Chicken Spinach and Bacon Alfredo Pasta is a 30-minute recipe with easy and DELICIOUS Creamy Parmesan sauce. Perfect easy dinner your whole family will enjoy!
WHAT KIND OF CHICKEN TO USE IN THIS ALFREDO PASTA
Boneless and skinless chicken breasts. I used thick ones because I find that when cooked thick chicken breasts retain moisture so much better than thinner ones.
A few tips about which chicken is best. When you shop for chicken, the one that works best is without any added water.
But if it’s the kind that has added water (and usually added sodium too) – make sure all water/broth is drained after cooking the chicken. Otherwise the recipe will turn out watery and will need to be thickened by additional cheese or flour.
TO LIGHTEN UP THIS CHICKEN ALFREDO RECIPE
Use Half and half instead of heavy cream
If you can’t find half and half or they don’t sell it where you live, simply mix half whole milk and half heavy cream or double cream.
Use less cheese
Reduce the amount of cheese from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup by adding 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken the sauce.
Use less bacon or replace it with … fried shallots
Yes, I found that if you add enough shallots and give them a good browning – they will impart so much flavor to the chicken Alfredo dish that you won’t even miss the bacon.
To make chicken and bacon Alfredo gluten free
Use red lentil penne pasta or brown rice penne pasta instead. My favorite gluten free pasta is this one. I absolutely recommend it even if you are not gluten free. It’s so delicious and pretty in color too!
I love cheese and especially when it’s sprinkled all over my pasta! This One Pot Chicken Spinach and Bacon Alfredo Pasta calls for that extra Parmesan on top.
How to make perfectly crispy bacon
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Arrange bacon strips and bake for 15 minutes.
Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined platter that will absorb extra grease. Crumble the bacon once it’s cool enough.
I prefer the oven method of cooking bacon to the stove top method because it always comes out perfectly crispy.
How to cook perfectly moist chicken
Paper towel dry the chicken first.
Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add chicken breasts and cook on each side on medium high heat for a total of 3-4 minutes until nicely browned.
If chicken is still pink in the center, reduce heat to medium and cook covered for several minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from skillet to cut it up in strips.
How to cook spinach and garlic
Next add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach is wilted and garlic is fragrant, 2 minutes tops.
How to make amazing creamy Alfredo sauce with Parmesan
Add heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Add paprika, reduce to simmer and slowly add Parmesan cheese – until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy. Remove from heat.
How simple is that?
Add penne pasta to the Alfredo sauce
Add chicken strips, crumbled bacon and cooked pasta into the Alfredo sauce, mix well to make sure that pasta is coated in sauce, and One Pot Chicken Spinach and Bacon Alfredo Pasta is ready!
If you love creamy chicken and pasta dishes as much as we do, you will definitely enjoy these recipes:
- Creamy Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta
- Creamy Pasta with Meatballs
- Creamy Garlic Italian Pasta in White Wine Parmesan Sauce
The DELICIOUS creamy Parmesan sauce with a touch of paprika permeates every single bite of this chicken and bacon penne dish.
- 6 bacon strips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound chicken (boneless and skinless)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning more, if desired
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 10 oz. package of fresh spinach
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1.5 cup Parmesan cheese (grated) (more for garnish)
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- BACON: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Arrange bacon strips and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined platter that will absorb extra grease. Crumble the bacon once it's cool enough.
CHICKEN: Paper towel dry chicken breasts, season with Italian seasoning and salt and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter to a preheated large deep 12 inch skillet. Add chicken breasts and cook on each side on medium high heat 3-4 minutes until nicely browned (for a total of 6-8 minutes). If chicken is still pink in the center, reduce heat to medium and cook covered for several minutes until no longer pink in the center.
Remove chicken from the pan and cut it into strips.
GARLIC AND SPINACH: Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the skillet, add chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until browned and fragrant. Next add fresh spinach and cook until it wilts, about 2 more minutes.
- ALFREDO SAUCE: Add heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Add paprika, salt and pepper; and reduce to simmer. Slowly add Parmesan cheese - until the cheese melts and makes the sauce thicker. Add more cheese to reach desired thickness.
- PASTA: In the meantime bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse.
- FINAL ASSEMBLY: Add chicken strips and crumbled bacon to the sauce first. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Next, add pasta and stir until pasta is fully coated in sauce.
TO SERVE: Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan.