This Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon is a family favourite (and it makes great leftovers too!).
Not a lot can beat a lovely cheesy pasta bake served up with a big side of salad (obviously that makes it healthy.......)
Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon is one of those dinners that the kids can polish off in no time - regardless of how many veggies I sneak in there. Peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach - it all gets thrown in.
Sometimes I'll add courgette or kale. If I'm being extra sneaky I might add some finely chopped mushroom too (I'm the only mushroom lover in our house - but they all eat mushrooms if they can't identify them hee hee hee!).
I like it cold for lunch the next day too - although you can heat it up in the microwave with a tablespoon of water - to stop it drying out.
I sometimes wonder if I could eat pasta every day of the week and not get bored of it.
Monday: I'll kick-off with this chicken and bacon pasta bake.
Tuesday: Cajun Chicken Pasta
Wednesday: One Pan Lasagne Soup
Thursday: One Pot Garlic Chicken Pasta
Friday: Crispy Fried Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Dip
Saturday: Pan Fried Salmon with Creamy Lemon Spaghetti
Sunday: One Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs
Oh yeah, that was easy - I didn't even start on the pulled pork ragu or the or the penne arrabiata!! Oh and dont forget to check out my new Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake too!
Do you have a favourite pasta dish? I'd love some new ideas for my pasta addiction 🙂
The Chicken Bacon Pasta Bake Video
More Super Tasty Pasta Recipes
If you like this chicken and bacon pasta bake then I know you'll LOVE these too:
In order to make this super tasty Cheesy Pasta Bake with Chicken and Bacon you will need:
- A good Kitchen knife.
- Chopping Board.
- A Measuring Jug.
- Measuring Spoons
- A Large Pan For boiling the pasta
- Colander for straining the pasta.
- A Baking Dish. < This is the one you can see in the pictures here.
- Grater (If you choose to grate your own cheese)
- A large Frying Pan or Skillet
- Wooden or Silicon Coated Spoons. We have just bought these and love them.
Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon Recipe
- 400 g dried pasta shapes - (I used rigatoni)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 large chicken breasts - cut into bitesize chunks
- 1 large onion - peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper - de-seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper - de-seeded and chopped
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 800 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 120 ml double (heavy) cream
- 100 g fresh baby spinach
- 6 rashers cooked bacon - chopped
- 100 g strong cheddar cheese - grated
- 100 g mozzarella - grated
- Small bunch parsley - roughly torn
- Preheat the oven to 190c/375f. Boil a large pan of water and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than recommended on the pack. Drain.
- Whilst the pasta is cooking, heat the oil on a medium heat, in a large frying pan. Add the chicken, and cook until just sealed - about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the onion is softened.
- Add the chopped peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree, oregano and thyme. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the tinned tomatoes and cream, bring to a gentle bubble, then add the pasta, spinach and cooked bacon. Stir everything together, then transfer to a large baking dish.
- Top with the cheddar and mozzarella, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and top with parsley before serving.
Can I make pasta bake ahead?Yes! You can make ahead up to the point you sprinkle the cheese on, then cool, cover with foil and refrigerate for up to a day
- Take out of the fridge for an hour before cooking it, to take the chill off the dish (otherwise you mind find you get a cold spot in the middle when baking it).
- Keep the foil on and heat in the oven at 190C/375F for about 10 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to heat for a further 15 minutes, until hot throughout.
Can I freeze the leftovers from my pasta bake?Yes, once cooked:
- Cool quickly, cover and freeze.
- Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- Reheat in the oven (covered in foil) at 190C/375F for about 20-25 minutes until hot throughout.
Type of pasta to use for pasta bake:I love to use rigatoni for this pasta bake, but you can use most pasta shapes. Spiralli (pasta spirals), Penne (tubes cut on the diagonal), Fusilli (pasta twists) and Farfalle (pasta bows) all work partcularly well, with no change in amounts or cooking times.
Vegetarian version:Replace the chicken with chunky pieces of courgette (zucchini) or mushroom. You can leave the bacon out entirely, or replace it with vegetarian chorizo or smoky chickpeas (chickpeas fried with smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper).
Also, ensure the cheddar and mozzarella are vegetarian versions.
Gluten free version:This recipe works well as a gluten-free dish with a few changes. Swap out the pasta for gluten-free pasta and ensure your tomato paste is gluten free. Also, if you're using ready grated (shredded) cheese, ensure it's gluten free, as it can sometimes be tossed in a little flour to prevent it from sticking. Nutritional Information is per serving.
If you’ve tried my pasta bake recipe then please rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing your thoughts and add-ons to my recipes!
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Anthony Gass says
Irene Henning says
I’m someone who really can’t cook,but I found your recipe easy to follow,and really enjoyed it,I am 82 and live on my own,so this does me three dinners,and I enjoy it so much,I cook it every fortnight,maybe it’s time I tried something else
Do we drain the tomatoes?
One of my favourite recipes ever! Absolutely love it and could probably eat it every day! Always a hit in my home. Thank you for sharing it!
Sam Menendez says
Jean Ann says
Fab recipe used crème fraiche instead of cream and pasata instead of tinned tomatoes as my husband doesn’t like texture otherwise. Very tasty and just used penne pasta 😊
delicious and simple, everyone loved it. Makes a great quantity too, plenty for seconds or leftovers
I halved the recipe and used cooked chicken as I had some to use up (approximately 150g) I did not use pre cooked bacon as I was not cooking the chicken as
per the recipe, so I started the recipe with the bacon and followed the recipe as it is. Only change I made as I am cooking lower fat recipes for my family was that I used Oatley Cream 50ml and whisked in 30g of NUSH cream cheese into the Oatley cream. This dramatically reduces the saturated fat content but still makes the bake creamy. I finished with some Eat Lean grated and added ad grating of Parmesan Cheese which made it low fat but the small amount of Parmesan cheese gave it a cheesy hit.
I made this as a favour for a vegan friend with just vegetables (used red pepper, mushrooms and vegan bacon bits) and used the Vegan Oatley Cream and NUSH vegan cream cheese mix I mentioned earlier. Used Vegan grated cheese. They all loved it!
Tip as the recipe states add some water if you make ahead as it really does absorb the sauce when it stands. I am thinking next time I will make the sauce ahead and then will cook pasta as per instructions (one minute less and then amalgamate with sauce prior to putting in the oven OR I will cook the pasta one minute less and lightly coat in olive oil to stop it sticking until I am ready to use, I won’t mix it all together until Imam ready to bake it. Even after I added water I felt it did not work properly for me and lost the sauciness.
Amazing! I really love this food, my brother requested to me for his lunch.
Do you have any tips for making the chicken less tough? I used tomato paste and added mushrooms and it worked great - super delicious. My only issue is that the chicken is quite tough and is flavourless on the inside. Might omit the chicken next time or use tuna or beef mince instead, but will definitely be making again.
Love this pasta recipe. Simple and easy partner is a big fan
Michael Pryor says
The chicken and bacon cheesy pasta bake turned out delicious, but it was huge! I had to use two oven dishes. However, it was so good I’ll enjoy this one many more times, Thankyou
Made this so many times. Absolutely love this recipe and is a firm favourite with everyone. I’ll add some mushroom and courgette with a cheeky sprinkle of chilli flakes just for that little kick … yum. Always loads left over to freeze in portion sizes.
Absolutely love this recipe! One of my favourites and a go to dish for me. I add extra garlic (only because I’m obsessed) and don’t add peppers (only because my son won’t eat it) but perfect every time! Thank you for sharing it!
I made this last night for the kids. Came out great!
I didn't have full cream, so instead I used whole milk and butter. The single pinch of salt and pepper was also not enough, and even though I added more during cooking, it still required more after serving. I did taste test it before going in the oven, but at this point it was almost impossible to mix in the dish.
I also used paccheri pasta for a change, and due to their size, many were poking out of the top of the dish - they were very crispy on the exposed sides, and tender under the sauce! I would probably go with something smaller next time, but it did make for something a little different.