Chicken Bacon Spinach Pasta
Chicken pasta recipes can get boring. Not this Italian-inspired recipe! You will fall in love with the flavors of this chicken pasta with bacon, spinach, and tomatoes in a garlic cream sauce. Easy night dinner that the whole family will love! Slices of chicken breast and bacon are mixed with vegetables and penne pasta in a delicious creamy homemade Alfredo sauce made with parmesan.
- 4 bacon
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
- Salt / Pepper, to taste
- 10 oz. Penne
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, a combo of thyme, oregano, and basil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 + 1/3 half and half cups
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 + 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups uncooked spinach
First, shred the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to reach room temperature.
Then, in a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Butterfly the chicken breast and cut the seam to create 2 thinner slices, each about an inch thick. Generously season each side with the Italian seasoning and the desired amounts of salt and pepper.
Sear the chicken in the hot pan on each side. Refrain from moving the chicken while it sizzles, it will interfere with the beautiful golden color. If the pan becomes too hot, reduce the heat to medium. Each side will take 3-5 minutes. Once each side is a nice golden brown and the medium is cooked, set the chicken aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the bacon to the same pan. Weak and slow is the best way to cook bacon.
While the bacon cooks, prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Once the bacon is cooked and crispy on each side, use tongs to remove it from the pan.
Leave 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan and add the garlic. Cook for about 60 seconds.
Increase the heat to medium and gradually add the flour, whisking constantly.
Temperate half and half by heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add half and half to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly. Once it starts to bubble slightly, reduce the heat to low.
Sprinkle slowly with Parmesan cheese, stirring.
Once well mixed, add the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes have softened slightly. Use a silicone spatula to gently mix the penne.
Cut the chicken into strips and put it back in the pan over the pasta. Sprinkle on top of bacon and serve! Happy Cooking Time.