Cheesy Bacon Penne

    1 hour

    This pasta bake is full of penne pasta, tasty cheese, mozzarella cheese, bacon, cream, garlic, eschalots and a bit of fresh thyme. Topped with panko bread crumbs.

    53 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 500g penne pasta
    • 6 rashers bacon
    • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
    • 60g butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
    • 50ml olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
    • 3 eschalots, finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 4 cups thickened cream
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 2 cups tasty cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hour 

    1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C.
    2. Fill a large saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the penne then return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well.
    3. Place the bacon in a large frying pan and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the remaining bacon grease in a small bowl. Crumble the bacon into a bowl then mix in the panko bread crumbs, butter and chopped parsley. Set aside.
    4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and eschalots; cook and stir until the eschalots have softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon grease and flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute then whisk in the thickened cream and thyme. Continue to cook and stir until reduced by 1/3. Add mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese, stirring until cheeses have melted. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the penne pasta. Transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs have browned and the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes.


    Eschalots are known in New Zealand as shallots.

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    Reviews in English (50)


    The first time I made this was for out of town visitors the end of this past July, there were no left overs. I've made it twice since then. I use a whole pound of Farmer John thick sliced bacon, it's just necessary as we love bacon. I mix half of it into the dish and rest in the topping. Yes Molly is right, the fat/calorie police won't like it but when they come to my door I shoot 'em. The deliciousness squad on the other hand would love it.  -  19 Oct 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This was super delicious! I only made a couple changes which was I used all cheddar cheese, added red pepper flakes and black pepper to the sauce and instead of chopping the bacon I pulsed it in a food processor and mixed it with the panko to make "bacon breadcrumbs." Again, this turned out super delicious and I would definitely make again. Thanks for sharing.  -  15 Sep 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Recipe Group Selection: 10, September '11 Oh my..........this dish is delicious. The calorie/fat police are not going to like this one - but my husband and I LOVED it. I had to add 3 ounces of another shaped pasta because my penne was only a 13 oz. box. Other than that change I made as written. It was the first time I've used a shallot and panko bread crumbs. The texture is nice and creamy and loaded with flavor. Thanks rolo123 for sharing this one.  -  15 Sep 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)