If you are a fan of Pasta Alfredo and Marry Me Chicken, you are in for a wonderful surprise! This Creamy Chicken And Bacon Pasta combines the best of the two dishes! Tasty creamy sauce with sun-dried tomatoes coating the pasta with shredded chicken and crispy bacon is exactly the type of comfort food that needs to be enjoyed on busy weeknights! An easy dinner idea that will please the entire family!
- Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Ingredients and Substitutes
- Tips & Tricks For The Best Chicken & Bacon Pasta
- What To Serve With Chicken & Bacon Pasta?
- Storage and Reheating
- Other Spaghetti Recipes To Try
- Recipe Card
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
Everybody I know loves a creamy pasta dish! No wonder Pasta Carbonara and Alfredo are amongst the most popular pasta dishes in the world! And this Chicken and Bacon Pasta recipe is one of our favourites. Slightly lighter than Alfredo, but super flavoursome with all the saltiness of parmesan and bacon, this chicken bacon spaghetti will instantly become your favourite:
- Only two pans are needed, so you will have minimal washing up afterwards.
- 8 simple everyday ingredients + 1 optional (but highly recommended).
- This Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta comes together within 30 minutes.
- Ingredients can be easily substituted to adapt to what you have in your fridge and cupboards.
Ingredients and Substitutes
We used 9 simple ingredients in this recipe, but a couple of them are optional and the rest can be substituted with similar ingredients that you may have on hand.
- pasta: like spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle, but other shapes like penne pasta will work too. No need to buy expensive fresh pasta or make your own, all the flavour will be in the sauce! Use whole wheat pasta for more fibre if you wish! Gluten-free pasta will work too!
- bacon: smoked or unsmoked, streaky or back bacon.
- chicken: breast or thighs, boneless and skinless.
- garlic clove: can be replaced with 1/4 tsp of garlic powder.
- small brown onion: can be substituted with shallot or 1/2 red onion.
- double cream: also known as heavy cream. You may replace it with creme fraiche too.
- sundried tomatoes: in oil. Although this ingredient is optional, we highly recommend using it if you have some sundried tomatoes handy.
- parmesan: can be replaced with other hard cheese like Padana Grabo, Pecorino or Manchego.
- parsley: finely chopped for garnish.
STEP 1: Crisp Up That Bacon: Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned and crispy. Take it out of the pan and set it aside for later. When cool enough to handle, cut it up into small pieces (kitchen scissors work very well for this job).
STEP 2: Cook The Chicken: To the same pan, add a tbsp of oil and heat on medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and black pepper and add them to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side to sear completely. Then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-12 minutes, until fully cooked through. (Note, if your chicken thighs or breasts are very thick, they may need longer cooking).
When the chicken is cooked through, place it on a chopping board or a plate and cover it with a sheet of foil to keep it warm. Reserve the pan.
STEP 3: Cook The Pasta: Cook the pasta in a large pot following the instructions on the packet, but reduce the length of cooking by about 1 minute (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce). Before you drain pasta, make sure to reserve 100ml of starchy pasta water for the sauce.
STEP 4: Make Creamy Sauce: To the same frying pan that the chicken has cooked in, add a tbsp of oil (if you have chicken juices in the pan, you may skip the oil). Add the garlic and onion and sautee on low-medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add the double (heavy) cream, starchy pasta water, sundried tomatoes and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
STEP 5: Assemble Chicken & Bacon Pasta: In the meantime, shred the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken pieces and half of the bacon to the sauce.
Add the drained cooked pasta and mix to coat. Simmer on low heat for another minute.
Serve the chicken and bacon pasta garnished with parsley, the rest of the bacon pieces and parmesan on the side!
Tips & Tricks For The Best Chicken & Bacon Pasta
This Pasta with Chicken and Bacon is really easy to make, and let’s be honest, with bacon, parmesan and cream, there is no way it won’t taste good! However, here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to take this pasta dish from great to extraordinary!
Choose the right pasta
Ok, there is no right or wrong pasta! But when it comes to the shape of the pasta, we have a suggestion. This Chicken and Bacon Pasta recipe is CREAMY! That means, that if you choose the intricately shaped pasta, it will scoop up and hold too much of that creamy sauce, making the overall dish too rich!
As a result, we suggest choosing a noodle-type pasta, like:
Do Not Rinse The Pasta
For some reason, many cooks tend to rinse the pasta, but this is a mistake! By rinsing the pasta before cooking, you will be removing the starchy layer, and we do want that starchy pasta water to help us thicken the sauce later. By rinsing the pasta after cooking (possibly to help it not stick to each other) once again you will be removing the starch which is very helpful in making the sauce coat the pasta. All in all, do not rinse your pasta before or after cooking. If you have cooked your pasta before your sauce is ready, just stir in a tbsp of olive oil into your pasta.
Undercook the pasta
Instructions on a packet, typically give instructions for al dente pasta. However, because you will finish cooking the spaghetti in the cream sauce, you want your pasta deliberately undercooked to start with. Reduce the time you cook your pasta by 1 minute. If you are cooking pasta with the intention to reheat it over the next couple of days, cook it 2 minutes less than suggested on the packet.
Chop up the onion very finely
The size of the pieces you’re chopping your onion in may seem a little petty to consider, however… Onion has the tendency of sinking to the bottom of the pan, especially if not chopped fine enough. For the best distribution of the flavour, make sure to chop your onion very very finely, so that it sticks to the pasta together with the sauce.
Do not add extra seasoning
The only time salt is added to this Chicken Bacon Pasta is to season the chicken. Other than that, we do not add any salt to the pasta or the sauce. Why? Well… There is plenty of seasoning in this dish without the salt. Parmesan and salty bacon (even more so if you’re using smoked bacon) add more than enough seasoning! If anything, you can always put some sea salt on the table for everyone to adjust the dish to their taste.
Don’t wipe the pan in between
We cook bacon, and chicken and then make the sauce all in one pan. The key to preserving all the flavour in the sauce is to not wipe the pan. Bacon drippings will add a salty smoky flavour. The chicken will then be cooked in the same pan, releasing its savoury juices. Sauteeing the onion in the chicken and bacon pan will add heaps of flavour to the sauce! The only drawback of not wiping the pan is that the sauce will have a slightly less pure colour, but hey… substance over style, right?
What To Serve With Chicken & Bacon Pasta?
Chicken and Bacon Pasta is one of those rich and creamy dishes that will leave you with nothing to be desired. But if you want to serve a side dish with your pasta, we highly recommend choosing something light and healthy on the side! We particularly like this creamy bacon pasta dish with Courgette Ribbon Salad. Alternatively, try serving it with:
- Lemon and Garlic Tenderstem Broccoli
- Rocket and Pinenut Salad
- Fresh Spinach & Tomato Salad
Although filling enough, this creamy chicken pasta can be enjoyed with a side of garlic bread to mop up any remaining sauce at the bottom of the bowl.
Storage and Reheating
If you made more of this Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta than you can eat, no problem. The pasta will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours. We do not recommend freezing this pasta dish: the pasta will taste overcooked and the sauce will change texture after thawing.
To reheat, scoop the leftover pasta into a large frying pan and set it over medium heat. Using a spatula or a pair of tongs, shuffle the pasta around so that spaghetti unsticks from each other and the sauce loosens. Add a splash of water, increase the heat and let it heat up quickly, whilst stirring all the time. The pasta should take 3-4 minutes on high heat to warm through.
Alternatively, you may reheat the pasta in a microwave, stirring it once halfway through.
Other Spaghetti Recipes To Try
If you love the challenge of eating spaghetti without making a mess, we have some brilliant recipes for you to try! If you enjoy creamy pasta, why not try our Blue Cheese and Mushroom Spaghetti or our 15-minute recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pasta? For a healthy but easy pasta dish option, check out our Green Spaghetti, made with peas and spinach! Seafood lover? Go straight to our 15-Minute Red Pesto Pasta With Prawns recipe.
Finally, if you are looking to make a meal that will be loved by vegans and meat lovers alike, try out Lentil Meatballs & Spaghetti.
Creamy Chicken And Bacon Pasta
- 180 g pasta like spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle
- 150 g bacon smoked or unsmoked
- 150 g chicken breast or thighs boneless and skinless
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
- 1 small brown onion finely chopped
- 100 ml double (heavy) cream
- 40 g sundried tomatoes cut into strips (optional)
- 30 g parmesan finely grated
- 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- Cook bacon in a large dry frying pan until browned and crispy. Take it out of the pan and set it aside for later. When cool enough to handle, cut it up into small pieces (kitchen scissors work very well for this job).
- To the same pan, add a tbsp of oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side to sear completely. Then reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, until fully cooked through.
- When the chicken is cooked through, place it on a chopping board or a plate and cover it with a sheet of foil to keep it warm. Reserve the pan.
- Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet, but reduce the length of cooking by about 1 minute (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce). Before you drain the pasta, make sure to reserve 100ml of starchy pasta water for the sauce.
- To the same frying pan that the chicken has cooked in, add a tbsp of oil (if you have chicken juices in the pan, you may skip the oil). Add the garlic and onion and sautee on low-medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the double (heavy) cream, starchy pasta water, sundried tomatoes and half of the parmesan cheese. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- In the meantime, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken pieces and half of the bacon to the sauce.
- Add the drained pasta and mix to coat. Simmer for another minute.
- Serve the chicken and bacon pasta garnished with parsley, the rest of the bacon pieces and parmesan on the side!