Creamy Parmesan Carbonara Chicken is one of those recipes I came up with years ago when following low carb diets and this recipe includes BOTH low carb AND low fat options! However, I’ve included full fat + carb options also!
Usually, a traditional carbonara sauce is made with reserved pasta water, eggs and parmesan cheese, all mixed through cooked/warm pasta to create a creamy sauce. Even though this recipe contains NO EGG, I’ve kept all of your favourite carbonara flavours for when the craving hits!
Dying for a big, full bowl of pasta smothered in a carbonara sauce back then, I opted for something even better. Chicken. Beautiful, juicy golden chicken fillets, swimming in the most amazing creamy bacon ‘carbonara-inspired’ sauce.
— Dredging the chicken in flour is optional. For a LOW CARB version, dredge chicken in parmesan cheese before searing, leaving out the flour. Alternatively, coat with an almond flour/parmesan cheese mixture, using the same measurements in the recipe.
— For a LOW CALORIE + LOW CARB version, sear the chicken without coating.
— I use half and half to cut calories in creamy sauces. Half and Half is an American product blending equal parts whole milk and light cream. If you don’t have access to half and half, you can make your own with 3/4 cup full fat milk and 3/4 cup reduced fat cream.
— You can substitute half and half with reduced fat cream or evaporated milk. For a full fat version, use full fat cream.
For The Chicken:
- 2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts , halved horizontally to make 4 filets
- 2 heaping tablespoons flour (all purpose or plain)
- 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cracked pepper
For The Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons butter (or sub with oil)
- 8- ounces | 250 grams bacon , trimmed of fat and cut into strips (I use shortcut bacon in Australia)
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 6 large cloves garlic , minced or finely chopped
- 1-1/2 cups half and half (or use reduced fat cream or evaporated milk)*
- 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (cornflour) mixed with 2 teaspoons of water
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and parmesan cheese. Dredge seasoned chicken in the flour mixture; shake off excess and set aside.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large non stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until butter has melted and pan is hot. Fry the chicken until golden on each side, cooked through and no longer pink (about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken). Transfer onto a warm plate.
- Add the bacon strips to the pan and fry until crispy. Drain off some excess fat, keeping about 1 teaspoons worth in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until onion is transparent (about 1 minute). Reduce heat to low heat, and add the half and half (or cream). Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer; season with a little salt and pepper to your taste. Add in the parmesan cheese, and allow the sauce to simmer until the parmesan cheese has melted slightly. (If the sauce is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch/water mixture into the centre of the pan and mix through fast to combine into the sauce. It will begin to thicken immediately).
- Add the chicken back into the pan to serve.
- Serve with steamed vegetables (broccoli and/or cauliflower work best), over zucchini noodles, your favourite pasta, or rice.