Cowboy Carbonara

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Add a little Texas flair to a classic Italian dinner with this Cowboy Carbonara, featuring roasted poblano peppers, sweet corn and smoky bacon!

Scroll down for my Cowboy Carbonara recipe or PIN IT for later!

People often joke about Texas pride. Sure, everything here really is bigger and better, and we do have some of the best sports teams around; and when every other state is shoveling snow, we’re happily skipping down the sidewalk in pleasant 70-degree weather.

And, there’s nothing quite like a burnt orange sunset deep in the heart of the Texas hill country or the sight of a sea of bluebonnets transforming a long stretch of Texas highway into something of pure magic.


Stock up on all your pasta night essentials by hovering over the photo above to click through to to purchase Skinner® Spaghetti! Also, for a limited time, you can save on any Skinner product at Walmart! Click here to earn on Ibotta!

Oh, and don’t get me started on the Texas food scene. From fajitas to brisket, to Texas peaches and pecan pie; Texans know how to host a shindig and will make sure everyone leaves with full hearts and full bellies.

That Texas pride shines through in our food, in the use of local ingredients and the same tried and true recipes made for generations; but we even boast Texas shaped food! From Texas size and shaped waffles that are offered at almost every hotel around, to Texas shaped pretzels and cookies. 

Skinner pasta was a staple in our home growing up, with varieties like Skinner Lasagna and Skinner Spaghetti, as they were essential for quick and easy weeknight pasta dinners and even special occasions.

Skinner pasta is now a staple in my own kitchen, since Skinner is a great tasting pasta that makes a great meal every time, and used for everything from my Mac and Cheese Soup to Buffalo Chicken Lasagna!

Since my in-laws are Italian, over the years I learned how to master many classic Italian dishes like Pasta Fagioli to Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs; but with my deep Texas roots, it’s hard not to put my own Texas spin on the classic dishes my Italian in-laws have shared with me.

Over the years I have shared Cajun Turkey Tetrazzini and Cowboy Spaghetti; and now I’m sharing another twist on a traditional Italian pasta recipe with this Cowboy Carbonara!

Carbonara is my husband’s favorite pasta recipe, and this latest version has a great Texas twist! It starts with Skinner Spaghetti, which I picked up at my local Walmart (available in Texas and surrounding states), and has roasted poblano peppers, jalapeños, sweet Texas corn and smoky bacon. The sweetness from the corn really compliments the spicy jalapeños and the smokiness from the roasted peppers and crispy bacon, which makes this a winning pasta dinner with the perfect amount of star-studded Texas flair!

Helpful Cowboy Carbonara Cooking Tips and Information:

Time saving tip for roasting poblano peppers:

This recipe calls for roasted poblano peppers because I love the flavor that roasting the peppers provides. However, to save time, you could omit the roasting process and simply sauté the diced poblano pepper with the corn and jalapeños.

You can also usually find poblano peppers or green chiles already roasted at most grocery stores. If available, this would save a TON of time. These roasted green chiles would be found on the canned food aisles, where the canned jalapeños are located, and you would use two (4-ounce) cans of roasted green chiles for the poblano pepper called for in this recipe.

What type of pasta to use in carbonara?

Carbonara is traditionally made using regular spaghetti, but we prefer to use Skinner Thin Spaghetti for our Cowboy Carbonara recipe. You could also use Skinner Thick & Hearty Spaghetti.

What to serve with Cowboy Carbonara?

My go to pasta side dishes are always bread and a salad. For this Cowboy Carbonara recipe, I would serve it with either this Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Vinaigrette or this Kale Salad with Creamy Anchovy Dressing and my go to homemade garlic bread!

Yield: 4

Cowboy Carbonara

Cowboy Carbonara

Add a little Texas flair to a classic Italian dinner with this Cowboy Carbonara, featuring roasted poblano peppers, corn and smoky bacon!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) package Skinner® Thin Spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tablespoon corn or canola oil
  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed and diced `
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, sliced, with white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. To roast poblano pepper, turn your gas stovetop to medium-high heat. Place pepper on the grate directly over the top of the gas flame. Let it roast for 10 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn the pepper every 2-3 minutes.
  1. Once the pepper is soft and evenly roasted, place pepper in a small glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let pepper sit, covered for 10 minutes.
  2. After pepper has steamed for 10 minutes, remove pepper from bowl and peel away the outer skin while holding the pepper under running water.
  3. Once the skin has been removed, remove the stem and seeds and dice pepper.*
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once water is boiling, add ½ teaspoon of salt and entire package of Skinner® Thin Spaghetti.
  5. Boil spaghetti for 9 minutes or until al dente. Using a ladle, spoon out 1 ½ cups of the pasta water and set aside.
  6. Drain pasta in a colander and return to the pot with 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved pasta
  7. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  8. Carefully drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about ½ a tablespoon in the skillet. Add the corn to the remaining bacon grease in the skillet and cook over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the corn is lightly browned and caramelized. Add jalapeno, garlic and white parts from green onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in half of the reserved bacon and diced poblano pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes, just to heat through.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in one cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. Whisk in the cheese, the remaining salt and black pepper.
  10. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pot of pasta. Add the cooked bacon, corn and
    pepper mixture and toss to combine.
  11. Serve immediately topped with additional bacon, sliced green onions and additional Parmesan cheese.


*I love the taste of roasted poblano peppers in this dish. However, to save time, you could omit the roasting process and simply sauté the diced poblano pepper with the corn and jalapenos.

You can also find poblano peppers or green chiles already roasted at most grocery stores. These would be found on the canned food aisles, where the canned jalapenos are located.

© Heather at Kitchen Concoctions
Cuisine: Italian / Category: Main Dish- Pasta

What pasta dishes are your favorite? Skinner Pasta is available in Texas and surrounding states and for a limited time, you can save on any Skinner product at Walmart! Click here to earn on Ibotta! For more pasta recipes and cooking tips, be sure to follow Skinner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


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