4.54 from 26 votes

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta (One-Pot & 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 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
£1.35
Makes: 6
mains
Italian
Freezable

This creamy chicken and bacon pasta is a healthier alternative to your usual creamy pasta recipes and it’s perfect for meal prep batch cooking. 

A green bowl of pasta with chicken and bacon pieces, kale and topped with fresh chopped basil.

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. 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. 

Other one pot recipes to try after this one …

Ingredients

Ingredients to make creamy chicken and bacon pasta laid out on a grey background and labelled.

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.

Semi-skimmed milk 
Milk + parmesan + starchy pasta water/stock > cream

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

How to make this chicken & bacon pasta recipe

  1. 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. Remove the chicken and continue to cook the bacon until crispy (Image 1).
  2. Then, remove the bacon and deglaze the fond (meat stuck to the bottom of the pan) with a splash of chicken stock (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with chicken frying in a pan and the second with bits of chicken (the fond) at the bottom on the oab with some stock.

3. Then add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes until translucent. Now that the onions have softened, add the garlic and dried thyme and fry for a minute (Image 3).

4. Now add the chicken stock and fusilli. Combine and cook for around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally as the stock evaporates (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with onions frying in the saucepan and  the second with pasta added to pan.

5. 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 (Image 5).

6. 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 (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with chicken and bacon pieces in pasta in a saucepan and the second with a sauce and greens added.

Tips and Tricks

  • I chose whole wheat pasta for added fibre and nutrients. It will also give the dish a nuttier flavour, but feel free to use your favourite pasta to make this dish.
  • Opt for lean bacon and trim off any excess fat before cooking and chicken breast for a lean protein.
  • Feel free to add additional vegetables like peppers, courgettes and mushrooms to increase the nutrients and add variety.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences. You can add more herbs such as oregano, or red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
  • Be careful not to overcook the pasta or chicken, as you don’t want soggy pasta or tough chicken!!

Other chicken or bacon recipes to give you inspiration …

Close up with chicken and bacon pasta in a green bowl with parmesan and a wedge of lemon with a spoon.

FAQs

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.

Here are some creamy pasta recipes for you to try … Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, Creamy Gochujang Pasta and Creamy Cauliflower Pasta

If you tried this Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

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

Print
4.54 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
£1.35
mains
Italian
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.

Notes

  • Choose whole wheat pasta for added fibre and nutrients, providing a nuttier flavour. However, you can use your favorite pasta for this dish.
  • Opt for lean bacon and trim off excess fat before cooking, and use chicken breast for a lean source of protein.
  • Enhance the dish's nutritional value and variety by adding additional vegetables like peppers, courgettes, and mushrooms. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, considering options like oregano or red pepper flakes for extra flavor. Be cautious not to overcook the pasta or chicken to avoid soggy pasta and tough chicken.

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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Comments

  1. Wow wow, amazing! Would make it again any day!5 stars

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