15 Best Pancetta Recipes

Pancetta is a staple ingredient in Italian cuisine, prized for its rich, salty flavor profile that’s reminiscent of bacon, minus the smokiness. Also known as Italian bacon, this cured pork belly meat is incredibly versatile, adding depth to various dishes without overpowering them.

A little goes a long way, thanks to its high fat content, making it an excellent addition to pasta dishes, salads, and more. With its unique flavor profile, pancetta can elevate even the simplest recipes into something extraordinary. As you explore this list of pancetta-based recipes, you’ll discover new pairings and combinations that will transport you to Italy’s culinary heartland.

Pasta with Pesto and Pancetta

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The harmonious union of pasta and pesto is a culinary masterpiece, and this recipe exemplifies that perfect blend. While various salt-cured pork options like guanciale, slab bacon, or pancetta can be used, the latter proves an excellent choice. The essential ingredients include unsalted roasted pistachios, Parmesan, and paccheri or rigatoni, all of which are elevated by the addition of butter. What’s more, the pesto component can be prepared ahead of time, allowing for a convenient divide-and-conquer approach that suits even the busiest schedules. The end result is well worth the effort – this pancetta pasta recipe is sure to leave you utterly enchanted.

Three-Cheese Pizza with Pancetta and Mushrooms

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For pizza enthusiasts, this recipe is an ideal choice, boasting a trifecta of quality ingredients: rich cheese, savory meat, and earthy mushrooms. The best part? It’s surprisingly straightforward to prepare, requiring only a modest number of components. Thin slices of salty pancetta pair exquisitely with Fontina, Parmesan, mozzarella, and baby bella mushrooms, resulting in a deeply satisfying culinary experience. This recipe is perfect for those who value simplicity in the kitchen, as it allows for effortless execution without sacrificing flavor.

Pancetta Pasta with Lemon and Garlic

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A culinary masterpiece born from simplicity, this pasta dish harmoniously blends flavors without breaking a sweat. With preparation time clocking in at just 30 minutes, it’s the perfect solution for a spontaneous lunch or dinner gathering with friends. The recipe requires only the most basic of ingredients: pancetta, garlic, kale, heavy cream, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, spaghetti, Parmesan, and a pinch of seasoning. To bring this symphony to life, sauté the sauce ingredients in a pan over medium heat while boiling the pasta until it reaches al dente perfection. The final flourish is adding a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving. A satisfyingly easy and delectable pasta dish suitable for any occasion.

Shrimp Scallop Pasta with Crispy Pancetta

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The harmonious marriage of seafood and pasta is a classic combination that’s hard to improve upon. The pairing has been delighting palates for ages, and it’s easy to see why – the rich flavors of the seafood complement the subtle nuances of the pasta perfectly.

If you’re struggling to decide what to cook for dinner, consider trying this pancetta pasta recipe with shrimp and scallops. One of the great things about this dish is its versatility – feel free to substitute pancetta with bacon if that’s your preference.

To bring this recipe to life, you’ll need a few key ingredients. These include shrimp, diver or large sea scallops, minced garlic, and angel hair pasta. When it comes to seasoning, simplicity is the key – classic salt and freshly ground black pepper will do the trick just fine.

One of the best things about this dish is its ability to pair beautifully with a glass of white wine. The crisp acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the seafood and pasta perfectly, making it a great choice for a special occasion or a relaxing evening at home.

Classic Carbonara Pancetta

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Indulge in the quintessential Italian experience with a delectable carbonara recipe that’s sure to transport you to the sun-kissed hills of Italy. This classic pasta dish is a staple for a reason, and we’re excited to share our take on it with you.

To give your sauce an extra boost of creaminess, add 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese – the perfect addition to this egg-based sauce. And the best part? You don’t need any heavy cream to achieve that rich, velvety texture. Simply follow our recipe closely to recreate the authentic flavor of this beloved dish.

The key to enjoying your carbonara at its best is to serve it immediately after cooking. This way, you can savor every bite in all its glory.

Pasta Carbonara with Green Peas

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Those who enjoy experimenting with flavors often find the kitchen to be their creative playground. Even the most traditional dishes can be reimagined to introduce new and exciting taste profiles. One such example is our pancetta-based pasta carbonara, which we’ve adapted by incorporating English peas for a fresh, sweet, and visually appealing twist.

To recreate this unique pasta dish, you’ll need extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, 6 ounces of pancetta, heavy cream, eggs, baby peas (either fresh or thawed frozen), freshly ground black pepper, and pasta. While the addition of cream is not a traditional element in Italian carbonara, our reinvention offers a delightful departure from the norm. As you embark on this culinary adventure, remember to savor the process as much as the final result.

Reginetti with Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta

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Reginetti with savoy cabbage and pancetta stands out as an exceptional recipe that will leave a lasting impression. It’s an ideal choice for those seeking to venture beyond traditional carbonara or spaghetti. This unique combination of flavors and textures is sure to tantalize the taste buds.
To prepare this delectable dish, you’ll need thinly sliced pancetta, a small head of savoy cabbage, fresh thyme leaves, reginetti pasta, and poppy seeds for garnish. With 4 servings to be had, it’s an excellent option for a family dinner or lunch. The inclusion of cabbage adds a nutritious twist to the dish, balancing out the richness of the pancetta.
While this meal may be on the more caloric side, the payoff is well worth it – you’ll be rewarded with fantastic pasta, savory meat, and deliciously cooked cabbage all in one place.

Gnocchi with Sauteed Spinach and Crispy Pancetta

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Italian cuisine has a treasure trove of delicious dishes to explore, and gnocchi is certainly one of them. This time around, we’re going to combine these pillowy treats with the rich flavors of spinach and crispy pancetta. What’s great about this recipe is that you can make the gnocchi ahead of time and freeze them, allowing for a quick 20-minute cooking time when you’re ready to serve. To bring this dish together, you’ll need some key ingredients like potato gnocchi, olive oil, finely diced pancetta, baby spinach, Parmesan cheese, and sherry wine vinegar. The salty pancetta pairs beautifully with the earthy spinach and soft gnocchi, making for a truly unforgettable meal worth trying at least once.

Roast Chicken with Pancetta and Olives

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While some may find comfort in regular chicken meals, it’s essential to mix things up to avoid culinary stagnation. This roast chicken with pancetta offers a unique twist on traditional recipes, ensuring that even the most enthusiastic poultry lovers will be satisfied. The key to this dish lies in its tenderizing process, where the chicken is braised in white wine to retain its juiciness. The subtle saltiness of the pancetta further enhances this effect, making it a true standout. To create this mouthwatering masterpiece, you’ll need chicken or rabbit, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, pancetta or bacon, dry white wine, and black olives. When you take your first bite, you’ll be struck by the sublime texture and harmonious flavors of this exceptional dish, making it a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their culinary game.

Charred Sprouts with Orange Zest, Chestnuts, and Pancetta

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While many people may not be fans of brussels sprouts due to their unique flavor profile, when prepared correctly, they can truly shine as the star of a dish. This pancetta recipe is a perfect example, where crispy sprouts are paired with salty pancetta, earthy nuts, and a burst of citrus from orange zest. The result is a culinary masterpiece that’s hard to resist. With just a few simple ingredients – 500g of Brussels sprouts, olive oil, one zested orange, cooked chestnuts, and 150g of pancetta – you can create this flavorful delight. The prep time is around 30 minutes, and the payoff is well worth it, as the perfect harmony of flavors will elevate any fall or winter day.

Collard Greens with Pancetta, Ham and Pinto Beans

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Slow-cooked collard greens are an essential component of traditional southern barbeques. The time invested in preparing this side dish will be well rewarded, as it’s sure to become a crowd-pleaser at all your Sunday gatherings. This recipe offers a unique twist on the classic dish by substituting pancetta and ham for ham hocks, resulting in a rich tapestry of flavors. While not overly complex, this dish still requires attention to detail and a thoughtful balance of ingredients. To create these delectable greens, you’ll need chopped collard greens, unsalted chicken stock, pancetta, red wine vinegar, finely diced shallot, garlic, olive oil, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. The end result is a harmonious blend of sweet, salty, and spicy notes that will leave your taste buds singing.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Asparagus

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Transforming everyday meals into extraordinary experiences is our passion. Take a humble grilled cheese sandwich, for instance. It’s already a classic, but adding some unexpected elements can elevate it to new heights. Case in point: asparagus and pancetta – the perfect pairing that will leave you feeling like royalty. This spring green grilled cheese sandwich is a culinary dream come true, requiring only a few ingredients beyond the basics: bread, butter, sweet peas, olive oil, fresh basil, mint dill, salt, and pepper. With asparagus, pancetta, and Havarti cheese at its core, this meal is a testament to the power of creativity in the kitchen. If you’re looking to turn every dining experience into a celebration of life, this pancetta recipe is an excellent place to start.

Tomato Pasta with Pancetta and Shallots

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While traditional tomato sauce for pasta is always a reliable choice, adding pancetta can elevate the dish to new heights. This delectable sauce is perfect for any occasion and requires only a few key ingredients: passata, shallots, mascarpone cheese, red pepper flakes, white wine, and pancetta. The resulting sauce is a masterclass in simplicity, allowing the natural flavors of the pasta to shine through. For an added touch of elegance, finish with some fresh Italian parsley if desired. This comforting yet flavorful dish has the power to quickly become a staple in your culinary repertoire – be warned, it’s all too easy to fall under its charms!

Red Cabbage Salad with Pancetta-Balsamic Dressing

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When we finally arrived at our curated list of pancetta recipes, one dish stood out for its unexpected twist: a vibrant red cabbage salad, elevated by a rich pancetta-balsamic dressing. Often overlooked in favor of more familiar greens, red cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse, boasting vitamins K and C, antioxidants, and potassium. This recipe offers a compelling reason to incorporate it into your meal rotation. While the preparation may require a bit more effort, the payoff is well worth the investment.

Linguine with Pancetta, Peas, and Zucchini

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Indulge in the simplicity and elegance of linguine with pancetta, a harmonious blend of flavors that will transport you to culinary nirvana. This beloved pasta dish is made possible by just a few essential ingredients: crispy pancetta, sautéed scallions and garlic, vibrant green peas, tender zucchini, fragrant fresh basil, and the crowning glory – 1 pound of al dente linguine. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Grana Padano cheese elevate this dish to new heights. Every delectable bite is an invitation to savor the moment and treat yourself to a culinary indulgence that will leave you craving more.

Pancetta Recipes – Final Thoughts

When it comes to pancetta, the possibilities are endless! As a non-vegetarian, incorporating this Italian staple into your kitchen is a must-try. With its rich, savory flavor, pancetta can elevate a variety of dishes, from hearty pasta recipes to refreshing salads. In this article, we’ve showcased a range of ways to enjoy Italian bacon, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting to experiment with new flavors, our recipes will guide you in discovering the perfect culinary combinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top pasta dishes featuring pancetta?

When it comes to incorporating pancetta into pasta dishes, the possibilities are endless. A classic combination is Pasta Carbonara, where the crispy, savory pancetta is paired with eggs, cheese, and a pinch of black pepper for a rich and satisfying meal. Another popular option is Amatriciana, which adds a burst of flavor from juicy tomatoes and salty Pecorino cheese to the mix. For a more straightforward approach, try Spaghetti alla Gricia, where the simplicity of pancetta, Pecorino, and black pepper allows the subtle nuances of each ingredient to shine through.

How can I incorporate pancetta into a chicken meal?

When it comes to incorporating pancetta into a chicken meal, there are several creative ways to do so. One approach is to stuff chicken breasts with a flavorful blend of pancetta, cheese, and herbs, allowing the rich flavors to meld together during cooking. Alternatively, you can wrap chicken thighs in pancetta for an added layer of savory goodness. For a more rustic option, try sautéing pancetta with onions, garlic, and herbs, then use this aromatic mixture as the foundation for a mouthwatering chicken and pancetta risotto.

Any popular breakfast options using pancetta?

Indulge in the rich flavor of pancetta and elevate your breakfast game by incorporating it into various dishes. Consider adding it to frittatas, scrambled eggs, or a hearty breakfast hash for a savory twist. Alternatively, serve crispy pancetta alongside eggs Benedict or avocado toast for a luxurious start to your day.

What are highly-rated pancetta recipes by renowned chefs?

Celebrity chefs have been showcasing the versatility and rich flavor of pancetta through their unique creations, such as Nigella Lawson’s warm potato salad with pancetta and brown butter dressing, Jamie Oliver’s creamy spaghetti carbonara, and Ina Garten’s savory pancetta and leek quiche. These dishes demonstrate the adaptability of pancetta in various recipes.

What are the best ways to use smoked pancetta?

Smoked pancetta’s rich flavor profile lends itself well to a diverse range of culinary applications. Its bold smokiness makes it an excellent addition to heartwarming soups like minestrone or split pea soup, where its depth enhances the overall flavor experience. Additionally, smoked pancetta can be diced and quickly cooked with aromatic vegetables to create a flavorful base for creamy risottos or rich pasta sauces. For those who appreciate a satisfying sandwich, incorporating thinly sliced smoked pancetta into a panini or club sandwich adds a new layer of complexity and delight.

What are some tasty pancetta dishes from reputable sources?

Pancetta’s versatility is showcased through a wide range of dishes on renowned websites like Food & Wine, BBC Good Food, and Bon Appétit. From savory appetizers and refreshing salads to hearty main courses and side dishes, these platforms offer an array of pancetta-based recipes that are sure to tantalize taste buds. Standout dishes include the elegant Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus, the comforting Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin, and the creamy Creamy Pancetta and Pea Farfalle. With a wealth of mouthwatering recipes and valuable cooking advice at their disposal, readers can rely on these trusted sources for inspiration and guidance in the kitchen.


Indulge in the comfort of a creamy tomato pasta dish that’s ready in under 30 minutes. This quick and satisfying meal features a rich sauce crafted with tomato puree, caramelized shallots, crispy pancetta, and a hint of heat from chili flakes.

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