in the peas. 

Continue stirring until the sauce starts to simmer and the cheese begins to melt. If necessary, gently increase the heat to medium low. If you feel your sauce is too thick, slowly add in a little of the pasta water at a time to thin it out. Stir in the tortellini.

collage of three photos: a bowl with heavy cream, egg yolks and parmesan cheese; frozen peas added to cream mixture in skillet; cooked tortellini added to skillet.

Cook for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the tortellini is completely coated with sauce and cooked through and tender.Serve hot, garnished with extra parmesan cheese.

A big pot of Tortellini Carbonara.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Close up looking at a plate of Tortellini Carbonara.

Tortellini Carbonara

Creamy, cheesy, with peas, bacon and cheese tortellini, this Tortellini Carbonara is packed with flavor!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce package cheese & spinach tortellini
  • 8 ounces thick cut bacon, chopped (1/2 of a 16 ounce package)
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks room temperature
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese room temperature
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • extra parmesan cheese (optional garnish)

Instructions

  • Cook the 12 ounce package cheese & spinach tortellini according to package directions (cook for about 2 minutes less than al dente directions.) Drain then set to the side. Note: save some of the pasta water in case you want to thin out your pasta sauce later.
    tortellini in a pot.
  • In a large skillet, cook 8 ounces thick cut bacon, chopped for 5-7 minutes or until slightly crispy. Drain off all but 1 ½ Tablespoons of the bacon grease (keeping the bacon and reserved bacon grease in the skillet) Turn heat down to low.
    cooked bacon pieces in a skillet.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 ¼ cup heavy cream, 3 egg yolks, and ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese until fully combined.
    A bowl with heavy cream, egg yolks and parmesan cheese.
  • Slowly add the cream mixture to the skillet, whisking constantly.
  • Then mix in ¾ cup frozen peas.
    Peas and a cream sauce in a skillet.
  • Continue stirring until the sauce starts to simmer and the cheese begins to melt. If necessary, gently increase the heat to medium low. If you feel your sauce is too thick, slowly add in a little of the pasta water at a time to thin it out.
  • Stir in the cooked tortellini.
    Tortellini on top of other ingredients in a skillet.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the tortellini is completely coated with sauce and cooked through and tender. Serve hot, garnished with extra parmesan cheese.
    A big pot of Tortellini Carbonara.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 891kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 64g | Sodium: 1164mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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