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Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

  • Author: Jodi Danen, RDN | Create Kids Club
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

The best creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta recipe around – made with no heavy cream but packed with spinach and tomatoes.  This simple creamy chicken pasta is so delicious, your family will request it time and again.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders (or chicken breast, sliced thinly)
  • 8 oz. dry penne pasta, cooked per box instructions
  • 5 oz. bag fresh spinach (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (about 20 tomatoes), sliced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 68 slices cooked bacon or 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: parmesan cheese, green onions, additional bacon for topping the pasta

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook pasta per box instructions.
  2. Once the pan is hot, add chicken.  Cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is browned and releases from the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.  Season this side of chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  4. To the same pan, add butter, garlic, and bacon. Whisk until butter is melted.
  5. Add flour and whisk into butter mixture.
  6. Slowly add milk a little at a time, whisking and bringing the heat back up to a simmer between adding more milk.  Continue whisking after the milk is added until the mixture thickens.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add cream cheese and whisk to blend into the mixture.
  9. Stir in spinach and tomatoes.
  10. Add pasta to the cream cheese mixture.
  11. Serve with chicken on top or slice chicken and stir into the creamy bacon pasta.
  12. Add parmesan cheese, green onions, or bacon if desired.

Notes

Substitute rotisserie chicken or canned chicken for chicken tenders.  Start at step 4 if substitute with cooked chicken.