Easy, comforting and oh so creamy! This indulgent creamy chicken pasta with bacon takes just 25 minutes from start to finish, making it a great weeknight dinner.
A bit like a fettuccine alfredo but instead of parmesan cheese, cream cheese is used to make this creamy luxurious sauce. A perfect creamy pasta to make when you've got some leftover cream cheese in the fridge!
Heads up, this is definitely a once in a while dish to make since it is quite high in calories per serve! For creamy pasta dishes on a lighter side, check out my Creamy Prawn Pasta or a healthy Creamy Mushroom Pasta that does not use any cream!
Simple, everyday ingredients for a quick and easy mid-week dinner!
- Fettuccine - any pasta shapes will work such as fusilli (spiral pasta), spaghetti and even shell pasta!
- Bacon - adds a delicious layer of umami (savouriness), salty and sweetness to this pasta. It compliments very well with just about anything!
- Chicken breasts - can use skinless chicken thighs also.
- Cream cheese - adds extra creaminess and a slight tang and subtle sweetness. Of course, you can just use parmesan cheese instead. If you've not cooked pasta with cream cheese before, today is the day! It is sooo delicious.
- Lemon juice - the sweet citrusy acid of lemon juice cuts through the richness of the creamy sauce and elevates the dish to a new mouthwatering level! Just a squeeze will do the trick.
How to make creamy chicken pasta with bacon
You'll be glad to know that this recipe is extremely easy and foolproof! Perfect for a beginner home cook. 🙂
To start, simply saute onions and garlic until aromatic on medium heat. About 1 minute. Then, add in diced bacon (fatty or lean, your choice). Stir fry for about 4 - 5 minutes or until bacon starts to caramelise a little and fat renders (releases).
A handy tip when making this is to use a large, non-stick frypan. This prevents any sticky mess and you're less likely to burn anything.
Then, increase the heat up to medium-high. Push bacon and onion mixture to the rims of the pan and add chicken. To get the chicken golden and lightly caramelised (colour = flavour!), spread the chicken out into a single layer in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook undisturbed and only flip once the pan side has turned golden. This will take about 2 minutes per side.
Always aim to season raw meats before they are cooked. This helps the salt penetrate the meat and thus creates flavour. This is why we always season steaks or burger patties before we cook them and why marinating makes great stir-fries!
Once the chicken is almost cooked and looking flavoursome, reduce heat to low and add cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper. It's important to layer on the seasoning as you cook so the final dish is not bland nor flat.
With a spatula, gently break apart the cream cheese to help it dissolve into the cream sauce. Let the sauce come up to a gentle simmer.
By now, the pasta should be cooked to al dente (with a slight bite to it).
Add drained cooked pasta into the pan and mix well.
Taste the sauce and adjust for a little more salt and pepper if required. Squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice to help lift the sauce and add a bit more tang to it.
That's it! Told you this creamy chicken pasta with bacon is easy! Simple ingredients executed well.
As you can see, the pasta is very saucy, creamy and comforting!
Generally, if the pasta is left for a while, say, an hour, it'll start to dry up. To make it saucy again, simply mix in a little pasta cooking water (if you've reserved it!) or just hot water will do. This will help turn it saucy and creamy again.
This recipe makes 4 generous servings.
- Keep half a cup of pasta cooking water. This pasta comes out with plenty of creamy sauce without adding pasta cooking water. However. it's useful if the pasta has been sitting there for a while and the pasta has soaked up a lot of the liquids. Simply add in some pasta cooking water, mix and you're good to go! If you forgot to save some, hot water is not a bad option either.
- Cook pasta to al dente for that perfect texture and bite. In particular, the pasta will continue to cook a little as it is being mixed into the creamy sauce.
- Spread the chicken pieces out into a single layer and only flip and turn once the pan side is golden brown. This gives the chicken a chance to caramelise a little for that desired depth of flavour. Constantly stirring the chicken as soon as it hits the pan will just promote liquids from escaping the chicken and turning it more watery.
- Get a good colour on the bacon. This magical salt-cured meat adds a tone of flavour and even more when it is fried to a golden colour!
Good to know (FAQs)
Macarpone cheese, Greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt, ricotta and of course, parmesan cheese!
Yes! After step 4 in the recipe card below, add a tablespoon of plain flour, mix it through the chicken and bacon mixture. Then, add milk instead of heavy cream, mix well and the sauce should thicken. Continue with the recipe instructions. This is a very similar approach to my Creamy Mushroom Pasta with No Cream recipe.
Heavy or thickened cream. Stay away from pouring cream or light cream as they don't create a thick, coating consistency that thickened or heavy cream does.
If the pasta starts to dry up a little, add some hot/warm pasta cooking water or simply hot water from the kettle. Mix well and the pasta will turn saucy and creamy again.
Fettuccine is actually a type of pasta and alfredo is a cheesy creamy sauce. Although, I understand some people tend to call a dish like this creamy chicken pasta with bacon simply 'fettuccine'.
Absolutely! Just make sure to store in an airtight container first. Keeps well in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply let it defrost in the fridge the night before and reheat.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below! I'd love to hear from you 🙂
Happy cooking! - Gen
Creamy Chicken Pasta With Bacon
- 300 g / 10 ounces dried fettuccine pasta or other types of pasta shapes
- 1 cup heavy/thickened cream
- 500 g / 1 pound chicken breast cut into bite-size
- 200 g / 7 ounces bacon diced
- ¼ cup cream cheese or freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ brown onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- a squeeze lemon juice about 2 teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Remember to heavily salt the pasta cooking water.
- Whilst pasta is cooking, in a large non-stick pan, stir fry onions and garlic on medium heat with olive oil. About 1 minute.
- Add bacon and cook until bacon starts to caramelise. About 4 - 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Spread the chicken out into a single layer in the pan and let it turn slightly golden and brown on one side before flipping and cooking the other side. This creates depth of flavour. (note 1)
- Reduce heat down to low and add cream cheese and heavy cream. With the spatula, break apart the cream cheese to help it dissolve faster.
- By now the pasta should be cooked (note 2). Drain and add pasta to the pan with creamy chicken sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
- Mix pasta well for about 1 - 2 minutes on low heat then serve. Add a little pasta cooking water if needed to loosen up the sauce (but you should not need it).