Chicken and Spinach Pasta with Bacon
The DELICIOUS creamy Parmesan sauce with a touch of paprika permeates every single bite of this chicken and bacon penne dish.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
- 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)
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.
Calories: 897kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 73g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 252mg | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 889mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 8510IU | Vitamin C: 22.9mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 4.2mg