Chicken Almost Carbonara


Like lots of others, right now I'm looking for ways to use leftovers and pantry items, to avoid extra trips to the grocery, and to save money. I had leftover cooked chicken and some mushrooms in the refrigerator that I needed to use. I had pasta in the pantry, but alas, no cream, so this dish kind of "grew like Topsy" with ingredients I already had on hand--a partial bottle of white wine, frozen peas, and parsley right outside the door. My son said, "Hey, this is almost like carbonara," and the name was born!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
8 servings


  • 4 slices bacon

  • 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, vertically sliced

  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 3 cups chicken stock, divided

  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken

  • 1 ½ cups frozen petite peas

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

  • ¼ cup minced fresh Italian parsley


  1. Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

  3. At the same time, heat olive oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until butter is melted and oil is hot. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and evenly distribute the contents in the skillet.

  4. Stir in wine and bring to a boil, about 3 minutes. Pour in 2 cups chicken stock, add cooked chicken and peas, and bring to a boil.

  5. While mixture is coming to a boil, place flour in a pint jar with a lid. Slowly add remaining chicken stock to the jar, stirring briskly to break up any lumps. Place the lid on the jar and shake until well blended. Slowly pour flour-stock mixture into the boiling mixture and stir to prevent lumps. Return to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  6. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese until melted. Pour the hot sauce onto the pasta, add parsley and crumbled bacon, and stir to combine. Serve in individual bowls with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Cook's Note:

Any type of pasta you have on hand will be fine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

478 Calories
16g Fat
54g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 478
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 597mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 11mg 54%
Calcium 157mg 12%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 424mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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