You’re going to love this easy recipe for Chicken Parmesan Garlic Pasta with Bacon! It features tender noodles, tasty chicken, pan-roasted garlic, caramelized onions, a creamy sauce, Parmesan cheese, and plenty of crispy, delicious BACON!
This simple pasta skillet is an easy dinner the whole family will love. If you think bacon and pasta are a heavenly pairing, be sure to check out our delicious pasta bake with chicken, bacon and broccoli, our always-popular homemade bacon Mac and cheese, and the 20 best pasta with bacon recipes.
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Why You’ll Go Hog Wild for This Recipe
Easy to Prepare: With simple ingredients and a total cooking time of less than an hour, this pasta dish can be made for a quick weeknight dinner or a delicious meal for company.
Rich and Creamy Texture: This recipe creates a deliciously creamy sauce combining garlic, parmesan cheese, and other seasonings for a flavorful sauce that enhances the taste of the crispy bacon, tender chicken and pasta.
Family-Friendly Meal: This garlic parmesan bacon chicken pasta recipe is a comforting and satisfying meal that will please both kids and adults alike.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Shown from the top, here’s what you’ll need to make this yummy parmesan chicken pasta recipe:
Cooked chicken – I used leftover smoked chicken. You can use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, or cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer.
The creamy garlic sauce is also delicious with leftover turkey, so keep this recipe in mind for post-Thanksgiving leftovers.
Chicken stock or broth – Homemade chicken stock adds the best flavor, or you can use prepared broth. (I keep a carton of organic free range chicken broth on hand for cooking.)
Fusilli pasta – I used long fusilli pasta for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite sturdy pasta such as bucatini, penne pasta, medium shells, linguine, bow tie pasta, spiral rotini, ziti, etc.
Vidalia onion – The onion in this recipe is slow cooked until it’s caramelized, and a sweet onion like Vidalia works especially well. You can also substitute a small yellow or white onion.
Salt and pepper – A dash of salt and freshly ground pepper add flavor to the sauce.
Cream – Heavy cream adds rich flavor to the sauce and takes it over the top!
Garlic – I like to pan-roast the garlic, which mellows the sharpness and enhances the flavor. If you’re in a hurry, you can substitute garlic powder.
Parmesan cheese – Shredded Parmesan cheese melts into the sauce and makes it incredibly flavorful. You can grate your own or use pre-shredded.
Bacon – Use your favorite bacon for this recipe — smoked, unsmoked, cured, uncured, thick sliced and regular sliced all work well and add incredible flavor.
Parsley – Chopped flat leaf or curly parsley adds a dash of color for the garnish. You can substitute chopped chives if you like.
You don’t need any specialized kitchen equipment to prepare this recipe:
- Sharp knife or kitchen scissors to cut bacon
- Cutting board (We love this solid maple pig shaped cutting board!)
- Large skillet (This is our favorite frying pan for cooking bacon.)
- Slotted spoon
- Paper towels for draining bacon
- Small skillet for pan roasting garlic
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Large pot for cooking pasta
- Colander to drain pasta
- Grater (if you’re going to hand grate the cheese)
- Large cooking spoon
Check out all of our Bacon Cooking Essentials in our Amazon Store!
How to Pan Roast Garlic
Pan roasting garlic is a quick, easy way to get the sweet, mild flavor of roasted garlic without baking.
To roast garlic in a pan, simplyheat the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium heat until they just start to brown, about 6 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant and soft, about 10 to 12 minutes total.
Set the garlic aside to cool. The skin should slip off easily. Chop it finely and reserve.
Step by Step Instructions
(Note: Scroll down for the full recipe and printable recipe card.)
Cook the chopped bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to paper towels to drain.
Pour out all but 1 tablespoon pan drippings. (We always save our bacon fat! Here’s what to do with bacon grease.)
Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped roasted garlic to the pan and stir.
Next, add the chicken stock. Cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is cooked away. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
Cook the cream and onion mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until it reduces and thickens.
Add the chicken and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped bacon (you’ll reserve a bit for garnishing) to the sauce and stir to combine. Keep warm.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until it’s al dente or cooked to your liking.
PRO TIP: Salting your pasta cooking water will add more flavor to your noodles, so don’t skip this important step! The general rule is to use 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to 4 quarts of water.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain it in a colander. Pour pasta into the sauce in the large pan. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and stir to combine all the ingredients.
PRO TIP: If the creamy Parmesan garlic sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk, cream or chicken broth to loosen it up a bit. If it’s too thin, cook over medium heat for a few minutes to thicken. The sauce will also thicken a bit as it cools.
Serve the pasta hot garnished with the reserved cooked bacon and chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Add steamed vegetables to the sauce. Some of our favorites include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, and peas.
Add a handful of chopped fresh spinach leaves to the hot sauce before adding the chicken, and cook for a couple minutes until it wilts.
Add chopped, drained fresh tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes to the sauce.
Add sliced sautéed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, or chopped roasted bell peppers after adding the chicken and bacon.
For a spicy kick, whisk in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper to the sauce.
How to Store Leftovers
Cool any leftover pasta to room temperature and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, spread the pasta in a skillet and add a splash of milk to help the sauce become creamy again. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
Can I Freeze This Pasta?
Yes, the cooled pasta with sauce can be tightly wrapped in a freezer safe container and frozen for up to 6 weeks. For best results, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Follow reheating instructions above. You may need to add a splash of cream or half and half to the pan to restore the creamy texture of the sauce after freezing.
Can I Double the Recipe?
Absolutely. This recipe doubles easily! If your skillet isn’t large enough to handle a double batch, simply make the sauce in a large skillet and combine everything in a large bowl. Then return the pasta in batches back to the skillet to heat before serving.
How Many Calories are in Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta?
One serving of this cooked pasta is approximately 735 calories.
What to Serve with Chicken and Bacon Pasta
A green salad, chopped salad or Caesar salad.
Garlic bread, quick dinner rolls or breadsticks
Roasted or grilled vegetables
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Garlic Chicken Parmesan Pasta with Bacon
- 1 Colander
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 pound sliced bacon, chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
- 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces long fusilli pasta
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- chopped parsley for garnish
- To pan roast the garlic, arrange the unpeeled cloves in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Turn the cloves over and continue cooking until the other side is browned and garlic is tender when gently pushed. Cool to room temperature, peel, and finely chop. Reserve.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Pour out all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chopped roasted garlic and chicken stock. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by half. Add the cream, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Cook the cream and onion mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until it reduces and thickens. Add the chicken and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped bacon (reserve this for garnishing) to the sauce. Stir to combine, lower heat, cover and keep warm.
- Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat until boiling. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
- Drain the pasta in a colander and and add it to the sauce in the large pan. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Serve the pasta hot garnished with the reserved cooked bacon and chopped parsley.
Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help.
If you post your creations on social media, tag #BENSABaconLovers so I can share! Thank you for your support. – 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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