If you’re craving a decadent pasta dish that will knock your socks off, then you’ve gotta try this recipe for Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli. It has everything we’re craving – creamy alfredo sauce, smoky bacon, and tender-crisp broccoli – all mixed together in a deliciously indulgent bowl of pasta goodness.
There are few things I love more than a good pasta dish. Especially when it’s one with a phenomenal sauce to go with it. That’s why I’m obsessed with this penne alfredo with bacon and broccoli.
It’s restaurant quality flavor, without any of the professional cooking skills needed. You can make it right at home in no time at all. Not to mention, it’s a dish that will please the whole family or really anyone who tries it.
Our homemade Alfredo sauce is wildly popular (have you tried it yet??) and we make it as often as popular.
This time around we’re using that creamy Alfredo sauce over some penne that’s been tossed with smoky bacon and tender-crisp broccoli. This is the kind of meal that will have you coming back for seconds!
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For the pasta:
Penne – We’re obviously using penne in our Penne Alfredo, but any short pasta will work well, such as ziti or rigatoni.
Bacon – A nice thick cut of bacon will add loads of smoky goodness.
Broccoli – I’d recommend using fresh florets of broccoli and not frozen. They’ll get nice and tender-crisp when you cook them in the bacon grease.
Garlic – A must in all pasta dishes!
For the Alfredo sauce:
Heavy Cream – Alfredo sauce is rich and creamy and it starts with a cup of heavy cream! You’re going to love this simple homemade Alfredo sauce.
Butter – A half cup of butter, or one full stick, is going to add even more rich savory flavor to the alfredo sauce.
Parmesan Cheese – Use freshly grated or a bag of shredded Parmesan for this. Don’t use the powdery Parmesan in the green can for this one.
What We Love About This Recipe:
- The simple homemade Alfredo sauce tastes amazing!
- Bacon and broccoli are a nice crispy, crunchy addition that adds more savory flavor to the dish and pairs well with the cream sauce and tender penne pasta!
- Want even more protein? You can easily toss in some cooked chicken.
How To Make Penne Alfredo With Bacon and Broccoli:
Bacon & Broccoli: While your pasta is boiling, heat a large skillet and fry the bacon. Once the bacon is mostly crisp (but not overdone) add the broccoli florets directly to the skillet with the bacon and grease. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until the broccoli is nice and tender-crisp. Stir in bacon and cook for 30 seconds more.
Combine: Add the drained pasta, broccoli, and bacon to a serving dish and give it a stir to combine.
Alfredo Sauce: Add a stick of butter to a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Once melted, stir in the cream and heat through. Whisk in the Parmesan until it’s melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine: Pour the Alfredo sauce over the pasta, broccoli, and bacon, and give it a good stir to coat. We like to sprinkle a bit of extra Parmesan over the top before serving.
Cast iron skillets are my favorite! They heat so evenly, get piping hot for searing, and nothing is better than bacon fried in a cast iron skillet.
How To Make Vegetarian Penne Alfredo:
For anyone who is still a huge pasta lover, but wants a slightly healthier or vegetarian version, you can definitely adapt this recipe to fit those requirements.
Make the penne Alfredo vegetarian meatless by sautéing the broccoli in olive oil instead of the bacon grease. Toss in some mushrooms if you’d like a bit of umami flavor and a protein boost.
Add extra salt to taste – a smoked salt is a really nice addition to add some of that smoky bacon flavor!
Swaps & Substitutions:
This Penne Alfredo is infinitely adaptable! Here are a few options to change things up:
Bacon – Swap the bacon for mushrooms and cook in olive oil or butter for a vegetarian version.
Chicken – Add cooked, chopped chicken to make this more of a complete meal! Our air fryer whole chicken is perfect here.
Sauce – I never buy bottled Alfredo because our homemade sauce is just so easy and tastes so much better. But if you have a jar you need to use up, I’m sure it will work here.
Spice – Like a little kick with your Alfredo? Sprinkle your Penne Alfredo with red pepper flakes or a little Tony’s to give it some spice.
Keep in mind the recipe for this sauce is perfect on plain fettuccini but you can use any kind of noodle that you’d like and it’ll still taste amazing! Especially when you add a bit of chopped broccoli and bacon!
Alfredo sauce is a classic cream sauce, traditionally made with cream, butter, and Parmesan.
You can keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Make Dinner Easy With Even More Family-Friendly Recipes
Easy dinners are my favorite – we keep dinner simple as often as possible, without sacrificing flavor or quality. There’s just no time to get crazy with a bunch of fancy, involved dinners during the week.
Check out a few of the dinners that help me get dinner on the table in no time, while still keeping the whole family happy.
- Easy Baked Salsa Chicken
- The Best Turkey Burgers
- Low Carb Taco Casserole
- Air Fryer Boneless Pork Chops
- Mississippi Pot Roast
- Baked Ravioli Casserole
Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Broccoli
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 5 slices bacon diced
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Boil pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is boiling, fry the diced bacon until crisp in a large skillet. Add in the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the heavy cream and butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and whisk until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Drain pasta when done and add to a large serving bowl. Stir in the bacon and broccoli. Pour the Alfredo sauce over top of the penne and stir until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.