Easy Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta Recipe

Indulge in our easy chicken bacon pesto pasta recipe - a creamy, flavorful dish that's perfect for busy weeknights or leisurely dinners.
Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

Welcome to our easy chicken bacon pesto pasta recipe! If you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying meal that’s quick to prepare, then you’ve come to the right place. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through the steps to create a mouthwatering dish that combines the flavors of tender chicken, crispy bacon, and homemade pesto sauce.

Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or even a special occasion, this chicken bacon pesto pasta is sure to impress. The combination of savory chicken and bacon with the rich and vibrant flavors of the pesto sauce creates a winning combination that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced cook – this recipe is perfect for beginners too! With our step-by-step instructions and handy tips, you’ll be able to whip up a delicious pasta dish in no time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make a flavorful chicken bacon pesto pasta using our easy recipe.
  • Create a homemade pesto sauce with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Cook the chicken and bacon to perfection for juicy and crispy results.
  • Bring all the ingredients together for a creamy and flavorful pasta dish.
  • Finish off your chicken bacon pesto pasta with optional garnishes and serving suggestions.

Ingredients for Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

Preparing a delicious chicken bacon pesto pasta requires a handful of essential ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to create this mouthwatering homemade dish:

  1. Chicken breasts: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. Bacon: 6 slices of thick-cut bacon
  3. Pasta: 8 ounces of your preferred pasta (spaghetti or penne work well)
  4. Pesto sauce: ½ cup of homemade pesto sauce or store-bought
  5. Parmesan cheese: Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
  6. Salt and pepper: To season the chicken and pasta water
  7. Olive oil: 2 tablespoons for cooking the chicken and bacon
  8. Garlic: 3 cloves, minced (optional but adds extra flavor)
  9. Pine nuts: 2 tablespoons (optional for pesto sauce)
  10. Fresh basil: 1 cup packed, for the pesto sauce
  11. Parmesan cheese: ¼ cup grated, for the pesto sauce

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients, let’s move on to the next section where we’ll learn how to cook the chicken and bacon to perfection.

Cooking the Chicken and Bacon

In this section, we will explain how to cook the chicken and bacon to perfection. Whether you prefer grilling, baking, or pan-frying, we will provide you with tips and tricks to achieve juicy and crispy results.

1. Grilling the Chicken:

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then place them on the grill. Cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remove from the grill and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing.

2. Baking the Bacon:

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the bacon strips on the rack, making sure they are not overlapping. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the rack for a few minutes before serving.

3. Pan-Frying the Chicken and Bacon:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, then place the chicken breasts in the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Using the same skillet, cook the bacon until crispy, flipping occasionally. This should take about 7-10 minutes. Once done, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Tip: For extra flavor, you can marinate the chicken in your favorite marinade or season it with your preferred spices before cooking. As for the bacon, you can sprinkle some brown sugar or brush it with maple syrup for a sweet and smoky twist.

Cooking Method Time Result
Grilling 12-16 minutes Juicy and char-grilled chicken
Baking 12-15 minutes Crispy and flavorful bacon
Pan-Frying 15-20 minutes Tender and golden-brown chicken and crispy bacon

Making the Homemade Pesto Sauce

In this section, we will guide you through the process of making your own pesto sauce from scratch. With fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, your pasta will be bursting with flavor.

Homemade pesto sauce is a game-changer when it comes to adding an extra dimension to your chicken bacon pesto pasta. The vibrant green color and aromatic combination of ingredients make it a perfect complement to the hearty flavors of the dish.

To make the homemade pesto sauce, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Add the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese to a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped.
  2. With the food processor running, gradually pour in the olive oil. Continue blending until the mixture is well combined and has a smooth consistency.
  3. Season the pesto sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a final mix to incorporate the seasoning.

And there you have it! Your homemade pesto sauce is ready to bring your chicken bacon pesto pasta to life.

“Making your own pesto sauce allows you to customize the flavors to your liking. You can add a bit more garlic for a stronger kick, or even experiment with different types of nuts like walnuts or almonds. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make it your own!”

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making homemade pesto sauce, it’s time to move on to the next step: preparing the pasta. Stay tuned!

Preparing the Pasta

In this section, we will explain how to cook the pasta to the desired consistency. Whether you like it al dente or well-cooked, we will provide you with the instructions to ensure your pasta is perfect.

To prepare the pasta for your delicious chicken bacon pesto pasta dish, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water. This will help season the pasta as it cooks.
  3. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the pasta to the pot. Use the recommended amount of pasta based on the serving size specified on the packaging.
  4. Stir the pasta occasionally to prevent it from sticking together.
  5. Check the cooking time specified on the pasta packaging. This will give you an idea of how long it should cook for. It’s important to cook the pasta just right to achieve the desired texture.
  6. Taste a small piece of pasta to check if it is cooked to your liking. Remember, pasta should be cooked al dente, which means it should still have a slight firmness to it.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked to your desired consistency, remove the pot from the heat and quickly drain the pasta using a colander or strainer.
  8. Give the pasta a quick rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent it from becoming mushy.
  9. Your pasta is now ready to be added to the chicken bacon pesto sauce.

Remember, cooking times may vary depending on the type and brand of pasta you are using. It’s always a good idea to follow the instructions on the packaging for the best results.

Combining the Ingredients

In this section, we will show you how to bring all the ingredients together to create a creamy and flavorful chicken bacon pesto pasta. Follow these simple steps to make this easy chicken bacon pesto pasta recipe:

Tossing the Cooked Pasta with Pesto Sauce

  1. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the homemade pesto sauce to the bowl with the pasta.
  3. Using tongs or a spatula, gently toss the pasta with the pesto sauce until it is well coated.

Adding the Chicken and Bacon

  1. Slice the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and crumble the cooked bacon.
  2. Add the chicken and bacon to the bowl with the pasta and pesto sauce.
  3. Gently toss all the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed.

“The combination of the fresh pesto sauce, tender chicken, and crispy bacon will create a rich and satisfying flavor profile in every bite.”

Now that all the ingredients are combined, your chicken bacon pesto pasta is ready to be enjoyed. Serve it hot and garnish with some grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil for an extra touch of deliciousness.

Adding the Final Touches

In this section, we will share some optional additions and garnishes to take your delicious chicken bacon pesto pasta to the next level. These simple touches will enhance the flavors and add visual appeal to your dish. Here are some ideas:

1. Sprinkle Some Parmesan Cheese

A generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of your pasta not only adds a salty and nutty flavor but also creates a beautiful finishing touch. The rich umami taste of Parmesan complements the chicken, bacon, and pesto perfectly.

2. Drizzle with Olive Oil

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil adds a luscious and fruity flavor to your chicken bacon pesto pasta. It also enhances the overall richness of the dish. Choose a high-quality olive oil for the best results.

3. Garnish with Fresh Basil

Tear or chop some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them over your pasta. The aromatic and mildly sweet flavor of basil complements the pesto and adds a pop of vibrant green color. It also gives the dish a refreshing taste.

4. Add a Squeeze of Lemon

For a burst of freshness, squeeze some lemon juice over your chicken bacon pesto pasta. The tangy citrus flavor cuts through the richness of the dish and balances the other flavors. It also adds a bright and zesty element to every bite.

These simple additions and garnishes will take your delicious chicken bacon pesto pasta to new heights. Feel free to experiment and customize your dish with other ingredients that you enjoy.+

Serving and Presentation

When it comes to serving and presenting your quick chicken bacon pesto pasta, there are a few tips that can elevate the dish and make it a feast for the eyes:

  1. Use a large, shallow serving platter to showcase the vibrant colors of the pasta and ingredients.
  2. Garnish the dish with a sprig of fresh basil or parsley to add a pop of green.
  3. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra burst of flavor.
  4. Drizzle a little extra pesto sauce or olive oil over the pasta to enhance the visual appeal.
  5. Place a few cherry tomatoes or thin slices of lemon on the side of the platter for a touch of freshness.

Remember, presentation is key, so take a little extra time to arrange the pasta and garnishes in an appealing way that makes your guests’ mouths water.

“The presentation of a dish is the first impression we have even before taking a bite. It sets the tone for the entire dining experience.”

In addition to the visual appeal, you can also consider serving the chicken bacon pesto pasta with some garlic bread or a side salad to complete the meal. This will not only add variety but also enhance the overall dining experience.

Taste and Visual Perfection

Creating a delicious and visually appealing plate of quick chicken bacon pesto pasta requires attention to both taste and presentation. By following these tips, you can be sure that your pasta dish will not only satisfy your taste buds but also impress your guests with its stunning appearance.

Serving Tip Description
Use a large serving platter A shallow platter provides a beautiful canvas for displaying the pasta and its vibrant colors.
Add fresh garnishes A sprig of fresh basil or parsley adds a touch of green and freshness to the dish.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese A generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese adds a rich and savory flavor to the pasta.
Drizzle extra sauce or oil Enhance the visual appeal and flavor by drizzling some pesto sauce or olive oil over the pasta.
Add cherry tomatoes or lemon slices Boost the visual appeal by placing a few cherry tomatoes or lemon slices on the side of the platter.

Variations and Substitutions

In this section, we will provide you with some variations and substitutions you can try with this recipe. Whether you want to make it vegetarian or swap some ingredients, we have ideas to suit your preferences.

Vegetarian Twist

If you prefer a vegetarian version of the best chicken bacon pesto pasta, you can exclude the chicken and bacon altogether. Instead, you can add some sautéed mushrooms or grilled zucchini for a delicious and satisfying alternative. The pesto sauce and pasta will still deliver a burst of flavor, making it a perfect choice for vegetarian pasta lovers.

Seafood Delight

If you’re a seafood enthusiast, you can substitute the chicken and bacon with some succulent shrimp or chunks of flaky salmon. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to the pasta along with the homemade pesto sauce. The marriage of flavors between the seafood and pesto will create a mouthwatering combination that will elevate your dish to a whole new level.

Ingredient Swaps

If you want to experiment with different flavors and textures, you can try swapping some ingredients in the best chicken bacon pesto pasta recipe. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swap chicken breast for juicy chicken thighs for a more tender and flavorful experience.
  • Replace bacon with pancetta or prosciutto for a subtle variation in taste.
  • Try different types of pasta like penne, fettuccine, or farfalle to bring a unique twist to your dish.

Remember, these variations and substitutions are just a starting point. Feel free to get creative and customize the recipe according to your preferences. The best chicken bacon pesto pasta can be a canvas for your culinary imagination, allowing you to create a dish that truly reflects your taste and style.

Variation/Substitution Ingredients Notes
Vegetarian Twist Sautéed mushrooms or grilled zucchini Exclude chicken and bacon
Seafood Delight Shrimp or flaky salmon Substitute chicken and bacon
Ingredient Swaps Juicy chicken thighs, pancetta or prosciutto, different types of pasta Customize according to taste

Leftover Ideas and Storage Tips

Now that you’ve enjoyed your flavorful chicken bacon pesto pasta, you might have some leftovers that you want to make the most of. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some creative ideas to repurpose your remaining pasta and tips on how to store it to maintain its delicious flavors and textures.

Storing Leftover Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

When it comes to storing your leftover chicken bacon pesto pasta, it’s important to follow proper food safety guidelines. By storing it correctly, you can enjoy the flavors for another meal. Here are a few storage tips:

  • Transfer the pasta to an airtight container or sealable bag to keep it fresh.
  • Refrigerate the pasta within two hours of cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Label the container with the date to ensure you use it within a safe timeframe.

Pro tip: If you plan to use your leftover pasta within 2-3 days, it is best to refrigerate it. However, if you won’t be able to consume it within that timeframe, you can freeze it for later use.

Reheating Leftover Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

When reheating your chicken bacon pesto pasta, you can easily bring back its delicious flavors. Here are a couple of methods you can try:

  1. Stovetop: Add a splash of olive oil or a few tablespoons of chicken broth to a pan and heat the pasta over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the pasta is heated through.
  2. Microwave: Transfer the pasta to a microwave-safe dish and cover it to avoid splatters. Heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches your desired temperature.

Pro tip: To prevent the pasta from drying out, you can add a little extra pesto sauce or a splash of olive oil before reheating.

Repurposing Leftover Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta

When it comes to repurposing your leftover chicken bacon pesto pasta, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few creative ideas to transform your pasta into new and exciting dishes:

Make a pasta salad by adding some fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers. Toss it with a light vinaigrette for a refreshing meal.

Create a delicious pasta frittata by whisking some eggs, grated cheese, and your leftover pasta together. Cook it in a skillet until firm and golden brown.

Turn your pasta into a comforting baked dish. Mix it with some creamy alfredo sauce, top it with shredded cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden.

Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different ingredients to make the most out of your leftover chicken bacon pesto pasta.

Leftover Idea Description
Pasta Salad Add fresh veggies and a light vinaigrette for a refreshing meal.
Pasta Frittata Whisk with eggs and cheese, then cook until firm and golden brown.
Baked Pasta Dish Mix with alfredo sauce, top with cheese, and bake until bubbly and golden.


Summing up, the chicken bacon pesto pasta with homemade pesto sauce is a delightful dish that is both easy to make and bursting with flavor. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a crowd, this recipe is sure to please everyone’s palate.

By following the step-by-step guide we provided, you’ll be able to create a creamy and satisfying pasta dish that combines the savory flavors of chicken, bacon, and the aromatic freshness of homemade pesto sauce. The combination of these ingredients creates a harmonious balance that will leave you craving for more.

So, why wait? Gather the necessary ingredients, cook up this inviting comfort food, and enjoy a hearty meal that will surely impress your family and friends. Whether it’s a quick weeknight dinner or a gathering, the chicken bacon pesto pasta is a versatile dish that never fails to satisfy.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe, and encourage you to make it part of your culinary repertoire. The chicken bacon pesto pasta with homemade pesto sauce is a true crowd-pleaser that will bring smiles to the faces of those who taste it.


Can I use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon?

Yes, you can use turkey bacon as a healthier alternative to regular bacon in this recipe. It will still add a delicious smoky flavor to your chicken bacon pesto pasta.

Can I use store-bought pesto sauce instead of homemade?

Absolutely! If you’re short on time or don’t have the ingredients to make homemade pesto sauce, you can use store-bought pesto sauce. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand for the best flavor.

Can I add vegetables to my chicken bacon pesto pasta?

Definitely! Adding vegetables like cherry tomatoes, spinach, or roasted bell peppers can add extra flavor, nutrients, and color to your dish. Just sauté or roast the vegetables separately before combining them with the pasta.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta instead of regular pasta. There are many options available in stores, such as rice pasta or quinoa pasta.

How long does the chicken bacon pesto pasta stay fresh?

The cooked chicken bacon pesto pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, it’s best to consume it within 2 days for the best taste and texture.

Can I freeze the chicken bacon pesto pasta?

Yes, you can freeze the chicken bacon pesto pasta. It’s recommended to freeze it in individual portions or meal-sized containers. When ready to enjoy, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can I substitute the chicken with shrimp or tofu?

Absolutely! If you prefer seafood or are vegetarian, you can easily substitute the chicken with shrimp or tofu in this recipe. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the shrimp is cooked through or the tofu is heated.

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes, you can use a different type of pasta if you prefer. Penne, rotini, or even spaghetti can work well with this dish. Just make sure to cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

How can I make the dish spicier?

If you like a spicy kick, you can add some crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos to the pesto sauce while blending it. You can also sprinkle some cayenne pepper or hot sauce over the finished dish for an extra punch of heat.

Can I make this dish ahead of time for a party?

Yes, you can make the chicken bacon pesto pasta ahead of time for a party. Cook the pasta, chicken, and bacon in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. Combine everything together with the pesto sauce just before serving.

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