creamy chicken, bacon + spinach penne pasta

this creamy chicken + bacon pasta is perfect for picky toddlers and your guests too! make early in the week to enjoy leftovers all week long.

happy monday friends! while i certainly could use some more time with family and friends, i hope you’re stopping by feeling refreshed!

a little weekend recap for you:

friday we stayed at home and just relaxed on the couch reading and watching tv together. the perfect way to end a week these days!
saturday the girls and i went over to christine and marks’ to get ready for graham’s 2nd birthday party early in the day.  i can’t even believe our babies are turning 2… such a fun day celebrating only the sweetest little soul you’ve ever met. happy birthday, sweet boy!!
sunday started with church before dropping the girls off at their aunt ebby and uncle bunny’s for a play day.  if you’ve been around, you know the girls are so lucky to have so many family members who adore them and ask so frequently to spend time loving on them.  zach and i took the opportunity to have a MUCH needed date day including lunch, a little shopping for baby brother and a movie! it was so so nice to just have some time by ourselves and we planned out our next date to see beauty and the beast….who else is so excited for this?! when we went to pick the girls up, they were busy swimming and kicking in the pool which was SO fun to see!! we wrapped up the weekend by dinner at mammaw and pappaw’s house before bath time and bed time snuggles.

last friday, i included a picture of a makeshift pasta dish {adapted from this recipe} that turned out to be one of THE best meals i think i’ve ever made.  so many of you asked for the recipe, and for good reason. not only does it look absolutely delicious but it is seriously SO SO good and has a huge bonus, the girls both loved it just as much as we did!!

i used ground chicken and mini penne pasta for this recipe with minimal spice without sacrificing flavor and my girls loved it!! i’d love to hear if you adapt it for your children and how they liked it!

creamy chicken + bacon penne pasta

serves: a lot. 😉


1 16oz. package bacon {save 2T of fat to cook chicken}
1lb. ground chicken
4c. fresh baby spinach
1t. paprika
1t. italian seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes {i used basil + oregano flavored}
5 cloves garlic, minced
1.5c. half and half
2.5c. parmesean cheese, shredded {.5 set aside for serving}
1 box mini penne {1lb.}
crushed red pepper flakes for serving {i omitted for toddler plates, adults added after}


  1.  chop bacon into bite sized pieces then cook + drain fat. save 2T of fat to skillet to cook chicken. set bacon aside.
  2. in a large pan, use 2T of bacon fat to cook chicken over medium heat.  while cooking, season with paprika and italian seasoning while cooking.
  3. in the same pan, add tomatoes, garlic, spinach, chicken, and 1/2 of bacon and mix.  spinach will begin to wilt as heated.
  4. add 1/2 + 1/2 and bring to a boil on medium high heat.  once boiling, add in parmesean cheese and immediately reduce to a simmer.  while simmering, stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy {1-2 minutes}.  immediately remove from heat and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  5. meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions. drain and add pasta to a large {very large} bowl.
  6. add sauce and mix well. top with remaining bacon then parmesean cheese.  after serving, add crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
  7. enjoy!



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28 thoughts on “creamy chicken, bacon + spinach penne pasta

  1. Yum! I’m a huge fan of like…every ingredient in this! Saving for sure!

  2. My family would LOVE This! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I also have half and half that I bought to make soup and I needed another recipe so this is just perfect!

  3. This looks like something that could become a family favorite in my house! I’ve shared it with my Friendly Meal Planning Facebook group as well! I know they will love it. Who doesn’t love bacon in their pasta?

  4. Two years fly by! My son will be 3 in May and it doesn’t seem possible. 🙂 This looks like a great recipe the whole family will enjoy!

  5. This looks like AHHH Mazing and I will def be adding to brain bank of dinner ideas! Thanks for sharing! x

  6. Looks amazing! My hubby loves bacon in anything so he is going to be so happy when I make this! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wow delicious and filling! Perfect dinner entree I would prepare for my family.

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