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This easy Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake is an absolute midweek winner that the whole family will love. Packed with veggies with a delicious creamy sauce, it’s topped with cheese for extra crunch and flavour. 

As well as a family favourite nailed-on hit, it’s also ultra convenient for days when you want to prep dinner earlier in the day to save time later.

A big pan on a table filled with Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake, with grilled cheese on top, ready to serve.

Fill your boots with the cheesy, carby goodness that is SO satisfying in any season.

This Bacon and Chicken Pasta Bake recipe is comfort food, pure and simple. It’s a totally winning combination of flavours that even the fussiest of diners is going to approve of. 

A creamy chicken pasta bake has always been one of my go-to dishes, and there’s so many ways you can mix it up.

It’s a fantastic way of stretching a pack of chicken breasts, and the bacon and cheese obviously just take everything up a notch.
 
Every home cook needs an affordable and easy chicken pasta bake in their repertoire, right?

Here is my offering. I hope it’ll be one to add to your go-to midweek meal plans too.


Why you’ll love this recipe

⭐️ Easy and adaptable (mix it up each week)

⭐️ So comforting and delicious

⭐️ Great for prepping ahead and leftovers


A bird's eye view of a corner of a pan filled with Chicken Pasta Bake, with a spoon stuck in, ready to serve.

How we came up with this recipe

A version of this recipe has been on the site here for a long time, but I wanted to give it a little refresh as the last version used three pans to cook with. Who needs that washing up in their lives?!

I’ve reduced it to two pans (hurrah!) and simplified things a little, without reducing the taste.

You could serve this as a regular chicken and bacon pasta dish, without adding the cheese on top and grilling if you prefer.

One of the things I love about this Chicken Pasta Bake is that I can make it ahead of time

So when I know it’s going to be a busy midweek evening, I do my initial cook in the morning and cover it in the fridge once it’s cooled, ready to then simply pop in the oven later.


Other make-ahead pasta bake recipes


Ingredients for chicken and bacon pasta bake laid out on a counter top.

Chicken and Bacon Pasta Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Pasta – Your choice
  • Bacon – Chopped into small pieces
  • Large chicken breasts
  • Onion – Use fresh or pre-prepared frozen
  • Garlic – Feel free to use jar/cheat garlic or fresh
  • Broccoli – You’ll need a whole head
  • Milk
  • Plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheese – Your preference. I use half mozzarella and half cheddar
  • Wholegrain mustard – This is optional

How to make Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake

1. Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, fry the bacon, then the chicken, onions and garlic. Add broccoli into your pasta cooking water at the same time.

2. Add flour and stir for 2-3 minutes until coated well.

3. Pour in the milk.

4. Add half of the cheese, season and stir.

5. Add the drained pasta and broccoli.

6. Sprinkle cheese and grill for 10 minutes.

TIP: Be sure to drain pasta very well so the sauce isn’t watery.


Substitutions

  • Meat – If you want to mix this up, try using meatballs, sausage, ham or chorizo instead of the chicken and bacon. Alternatively, if you ‘d like to make this a vegetarian dish, just omit the meat completely and add extra vegetables.
  • Veggies – You can swap out the broccoli for another vegetable if you prefer. Something like peas would work really well.

Leftovers

In the fridge Pasta Bake is a brilliant dish to eat as leftovers or for a packed lunch or picnic.

Just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (for no more than 3 days) and enjoy.

If you want to reheat it, make sure it’s piping hot before serving again, and never reheat more than once.

In the freezer You can freeze pasta but it won’t be at its best and I wouldn’t recommend it. It goes a bit mushy after being defrosted.

My advice is to be as economical as you can with leftovers in the days after the initial cook (no-one will need any convincing to get rid of it for you!)

Top tips

Use up cooked chicken 

If you have some leftover chicken (from a roast chicken, for example), this recipe is a fantastic way of using it up to make it stretch to another meal. Just add it to the pasta and sauce with the pan-fried bacon and vegetables. There’s no need to fry it again. Other chicken pasta recipes you could try this with too include: 

I tend to do this with most of my pasta bake recipes because it just works better. I’ve tried it both ways and cooking the pasta first always has the best results, and as it takes such little time to cook, this step is always worth it for me. 

Just cook the pasta in fresh boiling water and drain off before adding to the sauce and ingredients to then bake together. 

Make in advance

Prepare up to the end of step 10 in the recipe and then when cold pop into the fridge (covered). When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 180C and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and everything is hot throughout.

FAQs

Can I use the oven for this dish instead of the grill?

Yes sure, it’s your choice. And you may want to oven bake it if it’s totally cold beforehand.

Just preheat your oven to 180C and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

What should I serve with a chicken pasta bake?

Really this is a one-stop-shop easy recipe that’s a full meal on its own, so requires no further effort.

However, if you want to add a few extras to make it go further or because you’re entertaining, you could serve this with a side salad or garlic bread.

Is this a healthy Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake?

This pasta recipe is relatively low in fat compared to some as we don’t use butter in the sauce.

If you want to reduce the fat further you could use low fat bacon and omit the cheese.

Can this be made into a gluten free recipe?

Yes – just use gluten free pasta and check all other ingredients to be sure they are gluten free.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.91 from 61 votes

Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake {SO EASY!}

This easy Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake recipe is a delicious and healthy dinner for all the family. The simple creamy sauce is packed with vegetables and bacon and topped with cheese. 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 People

Ingredients 

  • 300 g Pasta
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 200 g Bacon, Chopped into small pieces
  • 300 g Chicken breast chunks, About x2 large chicken breasts
  • 3 Cloves garlic, Peeled and crushed
  • 1 Large onion, Peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 300 g Broccoli, (Whole head) Chopped into small chunks
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 2 tbsp Plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 g Cheese, See notes
  • 1 tsp Wholegrain mustard, Optional

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until starting to brown.
  • When the timer goes off for the pasta add the broccoli and cook for a further 6 minutes until both the pasta and broccoli are cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • Add the chicken to the bacon and fry for a further 5 minutes until coloured all over.
  • Add the onions, garlic and cook until just softened and the chicken is cooked through. About 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring so everything is well coated.
  • Pour in the milk.
  • Add half of the cheese to the meat and sauce, plus salt and pepper, and stir well.
  • Preheat the grill.
  • Add the drained, cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  • Put under the grill for about 10 minutes until crispy and bubbling.

Notes

Cheese: You can use whichever cheese you like to top your chicken pasta bake. I like to use half mozzarella, for streeeeeeetchy-ness (is that a word?) and half cheddar, for flavour.
How to prepare in advance: ‌Prepare up to the end of step 10 in the recipe and then when cold pop into the fridge (covered). When you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 180C and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and everything is hot throughout.
Draining: Be sure to drain pasta and broccoli very well so the sauce isn’t watery.
Substitutions: You can omit the bacon for a vegetarian dish, or try using meatballs, sausage, ham or chorizo instead of the chicken and bacon. You can also swap out the broccoli for another vegetable if you prefer (peas would work really well).

Nutrition

Calories: 683kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 52gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1430mgPotassium: 982mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1131IUVitamin C: 71mgCalcium: 503mgIron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of TamingTwins.com and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    SO EASY!!!!!!

    Actually really struggled, caused a family row and now I’m getting a divorce. Could you be a little more precise with how you grade the difficulty in future.