5 from 9 votes

Creamy Chicken & Bacon Pasta (One-Pot and Healthy)

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This one-pot creamy chicken and bacon pasta recipe is so delicious and healthy. It's a great alternative to your standard creamy pasta.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£1.35
Makes: 6
mains
Italian
chicken and bacon, one pot, Simple & Easy
Freezable

Table of Contents

  1. Why this recipe works 
  2. Is this recipe healthy?
  3. Ingredients
  4. How to make this chicken & bacon pasta recipe
  5. FAQ

Why this recipe works 

If I may say so myself, there’s so much to like about this chicken and bacon pasta recipe. It’s one-pot, so that minimises the post dinner clean-up. It’s a healthier alternative to your usual creamy pasta recipes and it’s perfect for meal prep batch cooking.  You can make this recipe and either enjoy with friends/family or enjoy 6 freezable portions to yourself! 

Is this recipe healthy?

I developed this recipe with health in mind, without sacrificing flavour. To reduce calories and add nutrients, I opted for some swaps & additions, as chicken and bacon pasta recipes are usually calorie dense and lack nutrients. 

We use semi-skimmed milk instead of cream which when combined with the starch from the pasta and  the parmesan, forms a creamy rich sauce. 

I love the flavour of wholegrain fusilli, it pairs with the creamy chicken and bacon really nicely. This switch from regular pasta adds nutrients and fibre, which will keep you fuller for longer. 

I used chicken breast and low fat bacon medallions, both lean cuts of meat which allow us to enjoy great sources of protein with reduced fats. 

Parmesan is a great cheese to use when you’re thinking of making a recipe more healthy. It’s got such a strong flavour, that a little goes a long way. 

The addition of kale adds nutrients and a pop of colour in what usually is a pretty beige meal. 

Ingredients

Chicken 

The chicken is cut up in small chunks to ensure it can be cooked quickly without drying out. You won’t be missing those thighs in this recipe. 

Bacon medallions 

The lean pieces of bacon crisp up to add saltiness & flavour. My favourite ingredient in the recipe. 

Wholewheat  fusilli 

You can switch to your favourite pasta shape but try to stick with wholewheat as the flavour is great with the creamy sauce and we love that extra fibre.

Kale 

I love how low maintenance kale is as you can just chuck it into the chicken and bacon pasta when it’s almost cooked and within one minute or wilt time, you’re good to eat. 

Basil 

A burst of fresh herbs to finish with. 

Semi-skimmed milk 

Milk + parmesan + starchy pasta water/stock > cream

Garlic & onion 

Always needed with a creamy sauce.

creamy chicken and bacon pasta Ingredients shot

How to make this chicken & bacon pasta recipe

Start by adding the olive oil, chicken pieces and bacon slices to a large non stick saucepan.  Fry on a medium heat for around 6 minutes and then season with salt.

Bacon and chicken added to pan
Remove the chicken and continue to cook the bacon until crispy.  Then, remove the bacon and deglaze the fond (meat stuck to the bottom of the pan) with a splash of chicken stock.

Stock and fond in pan

Then add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes until translucent.

Onions frying in pan
Now that the onions have softened, add the garlic and dried thyme. Fry for a minute before adding the chicken stock and fusilli. Combine and cook for around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally as the stock evaporates.
Pasta and stock in pan

Now reduce the heat to low and before adding the bacon, chicken, milk and kale into the pan. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and then add the parmesan as soon as the pasta is al-dente. This will absorb some of the moisture too.

Chicken and bacon in pan with pasta

Now that you have a creamy, silky sauce, add the lemon juice and season with salt and lots of pepper. Serve with finely chopped fresh basil.

Pasta ready with kale added, chicken, bacon and milk

FAQ

Can I substitute the whole wheat pasta for regular white pasta?

You sure can. It’ll just have less nutrients and fibre but if you hate wholewheat pasta, you could always serve with a side of veggies to make up for this.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?

Yes you can! Don’t switch though if you’re worried about the chicken breast being dry as this recipe cooks the chicken in a way that prevents this.

Can I use pancetta instead of the bacon medallions?

Definitely, it’ll add some calories but that’s definitely a great substitution.

Can I meal-prep this recipe/ make this ahead of time?

Yes! With freezable portions, it’s a great recipe to freeze half a batch and enjoy 3 portions throughout the week. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, add a tbsp of water before popping in the microwave for 2 minutes. Top with fresh parm and basil and season with salt and pepper.

Is this pasta recipe freezable?

Yes! Freeze for up to 3 months.

side shot of bowl of pasta with spoon and lemon wedge

Other one pot recipes…

Lebanese Inspired Chicken Pilaf

Bacon, Beans and Greens

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Chicken Noodle Soup

Other chicken and bacon recipes…

Chicken Katsu Curry

Creamy Green Risotto with Crispy Bacon and Mushrooms

Chicken, Ham and Leek Meal Prep Pies

 

Creamy Chicken & Bacon Pasta (One-Pot and Healthy)

Print Pin It
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
£1.35
mains
Italian
chicken and bacon, one pot, Simple & Easy
Freezable
Servings: 6
This one-pot creamy chicken and bacon pasta recipe is so delicious and healthy. It's a great alternative to your standard creamy pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion, diced (£0.09)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (£0.69/3)=(£0.23)
  • 300 g reduced fat bacon medallions (£2.75)
  • 300 g chicken breast, frozen & defrosted, sliced into small chunks 600g=(£3.30/2)=(£1.65)
  • 500 g wholewheat fusilli (£0.70)
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, finely chopped (£0.55)
  • 50 g parmesan (£1.55/3)=(£0.52)
  • 200 ml milk (£0.95)
  • 75 g to 150g kale, chopped/tough stems removed (£0.65)

Cupbord Essentials

  • 1.4 litre litres chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Add olive oil, chicken and bacon to a large saucepan (not non-stick). Fry on a medium heat for around 6 minutes, seasoning with salt. Remove the chicken and continue to cook the bacon until crispy.
  • Then, remove the bacon and deglaze the fond (meat stuck to the bottom of the pan) with a splash of chicken stock. Pour the onions into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Now that the onions have softened, add the garlic and dried thyme. Fry for a minute before adding the chicken stock and fusilli. Combine and cook for around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally as the stock evaporates.
  • After this time, reduce the heat to low and add the chicken, bacon, milk and kale into the pan. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and then add the parmesan as soon as the pasta is al-dente. This will absorb some of the moisture too.
  • Now that you have a creamy, silky sauce, add the lemon juice and season with salt and lots of pepper. Serve with finely chopped fresh basil.

Nutrition

Servings: 6 servings
Fat: 11g
Calories: 525kcal
Carbohydrates: 60g
Protein: 45g

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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