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Cheesy Pesto Bacon Pasta Bake

This pesto bacon pasta bake is a cheese lover’s delight. Make one for now and one to freeze for later.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: casseroles for a crowd, easy pasta dinner, italian casseroles, Pesto
Servings: 6
Calories: 810kcal


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 16 oz penne pasta - cooked al dente and drained
  • 4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend 16 ounces
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups ready-made pasta sauce -OR- 2 cups of your own homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup crispy bacon- finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Make a simple white sauce by melting butter in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour over melted butter and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Then add in chicken broth and whisk quickly together. Cook over heat until it’s thick and bubbles up. Set white sauce aside.
  • Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain noodles and then dump them into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in white sauce, cheese, spinach, pasta sauce, milk, pesto and 1/2 cup of the bacon. Mix well.
  • Pour pasta into a 9x13 baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl mix together parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, remaining bacon and olive oil.
  • Bake at 350 ℉ for 45 minutes.



Serving: 1serving | Calories: 810kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 1321mg | Potassium: 706mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2338IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 389mg | Iron: 3mg