4.27 from 26 votes

5 Ingredient Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara

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This intensely flavourful chorizo spaghetti carbonara is made with 5 ingredients and only 20 minutes of your time. A perfect weeknight dinner treat.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£0.97
Makes: 4
mains
Italian

Spaghetti carbonara is my favourite pasta recipe. So to develop a chorizo carbonara recipe and publish it on my site, I feel even more passionate than usual about perfecting the method and ingredients. 

Chorizo carbonara served in a blue bowl with grated parmesan.

Why this recipe is great

To make this carbonara recipe, switching the traditional pancetta/guanciale with chorizo is a great substitution. The fat that renders from the deeply seasoned chorizo balances really well with the rich flavours of the carbonara, also adding a hint of spice which is beaautiful. 

You can whip up this spaghetti chorizo carbonara in less than 20 minutes, so it’s ideal for a weeknight dinner, a dinner party (you’ll want to show off this meal) or a quick meal to make on those hungover sundays. It’s the perfect treat. 

Other chorizo recipes for you to try after this one …

Ingredients 

Ingredients to make chorizo carbonara laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Spanish chorizo 
he intense flavour of the chorizo takes this carbonara to the next level. It’s salty, mildly spicy and the fat that renders out of the chorizo when heated on low, gives the carbonara a beautiful colour and  flavour. 

Spaghetti 
I use spaghetti for this chorizo carbonara recipe but you could use your favourite pasta shape, I also love using rigatoni for carbonara. 

Eggs
The foundation to any carbonara recipe.

Parmesan
Traditionally, most carbonara recipes use pecorino romano in some form, however to keep the prices down I just use parmesan. I think it’s just as good. 

Garlic
Ok so we’re breaking tradition even more here. The garlic just adds an extra level of flavour but seeing as we’re already using chorizo, I thought we could break the rules a bit more. 

Why is there no cream in carbonara?

The ‘creamy’ element of a carbonara comes from the combination of eggs, parmesan and pasta water. The mix of these 3 ingredients using the method I described below, creates a thick and rich emulsified sauce for the spaghetti carbonara. Be sure to read the method thoroughly so you get the perfect end result!

Close up of carbonara with spaghetti, small slices of chorizo and the eggy carbonara sauce in a large stainless steel.

How to make chorizo carbonara

  1. Cut the chorizo into cubes and add to large/deep frying pan on a low heat with the olive oil (Image 1).
  2. Now fry gently on a low heat for around 8 minutes to render the delicious fat out of the chorizo. Add the minced garlic for the last 2 minutes of fry time (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with chorizo chopped on a wooden board and the second with pieces of chorizo frying in large pan.

3. Meanwhile, add your spaghetti into heavily salted boiling water, timer set to 2 minutes minus the packet time (Image 3).

4. Mix together 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg and the parmesan. Season generously with pepper and a pinch of salt.  Add a ladle of pasta water into the egg/parm mix and whisk to temper the eggs (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with spaghetti in a saucepan, the second with beaten egg in a bowl with water.

5. Once the chorizo has fried and the pasta cooked, reserve the pasta water and add the strained pasta into the chorizo and the spaghetti stir for one minute before turning off the heat (Image 5).

6. Now that the heat is off and the pan is less hot, add the egg/cheese mix into the spaghetti whilst continuously stirring. Add the pasta water when necessary to loosen the sauce (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with chorizo frying in a pan, the second with spaghetti and egg mix added to the pan.

Other spaghetti recipes for you to try….

Top tips for the best results

Use a low low heat to render the fat from the chorizo. If you add the chorizo to a hot pan, you’ll sear the outside of the sausage allowing less fat to be rendered. We really want this oil to render as much as possible as it’s going to coat the spaghetti.

Heavily salt your pasta water. As there are minimal ingredients to this chorizo carbonara recipe, we want to ensure that each ingredient is individually seasoned.

Don’t add the slurry of parm/egg/pasta water into a really hot pan.We want the pan to be off the heat when adding the parm mixtures as you’re at risk of scrambling the eggs if the pan is too hot. By adding a ladle of pasta water into the cheese/egg mix, we’re ‘tempering’ them, which means we’re reducing the contrast in temperature between the egg/cheese and the contents of the pan. This will reduce the risk of a scramble situation but we still want to be careful and turn that heat off!

Spaghetti carbonara with small slices of chorizo and carbonara sauce in a pan with large metal tongs and a blue bowl of chorizo carbonara.

Other easy pasta recipes to give you inspiration: Pink Sauce Pasta, Gigi Hadid Pasta and Alison Roman Caramelised Shallot pasta

FAQs

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

This recipe is best enjoyed immediately as the balance of pasta water/thickness of the sauce changes after refrigerating and reheating. You also don’t want to accidentally scramble the eggs. 
If you think you’ll have leftovers and have no choice but to reheat, reserve some pasta water and reheat on a low heat with a splash of pasta water, adding as necessary until your chorizo spaghetti is hot enough to eat. 

Can I freeze this recipe?

I wouldn’t freeze this recipe. The recipe only makes 4 portions though, so you’ll definitely want to eat them within a refrigerating window anyway.

Could I make this recipe vegetarian? 

You could make this into a mushroom carbonara recipe by browning some chestnut mushrooms in place of the chorizo and using vegetarian parmesan instead of regular. 

Is it healthy?

This recipe is higher in calories and fats than a lot of my recipes, but as I always say, it’s all about balance and having a carbonara once a week or every now and again, nothing bad will happen. It’s the perfect treat meal that wows the crowd with minimal effort. 

You can also pair it with greens such as tenderstem broccoli, wilted spinach or a side salad which will add some nutrients and brightness to the meal. 

Close up shot of chorizo carbonara with the eggy spaghetti in a large stainless steel pan.

If you tried this Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

5 Ingredient Spaghetti Chorizo Carbonara

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4.27 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
£0.97
mains
Italian
Servings: 4
This intensely flavourful chorizo spaghetti carbonara is made with 5 ingredients and only 20 minutes of your time. A perfect weeknight dinner treat.

Ingredients

  • 160 g (from 225g pack) chorizo, sliced into small cubes (£1.70)
  • 300 g spaghetti (£0.20)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (£0.69/3)=(£0.23)
  • 3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg (£0.88)
  • 80 g parmesan, grated (£1.75/2)=(£0.87)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt Pepper

Method

  • Start by adding the chorizo cubes into a large/deep frying pan on a low heat with the olive oil. Gently fry on a low heat to render the delicious fat out of the chorizo. Fry on low for around 8 minutes and add the minced garlic for the last 2 minutes of fry time.
  • Meanwhile, add your spaghetti into heavily salted boiling water, timer set to 2 minutes minus the packet time.
  • In a bowl, combine 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg and the parmesan. Season generously with pepper and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Add a ladle of pasta water into the egg/parm mix and whisk to temper the eggs.
  • Reserving the pasta water, add the undercooked spaghetti into the pan with the chorizo for one minute. Stir to coat the spaghetti in the chorizo oil, cooking for one minute before turning off the heat.
  • Now that the heat is off and the pan is less hot, add the egg/cheese mix into the spaghetti whilst continuously stirring. We don’t want the pan to be too hot here as it will scramble the eggs. Add pasta water when necessary to loosen the sauce.
  • Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of parmesan, black pepper, salt and some optional chilli flakes.

Notes

  • Use low heat to render fat from chorizo to maximise oil releasing from the chorizo  which provides extra coating and flavour to the spaghetti.
  • Ensure the pasta water is heavily salted to season each ingredient individually.
  • Avoid adding the slurry of parm/egg/pasta water to a hot pan to prevent scrambling the eggs; mix off the heat and temper the mixture with pasta water before combining.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 31g
Calories: 582kcal
Carbohydrates: 56g
Protein: 29g

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