Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli

I still remember the first time I had Alfredo sauce. I was at Olive Garden with a friend and she ordered a side of Alfredo sauce for dipping her breadsticks in. I didn’t even know what Alfredo sauce was and (this is embarrassing) I thought it was going to taste like Ranch dressing when I got my first glimpse of it. (Even more embarrassing, this was just about 5 years ago. Oh, how far I’ve come…)

My life changed for the better the moment I licked that luscious cheese sauce off of that soft, pillowy breadstick.

(I apologize if that sounded a bit dirty. I meant it in the most respectable, adult-like, un-twelve-year-old-boy-ish way possible.)

I went home and within a week I was making my own Alfredo sauce. Unfortunately, that was back before I had any idea what was what in the kitchen. The first recipe I tried had an ingredient list a mile long and involved non-stop stirring for thirty minutes straight.

It was torture.

Not only did I hate making that recipe, it wasn’t even that great. Certainly not worth the long list of ingredients and 30 minutes spent standing over a hot stove.

Didn’t that Alfredo recipe know that I had television to watch and phone calls to make and toe nails to paint? How dare it require stirring for 30 entire minutes of my life?

I pretty much gave up on Alfredo sauce that day. Until, that is, I realized that cooking was fun and that I was pretty good at it. Then I made the simplest, most delicious Alfredo sauce around.

Butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. That, my friends, is what makes a delicious Alfredo sauce. Well, that and a bit of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

I’ve been wanting to share that sauce recipe with you ever since I started this blog. I just kept forgetting not to eat it all before I had a chance to photograph it. Luckily, this time I made enough to feed an army, so once I had my fill I was sure to snap a few photos.

Keep in mind that the recipe for this sauce is perfect on plain fettucini, but I’ve fancied it up a bit by using Barilla Plus Pasta (seriously, tastes like regular ol’ pasta, but chock full of protein, fiber, and Omega-3s) (this isn’t a paid review or sponsored post, just me sharing what I use in my own kitchen) penne, adding in some chopped broccoli, and a teensy handful of crispy, fried bacon. This is delicious topped with grilled chicken, too.

And for all of you vegetarian/healthy eaters, you can certainly make this meatless by sauteing the broccoli in olive oil instead of the bacon grease. I’m not sure why you’d want to ruin this delicious platefull of pasta that way, though.

Bacon. It is my friend and I like it.

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli (about 2 heads)
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (not the powdery kind!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • grilled chicken (optional)


  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, fry the diced bacon until crisp. Add in the broccoli florets and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until they are tender-crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the butter and heavy cream until heated through and butter is melted. Add in the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is thoroughly melted and sauce is a smooth, creamy consistency.
  4. Drain pasta when done and add to a large serving bowl. Pour in the bacon and broccoli and toss it in with the penne. Pour the Alfredo sauce over top of the penne and stir until well combined.
  5. Serve topped with sliced grilled chicken, if desired.

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31 Responses to “Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli”

  1. MelanieL May 13, 2011 @ 6:54 am (#

    This is the same alfredo sauce recipe I make! We love it with bow-tie pasta. Next time I’ll add bacon:)


  2. Heather May 13, 2011 @ 7:18 am (#

    Yum! It looks like lunch today. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Ashley May 13, 2011 @ 8:26 am (#

    Mmmm, I’m down for anything that has pasta, alfredo sauce or broccoli in it. This looks great!


  4. Erin May 13, 2011 @ 9:00 am (#

    Bacon is more than a friend O:-)


  5. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel May 13, 2011 @ 9:52 am (#

    Would it be totally wrong of me to double the bacon and not use the broccoli? :) I’ve yet to make alfredo sauce myself but seriously keep meaning to! You’re making me hungry.


  6. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 13, 2011 @ 12:33 pm (#

    Oh my goodness! This looks so decadent and yummy and right up my alley. Wonderful recipe Karly! Saving this for soon.


  7. Wendy May 13, 2011 @ 2:43 pm (#

    I don’t know you but I think I love you…. I so need a good Alfredo recipe and I can’t wait to try this!

    And now, thanks to you, I am totally craving a light fluffy breadstick and alfredo sauce from the O.G. (side note, hubby and I use to alternate marinara sauce and alfredo sauce every time we went. Now we just get alfredo!)


  8. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour May 13, 2011 @ 3:48 pm (#

    Your pasta looks so tasty! I love a good alfredo sauce!


  9. Pam May 14, 2011 @ 7:46 pm (#

    It looks delicious!


  10. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen May 14, 2011 @ 9:19 pm (#

    I love alfredo sauce…this one looks super tasty! The addition of the bacon sounds delicious. :)


  11. Cooking Gallery May 15, 2011 @ 11:42 am (#

    Love, love, love the look of this pasta, gorgeous and delicious…:)!!


  12. erica May 15, 2011 @ 10:46 pm (#

    oooo this looks AMAZING!
    (and bacon really does make everything taste better)

    thanks so much for posting this.
    i’ve been looking for an easy/delicious
    alfredo recipe. can’t wait to try this one!



  13. Cookbook Queen May 17, 2011 @ 6:11 pm (#

    This looks AMAZING. I have an alfredo pasta I make with penne and bacon that is probably my most favorite thing in the whole wide world to eat.

    My favorite thing in all the land.

    I love it more than anything in the universe.

    You get my drift.


  14. Stephanie May 20, 2011 @ 9:14 am (#

    I just tried this the other night and oh. my. word. This was fantastic!!! All the flavors just..melt in your mouth. I think I might have even licked the plate. Maybe. :) Posted about it on my blog, it was delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :D


  15. Susan May 21, 2011 @ 2:33 pm (#

    That’s basically the alfredo sauce I’ve made for years, except I don’t cook it in a saucepan. I let all ingredients come to room temperature, throw it all on hot pasta, and toss. The heat from the pasta melts everything very nicely. And it’s sooooo yummy . . .


  16. Kathy May 22, 2011 @ 6:09 am (#

    I made this last night using Dreamfields Penne Rigate Pasta. With that, it becomes a low carb dish and my blood sugar this morning was the best it’s been all week. This recipe tastes delicious and I served it along with chicken on the side.


  17. Rebecca May 22, 2011 @ 6:45 pm (#

    I usually make my sauce this way, but never even thought to add the bacon and garlic powder! Delicioso!!!


  18. Aggie May 23, 2011 @ 7:17 pm (#

    Oh my goodness…I want this for my second dinner!


  19. niner from June 14, 2011 @ 3:17 am (#

    Hi Karly !!

    I must say I LOVE this recipe !!!
    I have made it many times and finally wrote a blogpost about it on my website. Why dont you take a look? Thanks so much for this wonderful pasta meal. Yum!


  20. Heidi @ Food Doodles July 12, 2011 @ 7:05 pm (#

    Yum! That looks awesome :) I love pasta dishes like this!


  21. Nudelmaschine Test September 14, 2011 @ 9:12 pm (#

    Wow, your recipes are truly amazing, and the pictures are absolutely mouth-watering. Thanks a lot for providing me with ideas!


  22. Claudia January 30, 2012 @ 6:43 pm (#

    Love the idea, but I just made it tonight and followed the directions exactly and found the sauce too… buttery tasting. I would cut down on the butter by half and maybe use half-and-half next time.


  23. Dave March 19, 2012 @ 10:41 am (#

    Try adding a bit of white wine to your alfedo sauce or if your adding chix try slow cooking it over med high heat in white wine mmmmmm!


  24. Kathleen June 6, 2012 @ 5:17 pm (#

    I LOVED this recipe…… We had it tonight!! It is TO DIE FOR!!!!


  25. Megan June 17, 2012 @ 6:55 pm (#

    I found you via a google search and made this tonight for my husband’s birthday (Alfredo is his favorite). My goodness was it awesome! We liked the bacon/broccoli so much I would make it as a side to a steak or pork chop. Our stomachs thank you! Can’t wait to poke around more on your blog.


  26. explainer video length April 14, 2014 @ 8:53 pm (#

    I like looking through a post that can make men and women think.
    Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!



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