Delicious Pasta Bake with Chicken and Bacon Recipe

Hearty Pasta Bake with Chicken and Bacon: A Family Favorite!

Delightful Pasta Bake with Chicken and Bacon: The Ultimate Comfort Food

Hey there, awesome parents and home chefs! Are you ready to whip up a pasta bake with chicken and bacon that’ll make your family rush to the dinner table? If you’re looking for a dish that’s packed with flavor, easy to prepare, and sure to satisfy those hungry tummies, you’ve landed in the perfect spot.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through every delicious step to create the ultimate pasta bake. Plus, we’ve got tips and tricks to customize it to your family’s taste buds. So, let’s get those aprons on, and start this mouthwatering adventure!

Savory Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake: Ingredients and Prep

Before diving into the cooking process, let’s make sure we have everything on our shopping list. Here’s what you’ll need for a pasta bake that’s brimming with goodness:

  • 400g of your favorite pasta shape (penne, fusilli, or rigatoni work wonders)
  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, diced
  • 200g bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (400g) of crushed tomatoes or your preferred pasta sauce
  • 200ml heavy cream or crème fraîche
  • 150g shredded cheese (a mix of mozzarella and cheddar is divine)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional but recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (for a little kick!)

Let’s Preheat and Prepare:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to a cozy 180°C (356°F) — a warm welcome for our pasta wonder.
  2. Next, fill a large pot with generously salted water, and bring it to a boil for the pasta.
  3. Prepare your ingredients as listed, because once the stovetop action starts, it’ll be a whirlwind of flavor fusion!

Cooking Up A Storm: The Pasta Bake Process

With our ingredients ready, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of making our pasta bake with chicken and bacon into an irresistible reality. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a golden, bubbling delicacy in no time:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, but subtract a few minutes from the recommended cooking time — we want it al dente since it will continue cooking in the oven.
  2. While the pasta boils, grab a large skillet and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until it’s just golden outside and not quite cooked through. It’s time out for the chicken — scoop it out, and let it rest.
  3. In the same skillet, unleash the bacon and cook until it’s crispy. Oh, the aromas! Transfer the bacon to a plate for now, leaving the bacon fat behind as a flavor-packed base for the next step.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and introduce the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook these buddies until they’re soft and translucent, preparing them for the rich sauce they’ll be swimming in.
  5. Now, plunge the crushed tomatoes or pasta sauce into the mix, stir in the heavy cream, and watch the color turn into a creamy dream. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Let this saucy concoction simmer for a couple of minutes, then bring back the chicken and bacon, along with any accumulated juices, because flavor, my friends, is everything.

Our base sauce is now a treasure trove of taste, ready to hug every strand of pasta. Speaking of which, is your pasta ready? Great! Drain it well and add it to the skillet, mixing cheerfully to ensure each piece is coated in that rich, creamy sauce.

With the hard part done, you’re almost ready to assemble this comfort food masterpiece. But let’s pause for a moment to savor the anticipation. The kitchen smells divine, right? The kids are peeking around the corner, aren’t they?

Stay tuned for the next steps where we’ll add the finishing touches and bake this creation to perfection. Your family is in for a treat!

pasta bake chicken and bacon

Image Credit

Finishing Touches and Baking to Perfection

Now, let’s get this pasta party into the oven! Grab a large baking dish and gently pour the skillet’s contents into it. Spread it out evenly and sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the top. It’s this layer of gooey cheese that will crown our pasta bake with a golden touch.

  1. Sprinkle the chopped basil over the cheesy layer to add a burst of freshness.
  2. Pop the baking dish into your preheated oven and let it bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  3. Once it’s done, allow it to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This little break lets the pasta bake settle and makes it easier to serve.

While the aroma of this heartwarming meal fills every nook and cranny of your home, let’s talk about the 5 things parents should know when preparing this pasta bake with chicken and bacon:

  1. Ingredient Swaps are A-Ok: Don’t have chicken? Use ground beef or turkey. Not a fan of bacon? Skip it or use ham! This recipe is flexible and forgiving, so use what you have and what your family loves.
  2. Make-Ahead Magic: You can easily prepare this dish ahead of time. Just assemble the pasta bake, cover it, and store it in the fridge. When dinner time rolls around, bake it fresh. You’ll be the time-management wizard of the kitchen!
  3. Getting Kids Involved: Turn meal prep into family fun by getting the kids involved. They can help with tearing up basil leaves, stirring the pasta into the sauce, or sprinkling the cheese.
  4. Sneak in the Veggies: Looking to boost the nutrition? Mix in some spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers. They blend seamlessly with the other flavors while adding a punch of vitamins.
  5. Leftover Love: If you find yourself with leftovers, rejoice! This pasta bake reheats beautifully and might even taste better the next day as the flavors mingle overnight. Store it in an airtight container and enjoy it for lunch or another quick dinner.

Once you serve up this delightful pasta bake with chicken and bacon, watch as your family’s faces light up. It’s about to become a go-to recipe for its deliciousness, ease, and pure comfort-food vibes.

Mealtime is more than just about eating; it’s about creating memories around the table, sharing stories, and enjoying the love that went into making the meal. This pasta bake is a fantastic way to bring all that warmth to your dining room.

Happy cooking and even happier eating!

See more great Things to Do with Kids in New Zealand here. For more information see here

The articles available via our website provide general information only and we strongly urge readers to exercise caution and conduct their own thorough research and fact-checking. The information presented should not be taken as absolute truth, and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, we will not be held liable for any inaccuracies or errors in the content. It is essential for individuals to independently verify and validate the information before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the articles.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *