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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.
- 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