Chicken recipes can sometimes get boring, but this keto chicken carbonara recipe is nowhere near dull. If you’re looking for a filling meal that delivers a creamy, flavorful punch, this is for you!
Chicken on its own can become repetitive and boring. For me, preparing chicken is really all about the seasoning and flavors added to the dish. While I’ll always love a good piece of grilled chicken, sometimes I just need more.
One-Pan Keto Chicken Carbonara
Besides the amazing flavors this recipe has to offer, it couldn’t be easier to prepare. I love serving this recipe because the rich flavors are reminiscent of restaurant fare. But the whole thing cooks easily in one pan. I’m all about efficiency, and one-pan meals are great for getting delicious meals on the table quickly for my hungry boys.
The Secret Ingredient in Keto Chicken Carbonara
Let’s talk more about those ingredients though. This dish utilizes one of my favorite kitchen hacks — bacon. Bacon’s a kitchen hack? Yes, yes it is! Let me explain…
After cooking the bacon, some of the bacon fat is reserved to cook the chicken. Bacon pairs well with many meals, but using the bacon fat in this recipe really incorporates the flavor. I’ve found it’s the key for preparing super flavorful chicken recipes!
After seasoning and cooking the chicken, we’ll remove it from the pan and start on the onions and garlic. Saute the onions until tender, add the garlic, and continue to saute another 30 seconds.
Heavy whipping cream and chicken broth are added to the pan to create the base of the sauce.
Since this meal cooks in one pan, all the ingredient bits on the bottom of the pan are still a part of the recipe. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the skillet to incorporate these ingredients.
Parmesan cheese, basil, and Italian seasoning are added to complete the delicious sauce. Before adding the chicken back into the skillet, toss the bacon and spinach in and cook until the spinach starts to wilt.
Toss the cooked chicken in the completed sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. Let this mixture simmer for a few more minutes, serve and enjoy!
Fresh vs. Frozen Spinach in Keto Chicken Carbonara
Can you use frozen spinach in this recipe? Absolutely. Which is better? Well, they each have pros and cons.
Since it was likely frozen close to time of harvest, frozen spinach could potentially offer more nutrients. But while convenient to keep on hand, it is also susceptible to freezer burn.
We all know too well, freezer burn greatly affects the flavor of its victim. If you choose frozen spinach, try to avoid spinach that’s spent too long hanging out in the freezer!
Fresh spinach, when used closer to the time of purchase, is also going to offer those great nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Iron, and folic acid. Produce starts to lose its nutrients after harvest, so it’s best to use fresh ingredients as quickly as possible. However, it’s not quite as convenient to keep fresh spinach on hand, since it can go bad much more quickly.
35 Minute Keto Chicken Carbonara
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 Pieces cooked bacon crumbled
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease reserved from cooking the bacon
- ½ cup Onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup Chicken broth
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Fresh chopped basil
- 2-3 cups Fresh spinach
- Cook the bacon until crispy, and then crumble into pieces.
- Place 1 tbsp of the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with the garlic powder, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Continue to saute the chicken until it is completely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the ½ cup of chopped onion and saute for a few minutes until it starts to become tender.
- Add in the minced garlic, and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the heavy whipping cream and the chicken broth, scraping the bits off the bottom of the skillet.
- Mix in the parmesan cheese, chopped basil and Italian seasoning.
- Toss in the crumbled bacon, and 2-3 cups of fresh spinach. Cook until the spinach has begun to wilt.
- Add the chicken back into the skillet, and toss to coat in the sauce. Sprinkle in additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer the mixture for 3-5 minutes longer, and serve.
If You Loved Keto Chicken Carbonara…
You won’t want to miss these quick and delicious keto meals you can throw together!
- Broccoli Cheese Soup (with bacon!)
- 30 Minute Recipe: Parmesan Salmon and Veggies
- 30 Minute Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps
- Allergen-Friendly Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
And if you’re looking for more ideas, here’s our BIG list of 30 minute keto dinner recipes!