I’m drooling just looking at this photo. One, it’s a cream sauce. Oh, yes. That right there can make an entire dish. Two, there’s chicken, and I love a good chicken dish. Three, THERE’S BACON! Oh my goodness. Just when you thought this couldn’t get any better, there’s BACON!
What a great Sunday family dinner meal. This creamy garlic chicken and bacon pasta is sure to be a hit with everyone!
I wish I had had meals like this when I was younger. This is absolutely stunning. While I absolutely detested tomatoes when I was little, I would have just picked around them and grumped a little about the tomatoes. Otherwise, this dish would have been a winner with this picky eater!
Thanks to Julia at Julia’s Album for this recipe!
Ingredients for Creamy Garlic Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken (chicken breast or tenders)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil – combined)
- 5 medium tomatoes, chopped in large cubes
- 1 cup cooked spinach
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 6 bacon strips, COOKED, DRAINED OF FAT, AND CHOPPED
- 1 and 1/3 cups half and half
- 1 and 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 10 oz penne pasta (for gluten-free version, use gluten-free brown-rice penne, such as Tinkyada)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
- In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add chicken and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the uncooked sides of the chicken with paprika and Italian seasoning. Flip the chicken over, and cook on the other side for 1 minute on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken over again and cook, covered, for several minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and keep chicken warm.
- To the same pan (but without chicken), add chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper, 1/3 of the chicken (sliced into small strips) and half the bacon (already cooked and drained of fat). Mix everything.
- Add half and half and bring to boil. Only after half and half starts boiling, add grated Parmesan cheese – immediately reduce to simmer and stir, while simmering, until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy, only about 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Then, immediately remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.
- In the mean time bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and drain again.
- Add pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Add remaining half of bacon (cooked and drained of fat). Season with more salt if necessary. Slice the remaining 2/3 of chicken into thin strips. To serve, top the pasta with chicken strips and grated Parmesan cheese.
Check out the original source for this recipe with step-by-step photographs and helpful tips as well as many other delicious recipes at: Julia’s Album.