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Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara combines spaghetti and parmesan with an incredibly rich and creamy egg based sauce to create a savory meal.

To achieve the perfect carbonara sauce, you just need to follow a few easy steps. This recipe elevates ham and peas into a decadent pasta dinner!

Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara recipe

If you love carbonara, you’ll have to try my Chicken Carbonara recipe as well!

Why this recipe works:

If you love delicious pasta recipes for dinner, this one is not only unique but it’s super delicious!

  • Who wouldn’t love the combination of flavorful smokey ham, vibrant green peas, tender pasta, and a rich and creamy parmesan sauce?
  • This is a fantastic recipe to use up leftover holiday ham.
  • You control how thick and creamy the sauce is. There’s a trick to getting the perfect consistency!

Ingredients needed:

  • spaghetti
  • butter and olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • cooked ham
  • steamed peas
  • garlic
  • whole eggs
  • parmesan cheese 
  • heavy cream
Ham steak and peas

Here’s how to make it:

Before you start cooking, make sure you have all of your ingredients chopped, measured, and prepped. The goal is to have the pasta finish cooking around the same time that the ham and pea mixture has finished cooking.

  1. In a large saute pan, you will saute the onion in butter and then add the ham, peas, and garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, you’ll prepare your sauce by mixing together the eggs, paremsan, and heavy cream.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water. Prior to draining it, be sure to grab a measuring cup of the pasta water. This is used to thin the sauce later on.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, the hot ham and pea mixture is added.
  5. The sauce is poured over the piping hot ingredients and stirred to combine. 
  6. Once everything is combined, add small amounts of the reserved pasta water until you reach the desired thickness. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, if desired.
process photos of how to make Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara

Cooking tips:

  • Freshly grated parmesan always melts better than pre-shredded. Either will work for this recipe, but finely grated cheese from a block is best.
  • For the best carbonara, the trick is to transfer the hot pasta directly out of the pot of salted boiling water and into the sauce, away from additional direct heat to avoid curdling the egg. This can be done either in the pasta pot or in a dish.
  • Although any kind of pasta can be used, spaghetti is really your best choice because it has a sufficiently large ratio of surface area to volume. This means that the cylindrical shape of each spaghetti noodle will maximize it’s contact with the sauce, thus ensuring the sauce gets properly cooked.
  • To avoid having the egg scramble, never add the egg in carbonara sauce over direct heat. You use the heat from the freshly cooked pasta to heat and cook the sauce. You can also avoid curdling by setting your eggs out at room temperature a few hours before using them. That will decrease the temperature delta between your eggs and the hot pasta.
  • Leftover pasta carbonara can be reheated, but you must do it gently. My recommendation for reheating would be to either heat on the stove, covered, over very low heat. The alternative would be to heat in the microwave at a low power, say 30-50%, and to stir it often to ensure it gets heated evenly. 
Pasta with carbonara sauce

Other great pasta recipes:

If you are craving pasta with a decadent cream sauce, you might also enjoy these favorites.

Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara

Prep10 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
If you’re looking for a rich and satisfying pasta dinner, this Ham and Pea Pasta Carbonara will quickly become a family favorite!

Video

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 8 ounces ham thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces peas steamed
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan grated
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper as desired

Instructions 

  • Ensure all ingredients are chopped/measured/prepared before you start cooking. The goal is to time the recipe so that the pasta has finished cooking at the same time the ham, pea, and onion mixture is done.
  • Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water.
  • Heat butter and oil in large saute pan and cook onion over medium high heat until golden brown, about five minutes. Add ham, peas, and garlic and cook long enough to heat through.
  • Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine eggs, parmesan and heavy cream. Whisk to combine.
  • Prior to drain pasta, add about 1/2 cup of the cooking water to a measuring cup in case it is needed to thin the sauce later on.
  • Drain hot pasta and return to pot. Add hot ham and pea mixture. With the heat off, add the egg mixture to the hot ingredients and stir very well to combine. The hot ingredients will cook the egg enough to turn it into a wonderful sauce without scrambling the egg. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Notes

  • Freshly grated parmesan always melts better than pre-shredded. Either will work for this recipe, but finely grated cheese from a block is best.
  • For the best carbonara, the trick is to transfer the hot pasta directly out of the pot of salted boiling water and into the sauce, away from additional direct heat to avoid curdling the egg. This can be done either in the pasta pot or in a dish.
  • Although any kind of pasta can be used, spaghetti is really your best choice because it has a sufficiently large ratio of surface area to volume. This means that the cylindrical shape of each spaghetti noodle will maximize it’s contact with the sauce, thus ensuring the sauce gets properly cooked.
  • To avoid having the egg scramble, never add the egg in carbonara sauce over direct heat. You use the heat from the freshly cooked pasta to heat and cook the sauce. You can also avoid curdling by setting your eggs out at room temperature a few hours before using them. That will decrease the temperature delta between your eggs and the hot pasta.
  • Leftover pasta carbonara can be reheated, but you must do it gently. My recommendation for reheating would be to either heat on the stove, covered, over very low heat. The alternative would be to heat in the microwave at a low power, say 30-50%, and to stir it often to ensure it gets heated evenly. 

Nutrition

Calories: 655kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 162mg, Sodium: 782mg, Potassium: 486mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1105IU, Vitamin C: 20.6mg, Calcium: 264mg, Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you’re in the right place! Stick around… I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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31 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! I made it with gluten free raviolini and turkey Italian sausage for the ham (what I had on hand). I did accidentally overcook the eggs, but while it wasn’t as pretty as it would have been, it was still amazing. This will definitely be something I make again.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Even my husband liked it. Had to leave the cheese out if his portion and add to mine after plating. Still delicious!

  3. I was able to throw this together so quickly, and had everything on hand! My daughter works late, so it’s a great recipe for her to heat up when she gets home! On top of that, my husband loved it! Thanks!!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I made this recipe with gluten free pasta but did not rinse it. It came out perfect. I will definitely make again.

    1. I always struggle with that as well, however we make our own mayonnaise that has completely raw egg. You can consume raw egg and the egg itself isn’t harmful, however anything on the outside of the egg is what can make people sick. The egg does cook in this recipe, however. Not to the point where it solidifies though.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious! My family of four devoured the pasta. Didn’t change a thing other than add a little bit of red pepper flakes on top just for a little heat. Thank you for the reminder to prep everything before cooking, Everything came together easily.

  6. I made this except instead of pasta I made zucchini spirals from fresh zucchini and it was fantastic. My family went crazy for it. I sautéed the homemade zucchini spirals for about 5 mins in longer in a frying pan with some olive oil. Delish. Thanks for the great summer recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    I recommend using smoked chicken. You can buy a ready smoked chicken breast or indeed a whole chicken from the supermarket. I’ve been making it for years, goes down a treat with kids and is a quick and easy meal!!

  8. 5 stars
    Wonderful and flavorful-and fast by prepping ingredients ahead of cooking. We used what was on hand in the fridge by substituting whole milk for cream, leek for onion, tender asparagus tips for peas. Not saucy but creamy. *This recipe can easily be reduced to 1/3 for a single, very large serving!