Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli

Indulge in the irresistible flavors of Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli, a mouthwatering dish that combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, wholesome broccoli, and a creamy, cheesy sauce. This recipe offers a delightful balance of textures and flavors that will satisfy your cravings and delight your taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces penne pasta or your preferred pasta variety
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Begin by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside.
  3. Season the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried Italian seasoning.
  4. In the same skillet with the bacon drippings, add the seasoned chicken and cook until it browns and is fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  5. In the same skillet, add the broccoli and sauté it for 3-4 minutes until it becomes slightly tender.
  6. Pour in the heavy cream and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  7. Add the shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses to the skillet. Stir until the cheeses melt and the sauce becomes smooth.
  8. Return the cooked chicken and bacon to the skillet. Add the cooked pasta and toss everything together until well coated in the cheesy sauce.
  9. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the dish is heated through.
  10. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if needed.
  11. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  12. Serve your Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli hot and enjoy!
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Tips:

  • Customize the dish by adding your favorite vegetables or swapping out the type of pasta.
  • For extra flavor, consider adding minced garlic or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
  • To save time, prep the ingredients in advance, such as chopping the bacon and chicken beforehand.

Conclusion:
Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli is a delectable meal that brings together classic ingredients in a comforting and satisfying dish. With its creamy sauce, savory bacon, tender chicken, and vibrant broccoli, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy the rich flavors and cheesy goodness of this delightful pasta dish, and savor every bite!

  1. Can I Use Different Types of Pasta for This Recipe?
    Absolutely! While the recipe suggests using penne pasta, you can certainly use your favorite pasta variety. Whether it’s spaghetti, fettuccine, or farfalle, the choice is yours. Just be mindful of cooking times as different pasta shapes may require varying cooking durations. Ensure that the pasta is cooked al dente to maintain its texture and prevent it from becoming mushy in the dish.
  2. How Do I Ensure the Chicken is Cooked Through Without Overcooking?
    Cooking the chicken until it’s browned and cooked through is essential for both safety and flavor. To achieve this, ensure that you cut the chicken into uniform, bite-sized pieces. This helps in even cooking. When sautéing the chicken in the skillet, cook it over medium heat until it turns golden brown on the outside and is no longer pink on the inside. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, which should reach 165°F (75°C) for safe consumption.
  3. Can I Make This Dish Ahead of Time?
    While Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli is best enjoyed fresh, you can certainly make some preparations ahead of time to streamline the cooking process. You can cook the bacon and chicken in advance, and even blanch the broccoli florets. Store these components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to assemble the dish, simply reheat the bacon and chicken in the skillet, cook the pasta, and combine everything with the cheese sauce and broccoli. This way, you can enjoy a delicious meal with minimal effort.
  4. How Can I Make This Dish Healthier?
    While this recipe is undeniably indulgent and comforting, there are several ways to make it healthier without compromising on flavor. Consider using lean turkey bacon or turkey sausage as a substitute for regular bacon to reduce the overall fat content. Opt for whole wheat or gluten-free pasta to increase the fiber content and boost nutritional value. You can also incorporate more vegetables into the dish by adding colorful bell peppers, spinach, or cherry tomatoes. Additionally, you can use reduced-fat cheeses or a combination of cheeses to cut down on calories and saturated fat. Lastly, you can lighten up the sauce by using low-fat milk or a combination of milk and Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.
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