This lightened-up version of the classic Italian dish of spaghetti alla carbonara is pure magic. Enjoy the satisfying creaminess or carbonara pasta made better for you with healthy swaps that keep the points low but the flavor showing up in full force. 

Traditional carbonara is made with pancetta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Here we use a combination of whole-wheat spaghetti and spiralized zucchini, swap some of the cheese with a slurry to thicken the sauce, and use turkey bacon to keep points low.

Creamy Weight Watchers-friendly Light Carbonara on a dish.
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Why You Should Try This Carbonara

Carbonara dishes are always delightful; that creamy pasta with a strong Parmesan aroma is unbeatable. Having a Weight Watchers-friendly carbonara recipe is almost a blessing. 

This recipe comes together in a snap; you don’t even need to plan ahead with frozen ingredients. If you want a zero-point meal, use only zucchini pasta to see the full potential of this dish. This is one of the few ways I’ve found to sneak vegetables into my kids’ meals, making this recipe a bundle of advantages.

Servings: 4

Serving Size: 260 g.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

5 WW Points Per Serving. You can view the recipe on the WW App here. (WW login required.)

Ingredients:

Light carbonara ingredients of whole-wheat pasta, spiralized zucchini, onion, egg yolk, cornstarch, fresh parmesan, and turkey ham in separate dishes.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (4.5 ml)
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 100 g)
  • 1 cup smoked turkey ham, diced (150 g)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (8 g)
  • 1 cup skim milk (240 ml)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti (240 g)
  • 2 cups raw zucchini noodles (200 g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (25 g, optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Ingredients: Cook the whole wheat spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente, then set aside. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles and set aside as well.
  2. Mix the Cornstarch and Milk: In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, and cornstarch with the skim milk. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved to avoid lumps.
  3. Sauté the Onion and Turkey Ham: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the finely chopped white onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the diced smoked turkey ham and cook until the pieces are lightly browned and crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Combine and Cook: Reduce the skillet heat to low. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the skillet with the sautéed onions and turkey ham. Stir continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. As the mixture heats, it will start to thicken.
  5. Add the Spaghetti and Zucchini Noodles: Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the cooked whole wheat spaghetti and raw zucchini noodles to the skillet. Toss everything together to ensure the noodles are well-coated with the sauce. Continue to cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, just until the zucchini noodles are slightly tender but still crisp.
  6. Adjust Seasoning and Serve: Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. If you prefer a richer flavor, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately to enjoy the creamy consistency of the carbonara.
Starch, egg yolks, and milk being mixed into a slurry in a bowl.
Onions and turkey ham browning in a pan.
Sauce mixture poured over the browned turkey ham and onions in a pan.
All of the sauce ingredients in a pan with pasta and spiralized zucchini.

Variations and Substitutions

  1. Use Turkey Bacon: I thought of this after making the recipe, but I’m sure it would be even better.
  2. Minimize Points: Use only zucchini instead of combining it with traditional spaghetti.
  3. Add Chicken Cubes: Though not traditional, I often do this. Add cooked chicken cubes for a complete meal. (If I don’t eat lean protein, I’m hungry again soon.)

Tips and Tricks for Making Carbonara

  1. Avoid Scrambled Eggs: The most crucial part of this recipe is ensuring the eggs don’t scramble. First, sauté the onions and smoked turkey ham until crispy. Separately, beat the milk with the egg yolks and cornstarch. Incorporate this mixture into the pan, and as soon as the cornstarch begins to thicken, add the pasta. So, the key tip is to have the spaghetti (both wheat and zucchini) ready before starting the sauce.
  2. Serve Immediately: This recipe is best served fresh to maintain the creamy consistency of the pasta.

Adjust Parmesan to Taste: If you like, you can add more Parmesan. I find it too high in points and the strong flavor means a little goes a long way, but you can add as much as you like since the traditional recipe does contain more.

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Weight Watchers Carbonara

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Creamy Weight Watchers-friendly Light Carbonara on a dish.
A Weight Watchers version of this creamy Italian pasta dish.

Ingredients 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, 4.5 ml
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped (about 100 g)
  • 1 cup smoked turkey ham, diced (150 g)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 8 g
  • 1 cup skim milk, 240 ml
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups cooked whole wheat spaghetti, 240 g
  • 2 cups raw zucchini noodles, 200 g
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 25 g, optional

Instructions 

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Cook the whole wheat spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente, then set aside. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles and set aside as well.
  • Mix the Cornstarch and Milk: In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, and cornstarch with the skim milk. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved to avoid lumps.
  • Sauté the Onion and Turkey Ham: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the finely chopped white onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the diced smoked turkey ham and cook until the pieces are lightly browned and crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Combine and Cook: Reduce the skillet heat to low. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the skillet with the sautéed onions and turkey ham. Stir continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. As the mixture heats, it will start to thicken.
  • Add the Spaghetti and Zucchini Noodles: Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the cooked whole wheat spaghetti and raw zucchini noodles to the skillet. Toss everything together to ensure the noodles are well-coated with the sauce. Continue to cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes, just until the zucchini noodles are slightly tender but still crisp.
  • Adjust Seasoning and Serve: Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. If you prefer a richer flavor, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately to enjoy the creamy consistency of the carbonara.

Notes

5 WW Points per serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 259gCalories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 13gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 881mgPotassium: 346mgFiber: 3.6gSugar: 6.3gCalcium: 104mgIron: 1.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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