This creamy, cheesy Bacon Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake recipe is easy to make for weeknight dinners and special enough to serve for parties and company.
Tender pasta is oven baked with a creamy Alfredo sauce plus chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, roasted garlic, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and of course, plenty of tasty BACON!
This easy chicken pasta casserole is the ultimate comfort food dinner, and you’ll love how simple it is to put together.
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If you love the tasty combination of bacon and pasta as much as we do, be sure to check out our easy Creamy Chicken Bacon Garlic Parmesan Pasta recipe, our always popular Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe, and our roundup of the 20 Best Pasta Recipes with Bacon.
Why You’ll Go Hog Wild for This Recipe
Amazing flavors and textures – You’ll love the combination of cheesy, creamy pasta with chicken and delicious bacon. Tender broccoli and tomatoes contrast nicely with the rich pasta, and pan roasted garlic adds irresistible flavor.
Make ahead if you like: You can make this bacon chicken broccoli casserole up to two days ahead of time, keep it covered in the refrigerator, and pop it in the oven just before dinner.
Dinner in a dish: This tasty bacon broccoli pasta bake is a full, satisfying meal that includes your protein, carbs and veggies.
Kid Friendly: People of all ages love this creamy bacon, chicken and broccoli pasta, and it’s a dinner recipe the entire family can enjoy year round.
Ingredients and Substitutions
These are they key ingredients you’ll need to make this flavorful pasta bake:
Alfredo Sauce – You can either use prepared Alfredo sauce as we did here, or make your own homemade Alfredo Sauce.
Chopped cooked chicken – You can use a shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, or just cook a couple of chicken breasts and remove the meat from the bones. You can also substitute cooked turkey in this pasta casserole recipe – perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers!
Garlic – I used pan roasted garlic for this recipe, which is milder and sweeter than raw garlic. (Here’s how to pan roast garlic.)
Dry pasta – I used curly cavatappi, but you can use penne, ziti, cellentani, bowtie pasta, pinwheels, corkscrew pasta, shells, macaroni, or your favorite shaped pasta.
Seasonings – The recipe specifies freshly ground black pepper and seasoning salt. You can add your own seasonings to suit your tastes.
Tomatoes – We like halved grape tomatoes, but you can use chopped fresh tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes, too.
Shredded Parmesan cheese – Pre-shredded Parmesan cheese works just fine in this recipe. If you want to shred your own from a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the flavor will be even better.
Broccoli – You can use fresh broccoli florets or frozen, thawed broccoli. If the broccoli pieces aren’t bite-sized, cut them into individual florets before adding to the mix. For tender texture, I like to briefly steam fresh broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
Fontina cheese – We love Fontina’s mild flavor and how nicely it melts. You can substitute any melty cheese like Colby Jack, American, or Havarti.
Fresh chives – For garnish. You can also use chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, or skip this.
Bacon – Thick-sliced bacon is great in this pasta chicken recipe, but you can use regular sliced bacon if that’s what you have on hand.
Feel free to use your favorite smoked, unsmoked, cured or uncured bacon – it’s totally up to you. We used about 3/4 pound of thick sliced bacon for this recipe, but you can always add MORE!
You won’t need any fancy cooking equipment to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Large skillet for frying bacon
- Slotted spoon
- Paper towels
- Large pot for cooking pasta
- Colander for draining pasta
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large bowl
- Large spoon
- 2.5 quart casserole dish
- Wire cooling rack
Step by Step Instructions
STEP ONE | Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
STEP TWO | In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon until it is browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels to drain.
PRO TIP: We always strain and save the leftover bacon grease for cooking and baking. Need ideas? Here are 25 ways to use bacon fat.
STEP THREE | In a medium bowl, whisk the seasoning salt and pepper into the Alfredo sauce. Add the finely chopped pan roasted garlic, and stir to blend.
PRO TIP: To properly coat the pasta and ingredients, the sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add a little milk or chicken broth to thin it out a bit.
STEP FOUR | Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
STEP FIVE | Add the cooked bacon, broccoli, chicken and tomato.
STEP SIX | Add the Alfredo sauce and cheeses and stir until combined.
STEP SEVEN | Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
STEP EIGHT | Cover and bake until mixture is hot and cheese is melted, about 35 to 40 minutes.
STEP NINE | Remove from oven and cool dish on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with reserved bacon bits, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan, and chopped chives (optional).
Pro Recipe Tips
TIP 1: Freshly cooked bacon has the best flavor and texture for this pasta bake recipe. You can use regular or thick-cut bacon, whichever you prefer. We recommend cooking the bacon until it’s crispy and browned, as crispy bacon is easiest to crumble.
TIP 2: If you’re in a hurry, you can use pre-cooked bacon. Chop the strips with a sharp knife or cut it in pieces with kitchen scissors. We don’t recommend packaged bacon bits for this recipe.
TIP 3: Grate the Fontina cheese by hand for best results. (Packaged pre-shredded cheeses are treated with additives that can sometimes cause melted cheese to be grainy.)
TIP 4: Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente (tender to the bite) so it doesn’t become mushy. The pasta will absorb some of the delicious cheesy sauce during baking.
TIP 5: Grease your casserole dish or spray it well with nonstick cooking spray to avoid sticking after baking.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Rice Casserole – Substitute 3 cups cooked white or brown rice for the cooked pasta.
Chicken Broccoli Pesto Pasta – Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of pesto sauce to the Alfredo Sauce and proceed with the recipe.
Healthier Version – Use whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
Veggie Variations – Instead of broccoli, use peas, asparagus, or artichoke hearts in the recipe.
Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake – Stir 2 ounces (1/4 cup) cream cheese cut in 1/3-inch cubes to the chicken broccoli pasta mixture before baking.
What to Serve with Chicken Bacon Broccoli Pasta Casserole
Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions:
Making Ahead, Storing Leftovers and Reheating
To Make Ahead: You can prepare the Broccoli Chicken Pasta Bake in advance. Follow the recipe through Step 7, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Remove the fridge about 30 minutes prior to baking and let it sit on the counter at room temperature. Proceed starting with Step 8. You may need to increase the baking time by 5 or 10 minutes.
To Store Leftovers: Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To Reheat: Sprinkle the dish with a few drops of water. Cover the casserole with a lid or foil and bake at 375 degrees F until hot and bubbly.
Do you boil pasta beforehand for pasta bake?
Yes, cooking the pasta until al dente (almost tender) allows it to soak up all the delicious flavors and Alfredo sauce while it’s baking in the oven.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli instead of fresh broccoli florets. Cook it according to package directions before adding it to the casserole.
Can I use leftover chicken or turkey in this casserole?
Absolutely! This cheesy bacon pasta bake is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey or roast chicken.
Can I freeze Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake?
Yes! This casserole makes an excellent freezer meal. Simply prepare the pasta bake through Step 7 above. Tightly wrap the casserole dish and freeze for up to 6 weeks.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let the casserole sit on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
How do you keep the pasta from drying out when reheating?
Sprinkle the top of the cheesy pasta bake all over with a few drops of water. Then cover with the casserole dish lid or foil and reheat in the oven. The water will create steam and help keep the pasta tender while reheating.
More Tasty Bacon Dinner Recipes
For a tasty meal the whole family will enjoy, try one of these easy dinners featuring the incomparable flavor of bacon.
- Bacon Weave Meatloaf
- Cream of Bacon Soup
- Smoked Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
- 60 Easy Bacon Dinner Recipes
- 20 Best Bacon Soup Recipes
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If you enjoy this recipe, we’d be thrilled if you clicked on the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and left a rating! We love reading your comments, too!
Printable Recipe Card
Cheesy Bacon Chicken Broccoli Pasta Bake
- 8 strips thick cut bacon chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 4 cloves pan-roasted garlic peeled and finely chopped (or substitute one clove raw garlic, peeled and minced)
- 15-16 ounces 2 cups prepared or homemade Alfredo Sauce
- 8 ounces dry cavatappi pasta
- 2 cups broccoli florets lightly steamed
- 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup small grape tomatoes halved and drained
- 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
- In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon until it is browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon bits for garnish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the seasoning salt and pepper into the Alfredo sauce. Add the finely chopped pan roasted garlic and whisk to blend.
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water over high heat according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the cooked bacon, broccoli, chicken and tomato.
- Add the Alfredo sauce, grated Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese, and stir until combined.
- Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
- Cover and bake until mixture is hot and cheese is melted, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool dish on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with reserved bacon bits, a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan, and chopped chives.
Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help. – Eliza
Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.
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