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!
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.
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.
The lean pieces of bacon crisp up to add saltiness & flavour. My favourite ingredient in the recipe.
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.
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.
A burst of fresh herbs to finish with.
Milk + parmesan + starchy pasta water/stock > cream
Always needed with a creamy sauce.
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.
Then add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes until translucent.
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.
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.
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.