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Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli

Indulgent Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli: A Crowd-Pleasing Comfort Dish

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Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with a dish that combines all the best flavors in one glorious bite. Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli is a creamy, savory delight that will leave you craving more. With tender chicken, crispy bacon, and vibrant broccoli, all smothered in a rich, cheesy sauce, this recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of your favorite pasta shape
  • 3 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 6 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Pasta and Broccoli:
    • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water with the pasta. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Chicken:
    • Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
    • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Cook the Bacon and Aromatics:
    • In the same skillet, add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set it aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess grease.
    • In the remaining bacon fat, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Make the Sauce:
    • Pour the heavy cream into the skillet with the onions and garlic. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Gradually stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth, creating a creamy sauce.
  5. Combine Everything:
    • Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the skillet with the cheese sauce, tossing until well coated.
    • Gently fold in the sliced chicken and crispy bacon, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the pasta.
  6. Serve and Garnish:
    • Transfer the Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli to a serving dish or individual plates.
    • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
    • Serve hot and enjoy the irresistible flavors!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and bacon for a vegetarian-friendly version. You can bulk up the dish with additional vegetables like mushrooms or bell peppers.
  • Spice it Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
  • Creamy Substitutes: If you prefer a lighter sauce, you can use half-and-half or milk instead of heavy cream.
  • Cheese Swap: Experiment with different types of cheese, such as mozzarella, gouda, or parmesan, to customize the flavor profile.

FAQs:

Q: Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh? A: Yes, you can substitute frozen broccoli for fresh. Just be sure to thaw and drain it before adding it to the pasta.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: While this dish is best served fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them just before serving. Store the cooked pasta, broccoli, chicken, bacon, and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Q: How can I reheat leftovers? A: To reheat leftovers, simply transfer the desired portion to a microwave-safe dish and heat on high in 30-second intervals until warmed through. You can also reheat the pasta in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a splash of milk or cream to prevent it from drying out.

Q: Is this dish suitable for a keto diet? A: This Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli is not keto-friendly due to the pasta and higher carb content from the heavy cream and cheese. However, you can make keto-friendly substitutions such as using cauliflower florets instead of pasta and opting for a keto-approved cheese sauce.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute cauliflower florets for the pasta to reduce the carb content.
  • Use a keto-friendly thickener like xanthan gum or cream cheese to thicken the sauce.
  • Ensure all added ingredients are keto-approved, such as sugar-free bacon and low-carb vegetables.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Follow the keto version instructions but incorporate additional low-carb vegetables like zucchini noodles or spinach.
  • You can also reduce the amount of heavy cream used or replace it with a combination of chicken broth and cream cheese to further decrease the carb content.

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

In conclusion, Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta with Broccoli is a comforting and indulgent dish that’s perfect for satisfying cravings and pleasing a crowd. With its creamy cheese sauce, savory bacon, tender chicken, and vibrant broccoli, it’s a complete meal that hits all the right notes. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with keto and low-carb variations, this dish is sure to become a staple in your kitchen repertoire. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and treat yourself to a bowl of cheesy, bacony goodness that will leave you craving seconds.

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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