Once you try Uncle Phil’s creamy chicken and bacon pasta bake you’ll never stop making it!

I’ve recently started a series called ‘Family Comforts’ where I’m sharing recipes from those who inspire me the most. Today we’re tucking into my Uncle Phil’s chicken and bacon pasta bake! I’ve tried this a couple of times since he showed me it recently and can tell you it is ridiculously good. Too good not to share in fact! For a little more back story check out the video in the recipe card below 😄

overhead close up shot of chicken bacon pasta bake with black serving spoon digging in

Garlic Breadcrumbs

Without sounding dramatic – these are life-changing. When I saw Uncle Phil take a stick of garlic bread and blitz it up in a food processor my jaw dropped. I mean maybe I’m late to the party, but garlic breadcrumbs? On a pasta bake??? Absolutely. And this won’t be the last you see me pulling this stunt either 😅

Process shots: add garlic bread to food processor (photo 1), blitz to a crumb-like texture (photo 2).

2 step by step photos showing how to make garlic breadcrumbs

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

There are a couple of different routes you could go with chicken and bacon pasta bake. You’ll most commonly see a tomato base or a cream base. This is the latter (let me know in the comments if you’d like a tomato version!).

The sauce is pretty simple to whip up and consists of 3 different components:

  • Sauce – The sauce is a 50:50 combo of milk and chicken stock, alongside some cream for extra richness. The sauce is thickened with a simple roux (butter & flour).
  • Cheese – We’re going in with 3 different kinds of cheese: cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan.
  • Flavour enhancers – Onion, garlic, Dijon mustard and white pepper all add gorgeous flavour. Phil also recommends a couple of anchovies, which I have tried and they truly do work (promise!).

What kind of bacon should I use?

You’ll want to use streaky bacon as it’s much fattier than back bacon. This is important because we’ll be using the leftover fat to fry the onion. I recommend using smoked bacon for added flavour.

What kind of chicken should I use?

Rotisserie/leftover cooked chicken works best, simply for ease. Although saying that you could fry up some chicken if you’d prefer.

Process shots: fry bacon then remove (photo 1), fry onion, garlic and anchovies (photo 2), melt butter then stir in flour (photo 3), whisk in liquids then stir in mustard, pepper and the cheese (photo 4), add cooked pasta, chicken and bacon (photo 5), stir to combine (photo 6). 

6 step by step photos showing how to make creamy chicken bacon pasta

Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake

Once it’s all combined just whack it in a large baking dish and level it off so it’s flat. From there, top with parmesan, breadcrumbs and plenty of oil spray.

How do I know when the pasta bake is cooked?

The top will be golden and crisp, with the sauce rapidly bubbling around the edges. If you’re at all wary just pull it out early to check. Don’t overcook it or the sauce will dry out!

Process shots: add pasta to baking dish (photo 1), top with parmesan (photo 2), top with breadcrumbs and oil spray (photo 3), bake (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make chicken bacon pasta bake

Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake FAQ

What kind of pasta should I use?

Uncle Phil uses Penne, which is what I’ve gone for here, although any shortcut pasta will do!

Do I have to add the garlic breadcrumbs?

You could use regular breadcrumbs if you’d prefer, or just leave them off and stick with just the parmesan on top (no extra oil spray needed).

Do I have to add the anchovies?

They do add a good punch of flavour (not fishy at all) but you can leave them out if you wish. Just consider some added salt in the sauce.

Can I prepare this ahead of time?

This is best made fresh, but certainly don’t waste leftovers. Just allow it to completely cool and tightly store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheat until piping hot again.

close up shot of chicken and bacon pasta bake with scoop taken out

Serving Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake

Just let the bubbles die down a little before tucking in! No sides needed, this is a very rich and hearty dish 😋

For the other ‘Family Comforts’ recipes check out these recipes:

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chicken and bacon pasta bake shall we?!

close up shot of chicken and bacon pasta bake served in large white dish

How to make Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead close up shot of chicken bacon pasta bake with black serving spoon digging in


Uncle Phil’s Chicken & Bacon Pasta Bake

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Once you try Uncle Phil's creamy chicken and bacon pasta bake you'll never stop making it!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 – 6
Calories 983kcal
Cost £3.50 / $4


  • Food Processor (for garlic breadcrumbs)
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Deep Saucepan & Wooden Spoon (for sauce)
  • Large Pot & Colander (for pasta)
  • Jug (for stock)
  • Cheese Grater
  • Large Baking Dish
  • Serving Spoon


  • 250g / 9oz Smoked Bacon, diced
  • 1 medium White Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets, finely diced (see notes)
  • 400g / 14oz Penne
  • 60g / 2oz Butter
  • 60g / 2oz Plain Flour
  • 480ml / 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 480ml / 2 cups Milk (semi-skimmed or whole)
  • 120ml / 1/2 cup Double/Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 150g / 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, grated
  • 50g / 1/2 cup Mozzarella, shredded
  • 80g / 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 300g / 10.5oz Cooked Chicken, diced
  • 1/2 stick of Garlic Bread, blitzed into a crumb-like texture in a food processor
  • Oil Spray, as needed


  • Add the bacon to a large deep saucepan over medium heat and gently cook until crisp with the fat fully rendered down (can take 10-15 mins). Remove the bacon and place to one side, leaving the excess fat behind.
  • Add the onion to the leftover fat and fry until soft and golden, then add the garlic and anchovies and fry for a further minute or so until the anchovies melt into the oil. Meanwhile, add the pasta to salted boiling water and cook until al dente then drain (needs to still be a teeny bit hard or it'll overcook in the oven).
  • Melt the butter into the pan then stir in the flour to create a roux. Gradually add in the stock, milk and then cream, whisking as you go to ensure no lumps form. Stir in the mustard and white pepper, then bring the sauce to a simmer for 2 minutes to thicken. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.
  • Turn off the heat and stir through the cheddar, mozzarella and half of the parmesan. Stir through the drained pasta then stir in the cooked chicken and bacon.
  • Pour it all into a large baking dish, then top with the parmesan, followed by the garlic breadcrumbs, followed by a liberal spray of oil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden, crisp and bubbly. Tuck in and enjoy!



a) Pasta – Ensure the pasta is al dente before stirring it through the sauce. It will carry on cooking as it bakes in the oven. Penne is used here but any other short-cut pasta will work!

b) Anchovies – These add lovely flavour to the sauce. They don’t make the pasta bake taste fishy! If you really don’t want to add them then consider seasoning the sauce with some salt or adding in some extra parmesan.

c) Leftovers – This is best served fresh, but you can tightly store leftovers in the fridge for a few days and reheat until piping hot again.

d) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 6.


Calories: 983kcal | Carbohydrates: 78.76g | Protein: 42.86g | Fat: 55.73g | Saturated Fat: 21.154g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.65g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10.609g | Trans Fat: 0.791g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 967mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 8.5g | Sugar: 6.7g | Vitamin A: 1246IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 460mg | Iron: 2.7mg

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Pasta Bake Recipes


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