This easy Bacon Cream Cheese Pasta cooks in just one pot – even the spaghetti cook right in the sauce! It’s a quick and easy meal everyone will love.
One pot pasta is such a life saver to me on the busiest days, because I know I can just throw everything into a pot and dinner will be ready in less than 30 minutes!
This recipe is one my family LOVES. I make it all the time, when life gets very hectic I make it on a weekly basis. It’s so quick and easy, and also versatile so you can change it based on what you have on hand or what your family likes.
The best part is that you really only need one pot to cook everything, you don’t even need to cook the spaghetti separately. They cook right in the sauce, making the dish super creamy and full of flavor!
Ingredients you’ll need
This is just an overview of the ingredients needed – scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for exact quantities and instructions.
- Spaghetti: Feel free to use a different pasta shape. Spirals or penne work really well if you want something short. I highly recommend using a short shape if you have kids old enough to refuse having their spaghetti cut, but too young to eat them without making a huge mess, haha. Different kinds of pasta can have slightly different liquid requirements, so you may want to use 1 cup less broth to begin with if you choose something other than spaghetti, and then add more as needed while the pasta cooks.
- Milk: Feel free to use half-and-half or evaporated milk instead. I use whole milk in this recipe, but 2% is also great. Skim milk makes a thinner sauce.
- Bacon: Cook your own, buy crumbled bacon or use bacon bits – you do you. Leftover diced ham also works great in place of the bacon, or in case you want to have something a little lighter.
- Cheese: I always use a mozzarella parmesan blend, mozzarella for cheesiness and parmesan for flavor. You can do just one or even use a sharp white cheddar – just use what you have on hand or what you like best.
- Broth: Chicken is best, but vegetable broth also works. You can also use water and a chicken bouillon cube.
- Cream of bacon soup: My favorite is definitely condensed cream of bacon soup in this recipe, for the best flavor. You can use cream of chicken or cream of onion in a pinch.
- You can also make your own cream of bacon soup if you don’t want to use canned soup or don’t keep cream of bacon on hand:
In a medium saucepan, cook 1/3 cup bacon until crumbled. Add 3/4 cup chicken broth, season with a few dashes of garlic powder and onion powder. Bring to a boil. In a separate measuring jug, whisk together 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoons flour. Whisk this into the chicken broth, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, until thickened. You can use it straight away in the recipe, no need to cool down first.
- Garlic herb seasoning: If you don’t keep this on hand, you can also just use garlic powder and parsley flakes or Italian seasoning.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add a cup of frozen peas to the pasta as it cooks. Sometimes I mix corn and peas, or I add a bag of steamed broccoli right at the end.
How to make Cream Cheese Pasta
1. Combine the broth, milk and soup in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan. I use a 12 inch cast iron sauté pan, because the spaghetti fit without breaking. It holds about 3.7 quart, if you need a size reference.
2. Add the spaghetti to the liquid, breaking them in half if needed.
add uncooked spaghetti
3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. You’ll want to keep tossing the pasta until the liquids boil, because you want to keep them from sticking together, or from burning on the bottom.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is done (there should still be some liquids/sauce in the pan, and the pasta should be JUST done), about 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
simmer until done
4. Once the pasta is done , stir in the cream cheese, parmesan and bacon and heat through over low heat. Add a few more splashes of milk if needed, to create a rich and creamy sauce.
add remaining ingredients
5. Serve immediately for the best flavor and creamiest sauce. I added some chopped parsley, black pepper and extra bacon, but that’s optional and mostly for the pictures 😉
- Do NOT pre-cook the spaghetti! They really do go in dry and uncooked. If you pre-cook your pasta, the dish will turn into a soupy mess. So, please, stick to adding the uncooked pasta straight to the sauce!
- Make sure to toss the pasta often before the liquids are at boiling point, and then stir regularly while it simmers. Only use medium to medium-low heat to simmer the pasta, else the milk can catch and burn on the bottom of the pan.
- I do prefer using a wide pan over a tall pot, as it is easier to toss the spaghetti around. I also highly recommend using a pan large enough to comfortably hold all of the food (like I said earlier, mine is about 3.7 quart), else you’ll end up with a big mess while trying to toss and combine the pasta with the cream cheese.
- Serve the pasta immediately, else it keeps soaking up the sauce ad turns into a gloopy mess. Should this happen, add a little bit more milk and toss and turn over medium-low heat until the sauce is creamy again.
Make ahead tips
You can make this pasta up to 3 days ahead, but I do recommend making it as a spaghetti casserole in this case.
Store the cooked pasta in a 9×13 inch casserole dish, covered, in the fridge.
To reheat, remove from the fridge and uncover. Let sit on the counter as your oven heats to 375°F. Sprinkle spaghetti with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, then bake until bubbly and heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
Tips for leftovers
I like to reheat leftovers as a casserole, too.
Transfer any leftovers to a casserole dish (use a dish sized to comfortably hold the leftovers, but not one that is too large; I mostly use a 7×11 inch dish or an 8×8 for leftovers here). Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Follow the instructions above under “make ahead tips” for how to reheat the spaghetti in the oven.
More easy pasta recipes
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- 3 cups chicken broth OR vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (10.5-oz) can condensed cream of bacon soup
- 1 tablespoon garlic herb seasoning OR garlic powder and parsley flakes/Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon dried onion powder
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti, uncooked
- 1 (8-oz) block cream cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella parmesan blend (see notes for substitutes)
- 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- Combine broth, milk and soup with seasoning, onion powder, salt and pepper in large, deep skillet.
- Add uncooked spaghetti (break in half if needed) and place on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil while tossing spaghetti often to keep from sticking together/to bottom of pan. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pasta is JUST done, about 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Once ready, stir through cream cheese, grated parmesan and crumbled bacon. Add a few splashes of milk if needed to create a creamy sauce. Cook over medium-low heat to heat through, then serve immediately (if sauce is too thick or pasta sits too long, gently heat with a little more milk added until sauce is silky).