Carbonara is a traditional Italian dish that is sure to delight any palate. While the traditional carbonara recipe calls for just pasta with a creamy sauce and cured pork or bacon, or pancetta, you can make it even more delicious by adding in some fresh vegetables.
Here are 13 incredible vegetables that will pair perfectly with your carbonara.
13 Delicious Vegetables to Serve with Carbonara
Artichokes are one of the most flavorful vegetables out there, and they go particularly well with carbonara.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try roasting them before adding them to the dish for an earthy flavor.
Asparagus has a delicate flavor that pairs beautifully with carbonara’s savory sauce.
Asparagus adds an earthy element that pairs nicely with rich sauces like those found in traditional carbonaras dishes—plus, its green hue adds an eye-catching pop of color!
Roast or steam the asparagus before adding it to the pasta. Just make sure not to overcook it so that it retains its signature crunchy texture when served alongside your pasta dish!
Broccoli adds a beautiful crunch to any dish, including carbonara! It is a nutritional powerhouse that goes great with creamy sauces like those used in carbonara recipes.
Try blanching and then lightly sautéing it before adding it to your finished dish for extra color and crunch!
Carrots are another vegetable that can easily be added to your carbonara for an extra burst of flavor and texture.
I recommend chopping them into thin strips before adding them in, so they cook quickly and evenly in the sauce!
Cauliflower has a mild flavor that pairs well with creamy sauces like carbonara. To add more flavor, try roasting or grilling it beforehand!
Spinach adds an unmistakable pop of color to this classic Italian dish, and its mild taste pairs beautifully with the flavors of carbonara sauce.
Spinach is also a great way to get some extra greens into your meal while also adding some additional texture and flavor.
Try wilting it in some olive oil before adding it to your pasta for some extra depth of flavor!
Tips: Make sure you cook it until it’s just wilted (about 1-2 minutes) so that it doesn’t become too soggy when added to your carbonara dish.
Peas are another great addition to your carbonara because they add both sweetness and crunchiness to this otherwise savory dish!
Just be sure not to overcook them when you’re adding them in, so they don’t turn mushy!
Mushrooms are always a great addition to carbonara. Mushrooms have an umami flavor that goes perfectly with creamy sauces like that found in carbonara dishes!
They add texture, flavor, and enough protein to the dish.
You can use any type of mushrooms you like—shiitake( that I love most), button, portobello—or even mix them together for an exciting combination.
Just make sure to sauté them before adding them to the carbonara, so they don’t become soggy.
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9. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have a nutty flavor that complements creamy sauces nicely!
To bring out their natural sweetness, try roasting them first before mixing them into your pasta dish!
Zucchini may seem like an odd choice for this type of dish but trust me – its subtle sweetness works wonderfully with the savory flavors of carbonara sauce!
Zucchini adds both texture and nutrition to your carbonara dish without overpowering the other flavors present in the world.
You can slice or dice it up before adding it to your pasta. If you prefer a more uniform shape, Try grilling or roasting slices of zucchini before adding them in for extra flavor!
Onions are a classic addition to carbonara. They add sweetness and depth of flavor that complements the richness of the cream sauce perfectly.
For maximum flavor, try caramelizing them in butter before adding them to the dish.
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Tomatoes are another classic addition to carbonara, though they should be added at the end as they don’t need much cooking time.
Cherry tomatoes work best because their sweetness will balance out the richness of the cream sauce and bacon or pancetta.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try roasting them beforehand for added flavor!
13. Bell peppers
Bell peppers add crunch and color to your carbonara dish.
Red peppers have a sweet flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in this dish; if you want more heat, try using jalapeños instead! Just make sure not to overcook them—they should still have some crunch when served.
There are countless ways to make classic Italian dishes like carbonara even more delicious by incorporating fresh veggies into the mix.
Carbonara is already delicious on its own, but by adding vegetables, you’re taking this Italian classic from good to great!
The possibilities are endless, so feel free to experiment with different combinations until you find one perfect for you! With these 13 incredible vegetables as inspiration, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed by what ends up on your plate tonight! Bon appétit!