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If you are in a weeknight dinner rut, allow this recipe for kimchi carbonara to pull you out of it! This recipe is straightforward, takes less than 30 minutes to make, and tastes incredibly decadent and unique. Italian and Asian flavors combine to make a dish that is sure to add some variety to your plate.

Kimchi carbonara in a white bowl with kimchi on the side.


Kimchi carbonara ingredients prepped on wooden board/marble background.

Kimchi and noodles in a cream sauce is a surprisingly scrumptious combination, especially with the addition of savory pancetta and pecorino. You only need a few other ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.

  • spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • pancetta – The pancetta should be found near the specialty cheese or deli area, but you could substitute diced American-style bacon instead. This option will not have the exact same flavor as pancetta, but will still be tasty and add some smokiness as well.
  • garlic
  • kimchi – Make sure to keep the brine with the kimchi for extra umami, tangy flavor.
  • heavy cream
  • pecorino romano cheese – Most grocery stores should have a cheese counter or deli with employees available to help you locate the ingredients that you need. Pecorino cheese is a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. If you are unable to find pecorino, you can substitute it with a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese instead. This will lend a slightly nuttier flavor due to being aged longer, but will still serve the pasta well.
  • black peppercorns
  • salt
  • green onions – optional garnish
Kimchi carbonara in a white bowl.

Alcohol Pairing

Carbonara typically pairs best with white wine or rosé like a Pinot Gris or Chardonnay, and you could choose a bottle from central Italy (Lazio region) where carbonara is traditionally served. A red wine can also work as long as it is not too tannic, such as a Merlot.

On the other hand, you could opt for a bottle of soju to honor the Korean influence on the dish. Both locations have a strong social eating culture, so be sure to share with friends if you want to truly honor the cultural origins of your kimchi carbonara!

Kimchi carbonara around a fork in a white bowl.


This meal will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in small portions as needed.

Kimchi carbonara in a white bowl with kimchi and grated pecorino in the background.

Did you enjoy this fusion kimchi carbonara recipe? Let me know in the comments and please share!

Kimchi carbonara in a white bowl with kimchi on the side.

Kimchi Carbonara

Joss Dyckson
This fusion kimchi carbonara recipe is straightforward, takes less than 30 minutes to make, and tastes incredibly decadent and unique.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Korean
Servings 4
Calories 821 kcal


  • 14 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta - diced into small cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 cup kimchi - with the brine
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese - grated – plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns - crushed
  • salt - to taste
  • green onions - chopped (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the water. Toss the pasta with a bit of olive oil and reserve.
    14 ounces dry spaghetti, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Add the pancetta to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown and crisp up (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
    8 ounces pancetta, 2 cloves garlic
  • Add the kimchi, heavy cream, cheese, salt and pepper and stir it together.
    1 cup kimchi, ¾ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, salt, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Transfer the pasta to the skillet plus the reserved pasta water. Stir until the sauce coats the spaghetti.
  • Serve with more grated pecorino cheese and fresh green onions.


12" skillet


Calories: 821kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 24gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 612mgPotassium: 445mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 736IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

Keyword kimchi, pasta
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