This carbonara-inspired Greek kale pasta is a one-of-a-kind pasta dinner. The flavors of carbonara sauce (bacon!) are combined with elements of Greek cuisine for a savory and delicious dish.
First off, I want to say if you are looking for a carbonara recipe, let me know and I will direct you to several amazing recipes. This is NOT a carbonara recipe.
This recipe is loosely inspired by carbonara sauce and I really struggled with how to name it. It borrows ideas from several common recipes and the end result is really something all its own. It may become my signature dish because I think it’s pretty unique. You’ll see, just wait.
This recipe’s conception started as ground chicken meatballs that were too juicy to stick together. I got a little frustrated and decided, instead of adding ingredients to dry up the meat, that I was just gonna cook it as is. It became a sauce addition and we loved it.
The next time I made it, I scratched the ground meat for bacon because…. bacon. I mean, come on, can you ever go wrong with bacon?
Then I realized, hey bacon – egg – pasta. This kind of reminds me of spaghetti carbonara, which I love. But … no Parmesan cheese in the house. And I had added those panko bread crumbs (remember, this started as a meatball.)
I told my doctor I would start eating healthier so I whipped up a sauce of non-fat greek yogurt, garlic and lemon juice. I threw this in with the cooked bacon/egg/panko mixture. And yum, I was so in love with the smells that I just couldn’t resist eating a bite or two.
I had a big pot of heavily salted water boiling; in went the spinach fettuccini I had found last week in the ethnic Italian aisle. That cooked in 2 minutes; thankfully, I read the package prior to dumping the pasta in the pot. Today’s PSA: read the cooking time on your pasta packaging.
I spooned 2 ladles of the pasta water into the bacon pot to make up a sauce before draining the pasta. If you’re looking for a more saucy-sauce add 1-2 more ladles.
The kale, chopped and waiting for me in a small bowl, got added to the sauce – I wanted it wilted AND crispy.
It all came together just like that. We twirled some of the pasta onto plates, topped it with the bacon/kale sauce and sprinkled feta and freshly cracked black pepper on top. I wish all recipes were created this easily, out of mistakes and quick changes and back of the pantry/fridge items.
Carbonara-Inspired Greek Kale Pasta
- 1 cup diced raw bacon
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh kale
- 8 ounces uncooked fettuccini noodles
- crumbled feta cheese
- additional black pepper and kosher salt
- Begin boiling a large pot of water on medium high. Bring it to a rolling boil and add kosher salt.
- Heat a separate large pan over medium heat. In a small ball, combine the bacon, panko bread crumbs, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and beaten egg. Mix until well combined. Add to heated pan and sauté, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked.
- In another small bowl, whisk the Greek yogurt, garlic and lemon juice together. Add it to the bacon mixture when the bacon is cooked. Stir well.
- Add the uncooked fettuccini noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, spoon 1 cup of the pasta water into the bacon pot to create a sauce. Add the kale to the bacon sauce at the same time as the pasta water.
- Drain the pasta water and serve immediately.
- Spoon the bacon sauce over the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle crumbled feta cheese over the sauce.
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Looking for more easy dinner recipes?
Looking for more kale pasta dishes? Check out these recipes from other awesome websites:
Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta – Budget Bytes
One Pot Lemon Kale Pasta – ABC The Chew
Spaghetti with Braised Kale – Bon Appetit