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Risotto Carbonara
and spinach salad with grapes

Active: 40 Total: 60

Carbonara, a well-loved pasta dish, features cured meat and a creamy, egg yolk-based sauce. We've given the same treatment to this hands-off risotto. The result is indulgent, but surprisingly low-effort. A fresh salad with juicy grapes balances the richness of the risotto.



Risotto Carbonara:
  • Bacon - 8 slices , chopped
  • Shallots - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Cheese, parmesan - 1/4 cup , grated (plus more for serving)
  • Zucchini - 8 oz , shredded
  • Green onions (opt) - 2 stalks , chopped; green and white parts combined
  • Egg yolks - 2
  • Heavy cream - 2 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
  • Rice, Arborio - 1 cup
  • Wine, white - 1/2 cup , sub stock
  • Stock, any type - 3 cups
Spinach Salad with Grapes:
  • Grapes, any color - 1 cup , halved
  • Almonds, sliced - 2 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 2 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz


  1. Bacon / Shallots / Garlic / Parmesan / Grapes - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Toast almonds - Heat a nonstick skillet over low heat and add sliced almonds. Heat gently in the dry skillet until golden brown and fragrant (watch carefully to prevent burning), 3 to 4 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Zucchini - Shred zucchini on the large holes of a box grater (or use a food processor). Place shredded zucchini in a colander and press out as much liquid as possible.

  4. Green onions - Prep as directed.

  5. Eggs - Crack eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Discard the egg whites or save them for some other purpose. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cream, Parmesan, salt, and black pepper until fully combined.

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  1. Heat oven to 425F /218C.

  2. Heat an oven-safe Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and fry until golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of bacon grease and return pan to heat.

  3. Add shallots to the pan with a pinch of salt and saute until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook about one minute more. Add rice and stir until everything is evenly combined and the rice appears shiny.

  4. Slowly pour the wine over the rice and simmer until most of the wine has cooked off, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Add stock and zucchini to the rice and bring to a simmer. When the liquids are simmering, cover risotto with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook risotto until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  6. While risotto cooks, whisk together vinegar, honey, and mustard in a serving bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Season with some salt and pepper. Pile spinach, grapes, and almonds on top of the dressing, but wait to toss until just before serving.

  7. When risotto is finished cooking, remove the lid and stir it a few times to let some of the heat escape. Fold egg yolk mixture into the warm risotto until fully incorporated. Taste the risotto and season with some salt and pepper, if needed.

  8. Toss the salad.

  9. Divide risotto among serving bowls. Top each serving with bacon crumbles, green onions (if using), and some additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy with salad on the side.



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