Creamy Bacon Pasta with Peas

I saw the inspiration for this recipe on Plain Chicken and knew it was definitely something I wanted to try! I mean creamy sauce, pasta, cheese, and BACON?! Hello!! This dish has great potential and I think just needs a couple tweaks from how it is posted below (which is how I fixed it). I think it was actually too much bacon, and could use some chicken (I would suggest 4 oz cooked, chopped bacon and 1 lb chicken, diced, and cooked to supplement). To get to 8 oz of cooked bacon, I had to fry and dice 14 slices of thick cut bacon! That just seemed excessive to me and I think some chicken would lighten it up a little and still give you some "meat" with your pasta. I also think the sauce was a little too rich (the original recipe called for evaporated milk, but I had some half and half in the fridge and thought it would go well in this recipe). I would suggest using regular milk and/or starting with half as much cream cheese, taste testing, and adjusting from there. I ended up with a pretty thick sauce, so you may need additional broth or milk to thin.

We served this with a Caesar salad and some Texas toast for a rich, hearty, and satisfying meal! I was full really quickly - it was rich and really delicious!

Creamy Bacon Pasta with Peas slightly adapted from Plain Chicken

12 oz penne pasta (or other tubular noodle)
32 oz low-sodium chicken broth (more if needed to thin sauce)
1 ½ cups half and half (or milk)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2-4 oz cream cheese
8 oz cooked, chopped bacon
1/2 cup frozen peas

  1. In large skillet or pot, combine pasta, milk, chicken broth, onion powder, garlic powder and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to medium or low, and simmer for 15-18 minutes, until pasta is done and liquid has reduced.
  2. Stir in parmesan, cream cheese, frozen peas and bacon.  Simmer for 5 additional minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and allow the sauce to thicken if needed. If sauce is too thick, add additional broth or milk to thin.


  1. This sounds delicious! I made the version from Cooking for Two 2009 (Cook's Illustrated) and it was phenomenally good. Of course it was rich, too, made with heavy cream. I don't find anything too rich for my tastes :)


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