Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with bacon is simple comfort food that is easy to customize with grilled chicken, veggies, or delicious as is. With only seven ingredients and 30 minutes, you can have a family favorite on the table.
Creamy Bow Tie Pasta
I am always looking for quick and easy recipes and family-friendly dinner ideas.
The idea for this one came from an old cookbook and checks all my requirements. I like it, the kids like it, and it’s easy and it’s delicious!
You need just seven everyday ingredients for the base, but this recipe is easily customized.
The pasta is creamy and comforting but light enough to make in the warm months. The bacon and Parmesan cheese add great salty and savory flavor to the otherwise mellow sauce.
What is bow tie pasta called?
If you’re searching the pasta aisle for “bow tie pasta”, you won’t find it. The official name of this shape is Farfalle.
Though any pasta shape will do, bowtie is great because it grabs the sauce in the crevices. Plus, it’s cute!
How long do I cook bow tie pasta?
Farfelle (bow tie) pasta takes about 11 minutes to get to al dente in boiling water.
We don’t like much of a bite to our pasta so I let it cook a couple extra minutes so it is tender.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- PASTA – Bow tie pasta is just as it sounds, pasta shaped like a bow tie (aka farfalle). If you don’t have bow tie pasta on hand, you can use penne or elbow pasta as a substitute.
- CREAM CHEESE – Cream cheese makes the base of the creamy sauce. I use full fat but reduced will work as well. Make sure it is room temperature to start so it is easier to work with.
- ITALIAN SEASONING – This seasoning is a combination of oregano, parsley, and basil spices. You can buy the blend but I like to make my own homemade Italian seasoning.
- GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE – Parmesan cheese adds such a great flavor to everything. You can use shredded parmesan cheese if you need to or you prefer it.
- MILK – To thin the cheeses, I use milk. We keep 2% on hand but whatever your favorite (skim, whole, etc.) will also work.
- BACON – An excellent topping, cook some bacon in the oven to crumble over the top.
Equipment you’ll need
- Pasta Pot – You will want to invest in a large pot for cooking pasta. Pasta pots are deep enough for spaghetti and sometimes have the strainer built into the lid.
- Colander – If your pot doesn’t have a strainer in the lid, you’ll need a colander. I thought one with a handle was silly…until I got one & fell in love with it.
- Microwave Safe Mixing Bowls – I just started using this set and am really impressed. They are deeper rather than wider which is helpful for storage.
- Silicone Spatulas – I use these for EVERYTHING.
How to make Creamy Bowtie Pasta
This pasta is so easy to throw together with so few ingredients, it’s definitely a go-to meal.
- STEP ONE: First, cook the pasta to your perfect level.
- STEP TWO– While the pasta is boiling, cook your bacon using your favorite method. I usually opt for cooking bacon in the oven, but I’ve also been using the air fryer lately.
- STEP THREE– Next, add room temperature cream cheese, butter, and Italian seasoning to a microwave-safe bowl. Beat it with a hand mixer until smooth, then stream in the milk until fully combined. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until it’s all melted and you have a smooth sauce.
- STEP FOUR– Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and top with crumbled bacon and Parmesan cheese. The bacon and Parmesan are salty, but season with salt & pepper, if you think it needs it.
- Though this pasta is a meal in itself, you can add grilled chicken, shredded chicken, garlic steak bites, or oven fried lemon garlic chicken to up the protein.
- To add some color to the dish, you could stir in asparagus, peas, or sun-dried tomatoes. Sometimes I saute some fresh baby spinach to add in as well.
- I like to serve it with lemon garlic green beans or roasted carrots.
- You can easily double this recipe if you have a crowd to feed. Adding a protein will also extend the servings.
- If you want to lighten up the calories, you can use turkey bacon, low-fat cream cheese, and skim milk.
How to store leftovers
A creamy pasta sauce doesn’t always freeze well, so I recommend storing in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoying within a few days.
You can reheat in the microwave (at 50% power) or on the stovetop.
Need more pasta recipes? Try these:
- Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
- Baked Red & White Mostaccioli
- Crockpot Chicken Alfredo
- Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Fettuccine
Click here for my entire collection of pasta recipes.
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This recipe first appeared on Yellow Bliss Road.