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…….)

Portrait photo of Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon in a glass dish with a knife and fork in the background
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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!).

Overhead landscape close up shot of Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon in a glass dish with a scoop taken out showing the lovely texture of the bake

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.

Let’s see…

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!

Overhead landscape photo of Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon in a glass dish

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

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In order to make this super tasty Cheesy Pasta Bake with Chicken and Bacon you will need:

4.85 from 69 votes

Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon Recipe

Cheesy Pasta Bake With Chicken And Bacon – a family favourite (and it makes great leftovers too!).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 people
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, British, Italian


  • 400 g (4 1/2 cups) 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 (paste for US)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 800 g (28 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 100 g (3 cups) fresh baby spinach
  • 6 rashers cooked bacon chopped
  • 100 g (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) strong cheddar cheese grated
  • 100 g (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) mozzarella grated
  • small bunch parsley roughly torn
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  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F (fan).
  • Boil a large pan of water and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than recommended on the pack. Drain.
    400 g (4 1/2 cups) dried pasta shapes
  • 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.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 large chicken breasts
  • Add the onion and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the onion is softened.
    1 large onion
  • Add the chopped peppers, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato puree, oregano and thyme. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp tomato puree, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 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.
    800 g (28 oz) tinned chopped tomatoes, 120 ml (1/2 cup) double (heavy) cream, 100 g (3 cups) fresh baby spinach, 6 rashers cooked bacon
  • Top with the cheddar and mozzarella, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.
    100 g (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) strong cheddar cheese, 100 g (1 cup minus 1 tbsp) mozzarella
  • Take out of the oven and top with parsley before serving.
    small bunch parsley



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.
Note: the dish will be a little less saucy if you make it ahead, as the pasta will absorb more of the liquid. You can a few tablespoons of stock or hot water before heating the pasta to ensure it’s still saucy if you like.

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.
Add a few tablespoons of stock or hot water when reheating the pasta to ensure it’s still saucy.

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.



Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 637mg | Potassium: 911mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3040IU | Vitamin C: 82.3mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 3.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Bjewell says:

    5 stars
    Certainly hit the spot wit the teenagers in our house. Lots of healthy stuff in it along with the cheesy deliciousness. One of the kids love it so much they now cook it!

  2. Anthony Gass says:

    5 stars
    Pasta bake

  3. Irene Henning says:

    5 stars
    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

  4. Kay says:

    Do we drain the tomatoes?

  5. Rachael says:

    5 stars
    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!

  6. Sam Menendez says:

    5 stars

  7. Jean Ann says:

    5 stars
    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 😊

  8. lynne says:

    5 stars
    delicious and simple, everyone loved it. Makes a great quantity too, plenty for seconds or leftovers

  9. Nina says:

    5 stars
    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.

  10. Blitzo says:

    5 stars
    Amazing! I really love this food, my brother requested to me for his lunch.

    1. Lily says:

      4 stars
      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.