When it comes to pasta dishes, Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pasta Bake is definitely at the top of my list. I mean really, what’s not to love? With cheesy Alfredo sauce, tons of bacon, tender seasoned chicken, and artichoke hearts, you really can’t go wrong with this one.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as taking a bubbly, cheesy pasta bake out of the oven and setting it on the table. The best part is scooping out that first serving.
Mmm, See all that cheesy goodness? And that little crunchy crust on the top of the pasta bake–that’s my favorite.
It’s a beautiful thing, for sure.
As with all my recipes, this cooks for a crowd, so be prepared to serve at least 6 people, or plan on having some for lunch the next day (I personally like it for breakfast!). The recipe suggests using Penne Rigate pasta, but feel free to use any kind of your favorite noodles. Rotini, bow ties, or Ziti would all work well in this dish, too.
Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pasta Bake
Cheesy pasta baked with creamy Alfredo sauce, chicken, bacon and artichokes.
- 1 lb Penne Rigate pasta or your favorite pasta
- 1 lb bacon chopped
- 1/2 medium size red onion chopped
- 3 chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 6 Tbsp butter plus more to butter the casserole pan
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 garlic clove whole, peeled
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 5 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded, divided (see recipe)
- 12 oz marinated artichoke hearts in water drained and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup Panko crumbs, bread crumbs, or crushed crackers
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 3 QT casserole dish and set aside.
Boil water in a large stockpot, and cook the pasta according to package instructions to al dente. Drain, and run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking process. Set aside for later.
Heat a large cast iron cooking pot or wok on medium heat, and add the chopped bacon. Fry the bacon until it is browned and starts to crisp up, then add the chopped red onion, and cook a few minutes until the onion is soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and onion and pile onto a paper towel-lined plate. Leave the burner on.
Season the chicken breast pieces with Italian seasoning and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the pot, and cook in the bacon grease on medium heat until cooked through, and lightly browned on all sides. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and set aside to use later. Wipe out any remaining bacon grease from the pot.
Add the butter to the pot, and cook on medium heat, stirring, until melted (make sure not to burn, you may need to turn down the heat to medium-low). Add the garlic clove and flour, and whisk until a thick paste forms.
Heat the milk in the microwave until hot. Slowly pour in the milk to the pot, stirring constantly with the whisk until fully incorporated with the flour. Continue stirring, with the heat on medium, until the mixture bubbles and begins to thicken. Add the salt and pepper. Remove the garlic clove with a slotted spoon.
Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner, then add 4 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Stir until it melts and creates a nice cheesy sauce.
Add the pasta, chicken, bacon and onion mix, and artichokes to the cheese sauce. Mix well.
Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan, making sure to scatter evenly over the entire casserole. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then serve. Garnish with parsley, if desired.