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This chicken and bacon pasta bake includes tender chicken breast, lots of smoky bacon bits, lots of cheese, and of course pasta to make it all complete.
A creamy, savory sauce combines with all the other flavors to make for a fairly quick, make-again, one-pot meal the whole family will love.
What You'll Need
8 slices bacon , thick and meaty
1 pound chicken breast , cut into strips
1-½ cups macaroni, uncooked
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup pepper Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
4 ounces sour cream
2 Tbs butter
½ cup cream or milk
¼ tsp salt, more to taste
¼ tsp black pepper, more to taste
2 Tbs garlic, minced
2 cups broccoli , cut in bite-sized pieces
1 Tbs dry oregano
I LOVE BACON AND CHEESE AND PASTA!
If you've been around my blog for a while, you'll know that I really love bacon. And cheese. And pasta.
So this chicken pasta bake with bacon is no surprise! A one-pot casserole that includes all the goodness of chicken, bacon, cheese, and pasta is a real winner for most families!
This pasta dish is layered with chicken on the bottom followed by broccoli and bacon.
On the top is the cheesy macaroni with extra cheeses and bacon loaded on top.
The whole mixture is then baked to give a nice browning to the cheesy top.
A creamy, cheesy, bacony, pasta-laden, one-pot dinner for the whole family!
Making Chicken Pasta Bake
You will begin cooking your bacon first in an oven-safe cast iron skillet (I love my Lodge skillet!) You may have to cook the bacon in two batches.
While your bacon is cooking, you will cook the pasta according to package directions.
I used macaroni pasta, but you can use any type of small pasta you have on hand - like penne, shells, or bowties.
When the bacon is done and crispy, you will remove it from the skillet to drain and remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
Next, preheat your oven to 350 F so it has time to heat up while finishing the next steps of the casserole.
Heat the skillet to low-medium heat and cook the chicken, garlic, and oregano for 5 minutes. Then turn chicken over, add the broccoli, cover, and cook 5 minutes more.
When your pasta is done, drain, add butter, half the cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses, all the parmesan cheese, sour cream, and milk.
Stir and let the cheeses melt slightly on low heat for 5 minutes uncovered.
Uncover chicken and broccoli mixture and crumble half of the bacon over top.
Pour macaroni mixture over chicken/broccoli mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese and bacon and bake 15-20 minutes or until browned and melty.
Serve right away with a big leafy salad and/or bread of choice.
Don't undercook your bacon. It needs to be nice and crispy for best flavor and texture.
Also, don't skimp on the bacon fat you leave behind to cook the chicken in.
This bacon fat will deliver lots of flavor to the end casserole dish. Leaving 2 tablespoons should be the perfect amount.
Cook the macaroni only until al dente (according to package directions), as you don't want it over done and mushy. All the pasta pieces should stay intact throughout the whole process.
Other small pasta shapes would work well with this recipe as well. Think penne, rotini, bowties, or shells. These would all be great substitutions to the macaroni.
Don't overcook the broccoli, as it will end up mushy as well. You should aim for fork tender with the ability to still pick it up with a fork without it falling apart.
Cooking the broccoli for 5 minutes (according to the instructions) should be plenty to achieve this level of doneness.
If you don't want to layer the casserole, feel free to mix all the ingredients together once adding the pasta to the pan. Topping with the cheese and bacon will add a nice presentation, however.
Don't forget to pin this recipe for later and share on your favorite social media platforms. Also, let me know if you try it in the comments below!
Other Delicious Recipes to Try:
Corn Potato Chowder (Easy, Hearty & Delicious!)
Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe (Simple & So Flavorful!)
Authentic Jambalaya Recipe (Lots of Spicy Flavors!)
Turkey Ala King (Using Leftover Turkey or Chicken)
London Broil Crock Pot Recipe (with Built-In Gravy)
Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake
- Iron Skillet
- 8 slices bacon , thick and meaty
- 1 pound chicken breast , cut into strips
- 1-½ cups macaroni, uncooked
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup pepper Jack cheese, shredded
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
- 4 ounces sour cream
- 2 Tbs butter
- ½ cup cream or milk
- ¼ tsp salt, more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper, more to taste
- 2 Tbs garlic, minced
- 2 cups broccoli , cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tbs dry oregano
- Cook bacon in iron skillet. May have to do two batches.
- While bacon is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.
- When bacon is done, remove from pan and drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cook the chicken, garlic, and oregano in the skillet on low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn chicken, add broccoli, cover and cook 5 minutes more.
- When pasta is done, drain, add butter, half the cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses, all the parmesan cheese, sour cream, and milk. Stir and melt slightly on low heat for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Uncover chicken and broccoli mixture and crumble half of the bacon over top.
- Pour macaroni mixture over chicken/broccoli mixture.
- Top with the rest of the cheese and bacon and bake 15-20 minutes or until browned.