Save on Pinterest

Tortellini Carbonara

I've made this bacon, cream and Parmesan cheese pasta sauce for so many years and have always called it a carbonara. Low-and-behold, I recently found out it's actually more like an Alfredo sauce. In either case, it's absolutely heavenly and a great option for company! —Cathy Croyle, Davidsville, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 8 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Pour off drippings.
  • In same pan, combine cream, cheese, parsley and bacon; heat through over medium heat. Stir in tortellini. Serve immediately.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Traditional carbonara tends to have egg in the sauce. Try halving the cream and tempering two whisked eggs into your sauce for added protein. Temper your eggs by adding a small amount of the hot mixture to the whisked egg before adding it all back to the pan. Be sure to do this after removing pan from the heat to keep your eggs from scrambling!
  • For a tasty taco salad, skip the shells and serve this over a bed of lettuce. Top with crushed tortilla chips if you love that crunch!
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 527 calories, 36g fat (20g saturated fat), 121mg cholesterol, 728mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 19g protein.


    Click stars to rate
    Average Rating:
    • Debbie
      Nov 21, 2020

      Just fabulous! We tried this the other night and it was so delicious. It is restaurant quality and definitely something I would be proud to serve guests. I used 2 - 18 oz bags of cheese tortellini, 2 chicken breasts (cooked), 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup half & half, 9 strips of bacon crumbled, a bag of baby spinach, 3/4 cup parm and some mozzarella I had leftover. Can’t say enough about this dish - you really need to try it! This will definitely be part of our regular meal rotation.

    • Hidi
      Aug 1, 2020

      I did not add bacon. I added a bit less parsley than it said and added some garlic powder, a bit of basil and a tiny bit if oregano. The sauce is amazing. I have made it several times with requests to make again. Great, easy recipe that you can tweak the seasonings on.

    • Brooke
      Apr 26, 2020

      I used ham instead of bacon and used half Parmesan and half white cheddar for my cheeses. Boyfriend really liked it!

    • shill_ud
      Mar 16, 2020

      Recipe is great as is, but it's also a great base recipe for adding your own twist. I double it for more portions. I saute 2 tsps of minced garlic before adding the cream and cheese. I skip the parsley and add 2-3 cups of chopped spinach, 2 cooked and cubed chicken breasts for a more complete meal.

    • angela32
      Mar 12, 2020

      Very good, I added a lot of black pepper :D

    • cynandtom
      Jan 16, 2020

      This pasta dish is absolutely delicious! With only five ingredients, it’s a perfect go-to weeknight dinner, yet fancy enough for company. Add a salad and garlic bread to round out the perfect meal.

    • Melissa
      Oct 6, 2019

      Linda, the directions refer to the cream and then the parm cheese. You missed the comma.

    • Linda
      Sep 29, 2019

      Haven't made it yet. Recipe calls for heavy whipping cream but the directions refer to cream cheese. Which is correct?

    • Robyn
      Jul 22, 2019

      I used frozen tortellini, I plan on making this again and will add chicken!

    • tjboone
      May 16, 2019

      This was delicious and oh so easy! I substituted 2 1/2 cups dry tortellini for refrigerated.