For a delicious and easy weeknight dinner, make this Chicken BLT Pasta packed with flavors reminiscent of the classic sandwich.
I’m bringing an easy weeknight dinner recipe to the final day of the #BaconMonth party – Chicken BLT Pasta.
If you saw my brainstorming notebook for recipes for #BaconMonth, you’d probably think that it was #BaconYear because you can pretty much bacon-fy so many recipes but time and time again, I kept coming back to this recipe. It’s easy to whip up – perfect for weeknights, has the flavors of the favorite sandwich and, if there are any leftovers, is fabulous for lunch the next day.
Before we go forward, can we take a moment and thank Julie from Bread Booze Bacon for organizing this event that I’m always thrilled to be a part of. She is the ultimate authority on all things bacon so this is always a fun event every August. She challenges us to think out of the box so when I started thinking of doing a BLT pasta, I knew that Julie would approve. Served with some crusty bread and this Chicken BLT Pasta will be a dinner favorite!
This easy recipe is PACKED with bacon and when I first tested this, I thought, why not add some chicken to the mix to make this a hearty dinner. Store-bought rotisserie chicken makes this easy to whip up on the fly however, you can use whatever cooked chicken you have on hand – whether it’s from leftover baked chicken breasts or if you do meal prep and have cooked chicken on hand – it’s all up to you.
I’m always a fan of peppery arugula so I used baby arugula for the lettuce component of a “BLT” but if you have spinach on hand or your favorite greens, you can use those. Fresh grape tomatoes burst and create a creamy sauce as they cook with the onions, garlic and spices and with a splash of cream and pasta water, you have an easy homemade sauce. Some fresh basil and parmesan cheese are the final flourishes and this Chicken BLT Pasta is the perfect dinner for busy weeknights!
Chicken BLT Pasta
Chicken BLT Pasta has the flavors of your favorite sandwich in a quick pasta dish, perfect for busy weeknights.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 - 8
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- 6 – 8 slices of thick cut bacon (because sometimes bacon just *disappears* during recipe testing)
- 3 cups of cavatappi pasta (about 3/4 of a 16 oz. box)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved (about a pint and a half)
- 1/3 cup of heavy cream
- 3 cups of baby arugula
- 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken breast (perfect shortcut – store-bought rotisserie chicken)
- 1/3 cup of fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for garnish
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- On a sheet pan lined with foil and a baking rack, place the thick cut bacon and cook for 20 minutes until crisp. Drain on paper towels and dice. Set aside.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the cavatappi pasta until al dente – about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water and set aside.
- To a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, add the olive oil. Sauté the diced onion over medium high heat until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
- Add the red pepper flakes, dried oregano, salt and black pepper.
- Tumble in the halved grape tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to release their juices.
- Add the heavy cream so that it forms a bit of a tomato sauce. If you need to add a bit more liquid, you can add some of the reserved pasta water or a splash or two more of cream.
- Add the arugula and while it looks like a lot at first, don’t worry, it will wilt down.
- Add the cooked chicken breast, diced cooked bacon and cooked pasta, taking care to toss everything together. To finish, toss once more with the basil and the Parmesan cheese.
When everything is mixed, serve warm with crusty bread and garnished with a bit more basil and Parmesan cheese.
Let’s see what our #BaconMonth bloggers have brought to the table shall we?
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