Bacon Pesto Pasta is super easy any night of the week! For comfort food that is not too heavy this bacon and pesto pasta goes down a treat.
- Quick and easy: this fuss free recipe doesn't take too long to prepare, making it perfect for week nights.
- Family friendly: everyone from big kids to little one will enjoy this flavour combination!
- Freezer friendly: meal prep a big batch of this dish on the weekend, freeze and have dinners sorted during the week!
- Taste, texture and variety: as much as we all love Spaghetti Bolognese, sometimes it is nice to have pasta which is not as meaty and heavy as spagh bowl. We achieve this through the use of the small pieces of bacon and light fresh pesto taste!
We use simple, easy to find ingredients for this recipe. The photo below shows is a great visual guide when shopping and the recipe card below has the exact quantities needed.
As you can see, we have:
- pasta: I am using penne pasta. You can use your favourite pasta or a tubular one like rigatoni or macaroni so that the pesto sauce enters the holes of the pasta.
- pesto: I recommend fresh, homemade pesto for this dish. If however, you want to save time, you can use store bought pesto. If using store bought, then go for the dip variety that will be in the fridge section, not with the pasta sauces. The dip variety has a lot more taste and texture as well as being fresher.
- bacon: to make the recipe as quick and easy and possible, I use store bought diced bacon. If you want to purchase bacon rashers and chop them for use you can!
- parmesan cheese: use a strong parmesan which has a bit of bite to it! Choose to either grate your own or use store bought grated parmesan cheese.
- pepper: cracked pepper is the ultimate seasoning prior to eating. It helps enhance the ingredients as well as providing a touch of flavour.
I've used fresh, homemade rocket pesto for this recipe. But it will work for any pesto you like!
The photos below are the 4 steps needed for this recipe. All of the steps are very easy!
- Fry off the bacon for a couple of mins to cook (Photo 1)
- Cook pasta, drain and add to cooked bacon (Photo 2)
- Stir bacon and pasta together to combine (Photo 3)
- Add pesto to bacon and pasta and stir to combine (Photo 4)
I use pre-diced bacon as it makes the prep time on this pasta minimal! Perfect for quick, after dinner nights!
If you want to purchase bacon rashers and diced them (finely cut) yourself, that is fine too. This meal is all about fast meal prep and getting dinner on the table quickly and easily.
How to store, freeze and reheat
How to store the recipe
Once cooked, you can store the recipe in a sealed, air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
How to freeze the recipe
To freeze the recipe, wait until it is fully cooled, then store in sealed, air tight containers for up to 2 months.
How to reheat the recipe
To reheat the recipe, simply allow to defrost, then either microwave till warmed through or return to sauce pan and stir till hot
Frequently asked questions
What is green pesto?
Green pesto gets its colour from the herbs in the recipe.
Traditionally basil is used, although for modern variations, it is also common to find rocket, spinach, parsley and coriander pesto's.
These ingredients get combined with garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and olive oil.
What goes with Pesto Pasta?
There are so many ways of taking Pesto Pasta and elevating to that next level.
The most basic combination is pesto, pasta, parmesan and cracked pepper.
For more complex options you can try adding:
The pesto brings great flavour to the dish and the herby, garlicky parmesan taste matches so well with a variety of simple additions.
Optional extras for this dish are spinach, rocket, cooked pumpkin pieces or mushrooms!
How much pesto do you put in pasta?
You need a good few spoons of pesto for your pasta.
For a recipe that serves 4 people, I like to use 1 cup of pesto.
My pesto recipes on the blog each make one cup of pesto, but if you want to use store bought pesto, then keep about 2-3 tablespoons per person in mind as how much you will need.
These tips are to help you master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:
- make your pesto in advance and store in the fridge for quick meal prep (homemade pesto)
- pre diced bacon will cook in 3 -4 mins on the stove
- no oil is needed to cook the bacon
- cook the pasta at the same time as the bacon to save total cook time
The pesto is a great change to a traditional Italian pasta sauce!
You can add a little bit of cream to make it a creamy bacon pesto pasta!
For no fuss dinner ideas, try the following recipes:
- Artichoke Spaghetti
- Pesto Pasta with Sausage
- Instant Pot Penne Pasta
- Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Ground Beef Casserole
- Pork Mince Pasta
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- Rocket Pesto Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle
For something different, make an olive tapenade and stir that through cooked pasta for a quick meal!
Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
Bacon Pesto Pasta
- Sauce pan
- Fry pan or (French Pan)
- 500 grams pasta Note 1
- 1 cup pesto Note 2
- 600 grams bacon Note 3
- parmesan cheese to garnish
- cracked pepper to garnish
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions then set aside
- Use a fry pan or heavy based pan at a medium heat to fry off the bacon for 3-4 mins until cooked
- Add cooked pasta to the bacon and stir to combine
- Spoon pesto into the bacon pasta and stir to combine. Allow to heat through.
- Top with parmesan cheese and parsley
- Note 1 This is a flexible recipe which will work with your favourite pasta! I used curly pasta for this recipe.
- Note 2 You can use homemade pesto, store bought jarred pesto (pasta section of store) or dip pesto (cold section, with the dips), each will work perfectly and there is no right or wrong.
- Note 3 You can purchase bacon rashers and dice or you can use diced bacon. If you want to save time, I recommend diced bacon.