This cream cheese pasta sauce is creamy and a perfect way to add to any pasta meal. Indulge in this creamy goodness and learn how to make this sauce with some bacon strips added to it.
Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce
Cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon perfectly balances creamy, savory, and smoky flavors. This sauce combines the velvety allure of cream cheese with the smoky, delicious taste of bacon. This dish is a testament to the magic that can happen in the kitchen.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the world of this delicious dish, from its origins to various preparation methods.
Why you love this recipe
This cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon is our favorite, and I hope it will become part of your collection of recipes. The process of making this is simple. When these ingredients come together, they create a rich Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce bursting with flavor. The harmonious blend of cream cheese, bacon, Spinach, red onion, and heavy whipping cream results in a wonderfully creamy, savory, and ever so slightly indulgent sauce, making it a perfect complement to your favorite pasta.
- Cheap- Aside from the bacon, I have all of the ingredients from the precious menu I made.
- Creamy– this is so creamy and tasty. My family loves it.
- Meal Prep– I brought this to lunch; this pasta and its creamy cream cheese pasta sauce is better the next day.
- Customize- Personalize the seasoning and choose from the available ingredients. Season it to your preference. I included Spinach in this recipe because I had it on hand, but you can omit it.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Creating a delicious cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon requires a handful of key ingredients:
What’s in my pantry
- Small Shell Pasta
- Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are essential seasonings that enhance the overall taste of the sauce. Salt adds a savory element, while freshly ground black pepper provides a mild, warming spice. These seasonings help balance the flavors and make the sauce more delicious.
- Spinach: Spinach is a dark, leafy green vegetable known for its mild, earthy flavor. Spinach adds a vibrant green color to the pasta sauce and contributes a slightly sweet and vegetal taste. It’s a nutritious addition that complements the creamy elements of the sauce.
- Red Onion: Red onion is a type of onion with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. When sautéed, it becomes tender and adds a subtle sweetness to the sauce. Red onions also offer the dish a beautiful, purplish hue, making it visually appealing.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Heavy whipping cream is a thick, high-fat dairy product with a rich and creamy consistency. It’s an essential ingredient for creating the creamy base of the pasta sauce. It thickens and adds a luxurious, silky texture to the sauce when heated. It’s often used in pasta sauces to make them velvety and decadent. I use the leftover heavy whipping cream from my post, One Pot Velveeta Chicken Spinach Pasta.
- Bacon Strips: Bacon strips are thin slices of cured and smoked pork belly. They bring the sauce a savory, smoky, slightly salty flavor. When cooked and crumbled, bacon adds a delightful crunch and a burst of umami.
- Cook the Pasta: Boil the pasta according to the box’s instructions.
- Prepare the Cream Cheese Sauce: Melt butter and sauté minced garlic in a large skillet.
- Cook the Bacon: In a separate pan, cook it until it’s crispy. Remove and crumble it into bits. You can discard the bacon oil. In my case, I tossed the fat and added the cream cheese and onion.
- Add the heavy cream and simmer on low heat until a creamy cream cheese pasta sauce is formed.
- Add the cooked small pasta shells and Spinach; stir gently until the Spinach is wilted.
- Add the bacon bits to the cream cheese sauce. Mix thoroughly and garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Serve hot.
Variations to Satisfy Your Palate
- Spicy Kick: sauce for a spicy twist.
- Sundried Tomato Delight: Include sundried tomatoes for a burst of tangy flavor.
- Mushroom Magic: Sautéed mushrooms complement the creaminess of the sauce beautifully.
- Chicken Infusion: Boost the protein by adding grilled chicken strips.
- Veggie Medley: Enhance the dish with colorful vegetables, like bell peppers and broccoli.
To store cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon or any leftovers, follow these simple steps:
- Allow It to Cool: Let the sauce cool to room temperature before storing it. This will help prevent condensation inside the storage container, which can make the sauce watery.
- Use an Airtight Container: Transfer the sauce. Ensure the container is clean and dry before putting the sauce in.
- Refrigeration: Store the sauce in the refrigerator. It must be kept at a consistent, cool temperature to prevent bacterial growth. The sauce should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking.
- Label and Date: If you’re making multiple batches or habitually storing sauces, labeling and dating the container can help you keep track of freshness. Include the date when you made the sauce.
- Freezing (Optional): Place it in the freezer if you want to store it. Be mindful that freezing can alter the sauce’s texture slightly.
- Reheating: When ready to use the sauce again, thaw it in the refrigerator if it’s frozen. Reheat it gently in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until thoroughly heated.
Your cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon and enjoy it later. Just be sure
Frequently Asked Questions)
- Can I use whole wheat pasta as a healthier option?
Absolutely! Whole wheat pasta works well and adds a nutty flavor to the dish.
- How can I make the sauce smoother if it’s too thick?
Add a splash of milk and stir until you reach your desired consistency.
- Can I use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon?
Yes, turkey bacon is a leaner alternative that works wonderfully in this recipe.
- Is it possible to make a vegetarian version of this dish?
Certainly! You can omit the bacon and opt for a vegetarian bacon substitute or rely on the cream cheese sauce for a rich flavor.
- How long does it take to prepare this dish?
You can have a delightful meal in just 30 minutes.
- Q: What wine pairs well with a cream cheese pasta sauce with bacon?
A crisp white wine or a light red like Pinot Noir complements the flavors beautifully.
Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce
- 1 saucepan
- 1 Ladle or spatula
- 1 1/2 cups Small Shells Pasta
- 7 pieces Chopped Bacon Strips
- 2 cups Spinach
Cream Cheese Sauce
- 4 oz Low Fat Cream Cheese
- 11/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/4 cup Chopped Red Onion
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Cook Pasta Per Box Instructions. I boil five cups of water add one tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta for about twelve to fifteen minutes. Set it aside.
How to Cook Small Pasta in the Instant Pot
- You can cook the pasta on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot.Set the inner pot in the Instant Pot base and put the pasta in it. Add water to cover the pasta. Ensure that the pasta is separated.Cover the Instant Pot with the pressure cooker lid and push the pressure cooker button. Set the pressure to HI. Set the timer to three minutes and quickly release the pressure when done. If you notice water coming out, seal again and wait for two minutes. Quick release again.Do this whenever the water splatters out.
Prepare the bacon
- Put the bacon in a medium-size pan and sear until crispy. Discard the oil. Please see the notes.
Make the Creamy Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce
- Using the same pan, saute the onion until transparent, and add the cream cheese and the heavy whipping cream. Let them simmer on low heat and continue stirring until the sauce is smooth.
- Add the cooked small shell pasta and spinach. Gently stir until the spinach is wilted. Add the cooked bacon. Mix until the sauce coats the pasta and bacon.
- You can discard the oil or use a bit of it to make the cream cheese sauce.
- Season your sauce according to your liking. I prefer measuring the spices.