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Southern Carbonara Recipe

Southern Carbonara is a southern twist on the classic Italian dish with country ham, vidalia onion, and collard greens.

Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham


Because Carbonara is so quick and easy to make, it’s the perfect weeknight meal.  You can have this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. Pasta Carbonara is made from only a few simple ingredients, but the result is impressive and luxurious.

Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham

The eggs and Parmesan cheese give Southern Carbonara a rich, creamy flavor. We’re talking stick to your bones comfort food here.

Instead of the usual prosciutto, I used country ham which is fabulously salty. If you don’t have country ham just use bacon or prosciutto.

Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham

For extra flavor I added Vidalia onion (any sweet onion will do) and a few minced garlic cloves. For color I added thinly sliced collard greens. If there are greens in a dish it’s healthy right?

Since the eggs don’t get fully cooked, you can use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned.

Y’all enjoy!

Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham

Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham


Southern Carbonara with Collard Greens and Country Ham

Southern Carbonara

A Southern take on the classic Italian recipe. This dish is flavored up with country ham, sweet onion, and collard greens.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes
TOTAL: 25 minutes


  • 12 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced country ham, prosciutto can be used instead
  • 1 small Vidalia onion or other sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cups packed thinly sliced collard greens
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large eggs, use pasteurized eggs if concerned about undercooked eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Shredded Parmesan for serving


  • Bring water to a boil and add about 1 tablespoon of salt to water.
  • While water is coming to a boil, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. Add country ham and cook until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add remaining olive oil to skillet and sauté onion 3 minutes. Add collard greens and garlic and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn heat to low to keep warm.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water when you drain.
  • Immediately after draining pasta, place pasta in bowl with eggs and use tongs to mix the pasta into the egg mixture well.
  • Pour pasta/egg mixture into pan with collard greens. Remove pan from heat and mix everything together. Add some reserved pasta liquid if pasta is too dry. To serve, sprinkle country ham on top and shredded Parmesan cheese.


Calories: 566kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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17 thoughts on “Southern Carbonara Recipe”

  1. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    This carbonara looks amazing.. I have strangely never made carbonara before, definitely inspired to make your recipe!

  2. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    What a neat recipe! I love carbonara and a Southern twist sounds right up my alley. Pinned!

  3. I love this Southern spin on the classic carbonara! Any way to add some greens into the mix is a great idea to me. Yum!

  4. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    Girl this pasta is doing everything in the world that it should! Amazing!!!

  5. This looks great. I’ve never seen Vidalia onion. I’ll try to find it next time I go to the store.

  6. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I love this creative twist on a classic dish! Sounds like collards greens go perfectly in here. Delish!

  7. Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong

    Spaghetti carbonara is such a versatile dish.. love how simple and quick it is to make and tastes amazing too.. delicious.. love it!! 🙂

  8. What a great twist on carbonara! It does look like the perfect weeknight meal – love all those collard greens in here too 🙂

  9. Olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    This dish looks so tasty and yummy! I’ve never made carbonara, but you’ve inspired me to try it 😉

  10. This looks so good…what a transformation to Southern twist…the collard greens had me 🙂

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