Olive Garden Carbonara

Delight in the creamy allure of Olive Garden Carbonara, an Italian masterpiece on a plate! A velvety white sauce enriched with luxurious Fontina cheese reaches new culinary heights with the addition of crispy bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and fragrant scallions. This magnificent sauce is tossed with pasta and crowned with Parmesan cheese. Every forkful promises a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

Copycat Olive Garden carbonara in a large bowl.


Olive Garden Carbonara

Olive Garden is known for its delicious Italian-style food. While it isn’t entirely authentic Italian food, it is made fresh every day, and it tastes completely delicious.

One of the most popular pasta dishes they serve is their take on Spaghetti Carbonara. Their version of the sauce differs from the traditional Italian version, as this one is a creamy sauce enhanced by bacon and mushrooms. It is a lot like Alfredo Sauce but with an extra kick.

Quick and Easy Pasta Dinner

Best of all this dinner takes about 20 minutes or so to prepare. You can make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

This dish is perfect for dinner on a weeknight because it can be put together quickly, and it is hearty enough to make a good solid meal.

To make this a complete meal I like to serve this up with a garden salad and perhaps some garlic bread.

Recipe Ingredients

Olive Garden Spaghetti Carbonara is made with very basic ingredients. So be assured that you can find the ingredients you will need to recreate this dish at home. You don’t need to worry about finding anything that is too exotic.

Here’s a list of what you need to prepare this rich carbonara sauce and pasta dish:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Thick cut bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Sliced fresh mushrooms
  • Scallions
  • Spaghetti or other long pasta such as fettuccine or angel hair.
  • Fresh parsley
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fontina cheese
Copycat Olive Garden carbonara ingredients on a tray.

How to Make Olive Garden Carbonara

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add milk, salt, and pepper to the pan. Whisk until the mixture barely comes to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking until the sauce thickens.
Flour and melted butter in a saucepan.
White sauce for carbonara in a saucepan.
  1. Add the Fontina cheese into the sauce and stir until it melts into the sauce. Keep warm.
  2. Cook bacon until crispy, drain, and into small pieces.
  3. Add bacon to the sauce.
Adding cheese to white sauce for carbonara.
Cooked bacon pieces in a skillet.
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and minced scallions and sauté until mushrooms have softened.
  3. Add the mushrooms and scallions to the sauce.
  4. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions, drain it well, and add it to the sauce.
Sauteed mushrooms and scallions in a skillet.
cooked spaghetti noodles in a colander.
  1. Add parsley to the sauce.
  2. Stir everything together and transfer it to a serving dish.
  3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley all over the top and serve it immediately.

If you want to add a little crunch, top it with some toasted panko bread crumbs.

Copycat Olive Garden carbonara pasta in a bowl.

What to serve with Olive Garden spaghetti carbonara

Want to serve more than a bowl of pasta? Here are three ideas for dishes to accompany your carbonara.

  • Insalata Caprese: A simple Italian salad made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. The light and refreshing taste of the salad contrasts nicely with the richness of the Carbonara.
  • Garlic Bread or Bruschetta: Garlic bread is a great side dish to sop up the creamy Carbonara sauce. Alternatively, bruschetta topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic offers a crunchy texture and new flavors that can be a nice contrast to the creaminess of the pasta.
  • Roasted Vegetables: You can roast vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, or broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper. These roasted vegetables can provide a slightly charred flavor and a change in texture that complements the smooth and creamy sauce of the Carbonara.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store your leftover pasta with carbonara sauce in an airtight container in your fridge. It will last up to three days. If you know you won’t consume all the pasta carbonara in one sitting, store the pasta and sauce in separate containers.

If stored separately, reheat the sauce in a small saucepan on the stovetop. Heat the sauce gently and slowly. You may want to add a bit more milk or cream. Add the pasta and toss to combine.

If stored combined, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 30-second increments until heated through, stirring between each increment. You may need to add a little milk, half and half, or heavy cream if it is dry because the pasta has soaked up the sauce.

I hope you give this recipe a try soon. Pasta carbonara is always on my shortlist of recipe ideas because the ingredients are easy to find. And this recipe can be made and put on the dinner table in a very short time.

A bowl of copycat Olive Garden carbonara.

More Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

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Check out more of my easy Italian recipes and the best Olive Garden recipes here on CopyKat!

Copycat Olive Garden carbonara in a large bowl.

Olive Garden Carbonara

Enjoy Olive Garden's not so traditional take on Carbonara sauce.
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Olive Garden Recipes, Spaghetti Carbonara
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 729kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 6 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese freshly grated
  • 18 ounces extra-thick bacon cooked crisp and chopped to 1/4 inch
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and scallions and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and golden. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and stir vigorously with a wire whisk until the mixture barely comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently while the sauce thickens. Add the Fontina, bacon, and sauteed vegetables, and stir until the cheese melts. Keep warm.
  • Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain well.
  • Add the spaghetti and parsley to the sauce, mix well, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 729kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 825mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 262mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. alberta

    I have made the olive garden salad dressing, it is so darn good,my husband wants it all the time now, he even got into making it, I just found your web site and I cant seem to get off it, I just love it…thank you so much ,,alberta

  2. home chef

    Hmmm, this seemed to have too much milk added to it. I think I’ll add Fontina cheese next time too like someone else suggested.

    • stephaniemanley

      MaLinda, I don’t think the Olive Garden is always “authentic” Italian food, its close. I don’t name recipes, I just try to duplicate them.

    • Ken

      4 stars
      Carbonara means charcoal maker. Traditionally it was made by the men making charcoal for Italian kitchens. They used what they had on hand so yes it was eggs. This is very close to Olive Garden’s recipe. I know, I was an O G general manager and won a local chefs cook off with this dish. To use raw eggs I a restaurant setting would be asking for disaster. I came looking for this recipe. Thanks

  3. Ashley_niceley

    I used to work at the Olive Garden and the sauce they used was a Fontina sauce including Fontina cheese. This recipe is close, but to be even closer you would need to put grated Fontina cheese in the white sauce.

  4. Nicky Deliz

    OMG! I’m soooo happy to see a carbonara recipe that does not have the raw egg! I have nothing against the recipes that do, but with someone with food allergies (eggs, especially raw egg yolk), it’s great to see a recipe that allows me to enjoy food that normally I wouldn’t be able to eat. THANK YOU!

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