Does it get any better than a big plate of “noodles” tossed in a rich, creamy sauce, and plenty of bacon? Not in my house! In this paleo carbonara, palmini or other paleo noodles are swaddled in my favorite paleo Alfredo sauce, made with cashews and nutritional yeast, and tossed with tender chicken and crispy bacon. Whole30 compliant!
🍝 What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Paleo carbonara is a meal all on its own! You can serve it with a side of fresh veggies if you want, but with hearts of palm noodles, bacon, and chicken, it totally passes as a stand-alone recipe. Even better, it’s filling and satisfying, so you’ll feel full without being weighed down.
- The homemade paleo Alfredo sauce is SO easy to make, and you can totally use it for so many other dishes. It’s great on top of air fryer broccoli or zucchini noodles, but I even like to just pour some right on top of an Italian-seasoned chicken breast. No “pasta” alternatives needed!
👩🏼🍳 Chef’s Tips
- I super recommend boiling the hearts of palm noodles first, but you don’t have to. It’s ready-to-eat straight out of the can (or pouch), so just drain it and rinse it well. If you don’t boil it first, it’ll have a more dense texture. Boiling the palmini noodles softens them and gives them a texture more like traditional pasta.
- Some people feel like palmini tastes sort of acidic. Other people don’t notice that all. If you’re in the first group, you can neutralize that flavor by soaking the palmini in unsweetened almond milk for 45 minutes before boiling them. Make sure to drain and rinse them really well both before and after the soak!
- This is a great way to use up leftover chicken. You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken to make it even easier – just make sure it’s fully compatible with your paleo or Whole30 eating plan! Since it’s already cooked, you can shave a few minutes off the overall cook time. Just add the chicken to the paleo carbonara when you add the sauce and make sure it’s warm before serving.
🔄 Recipe Variations
- We use cashews + liquid (water or almond milk) to create a cashew cream that forms the base of our dairy-free Alfredo sauce. If you can’t do cashews, you can replace the cashews + liquid with coconut cream instead. Use unsweetened, full-fat coconut cream, taken from a refrigerated can of unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk.
- I highly encourage you to season the chicken before cooking it. Even something as simple as salt and pepper does wonders, but you can also use a spice blend like Italian seasoning or Cajun seasoning. Just make sure whatever you use fits in the parameters of your eating plan!
🍴More Delicious Paleo and Whole30 Recipes
- Paleo Hot Chocolate
- Whole30 Tzatziki (Paleo, Keto, Dairy Free)
- Creamy Whole30 Tuscan Chicken with Artichokes (Paleo)
- Whole30 Marry Me Chicken (Paleo, Dairy Free)
- Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole with Eggs and Sausage
- Whole30 Everything Bagel Chicken
- Egg Roll in a Bowl with Creamy Chili Sauce
- Whole30 Gyro Meatballs
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes
- Crispy Baked Whole Chicken Wings
- Achiote Chicken
For the Palmini
- 3 14-ounce cans palmini linguine
- 16 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt more or less to taste
For the Paleo Alfredo Sauce
For the Carbonara
- 6 ounces diced, uncooked bacon
- ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts approximately 1-2 small chicken breasts, diced into very small pieces
Serving Suggestions (All Optional)
- chopped fresh parsley
- Large pot or large saucepan
- Large wooden spoon
- high-speed blender
- Large skillet
For the Palmini
- Pour 3 14-ounce cans palmini linguine into colander, draining as much liquid as possible. Rinse palmini very well under running water then set aside.
- Add 16 cups water to large pot, then place pot on stovetop over high heat and bring to rolling boil. Once water begins to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and stir well to incorporate.
- Bring salted water to rolling boil, then add rinsed palmini noodles. Stir to incorporate, then let palmini boil 10 to 15 minutes or until palmini has softened to desired texture.
- Once softened, pour water and palmini into colander and drain well. Set palmini aside.
For the Paleo Alfredo Sauce
- While palmini boils, add 1 ½ cups raw cashews, ¾ cup water or unsweetened almond milk, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper to high-speed blender.
- Blend ingredients together until mixture is completely smooth. If sauce is too thick, add water or unsweetened almond milk in 1-tablespoon increments, blending well after each addition, until desired consistency is achieved. Set sauce aside.
For the Paleo Carbonara
- Place large skillet on stovetop over medium heat. When pan is warm, add 6 ounces diced, uncooked bacon. Cook bacon, stirring often, until bacon is just crisp.
- When bacon is crisp, add ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced into very small pieces) to skillet with bacon. Increase heat under skillet to medium-high. Let chicken cook undisturbed 1 minute, then stir and cook 1 minute more or until cooked through.
- Once chicken is cooked through, add boiled palmini to skillet. Toss or stir to incorporate palmini.
- Pour in prepared Alfredo sauce. Toss or stir to incorporate, then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is warmed through, stirring occasionally.
- Once sauce is warm, portion carbonara into preferred servings and transfer to serving plates or bowls. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired and serve warm.
- Boiling Palmini: You can use palmini straight out of the can or pouch! It’s ready-to-eat, so just drain it and rinse it well. If you don’t boil it first, it’ll have a more dense, al dente texture. Boiling the palmini noodles softens them and gives them a texture more like traditional pasta.
- Soaking Palmini: Some people feel like hearts of palm pasta tastes sort of acidic. To neutralize that flavor, drain and rinse the palmini, then soak the noodles in unsweetened almond milk for 45 minutes before boiling them.
- Alfredo Sauce: For a creamier sauce, use unsweetened almond milk instead of water.
- Bacon: Be sure your bacon is completely paleo-friendly (or Whole30-compatible) without any added sweeteners or other off-plan ingredients.
- Make it Nut-Free: The cashews combined with the water or almond milk creates a cashew cream that forms the base of the Alfredo sauce. If you need to avoid cashews, you can replace the cashews + liquid with unsweetened, full-fat coconut cream, taken from a can of unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. Your sauce will likely be thinner without the cashews, so just keep that in mind.
- Make it Keto: Check out our recipe for Keto Carbonara (NOT paleo or Whole30).
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.