Delicious salty bacon and sweet delicate peas come together in this quick and easy pasta recipe, ready in only 20 minutes. This Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas is one your entire family will love and request for dinner over and over!
Easy Pasta with Peas and Bacon
This pasta dish has graced my table at least once a month for the past five years. I honestly don’t think I can say that about any other meal.
It’s just…really good. Every bite of tiny tender pasta is accompanied by salty crisp bacon and sweet peas, all coated in a creamy sauce. A simple, delicious dinner and ready in about 20 minutes. I make this so often that I know it by heart. I make this so often that even my kids have fallen in love with peas. ’Nuf said.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pasta dish:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Pasta – Tiny Ditilani pasta is about the same size as the peas. It’s one of my favorites.
- Unsalted butter – The bacon has plenty of salt, so I use unsalted butter in this dish.
- Bacon – Regular or thick cut, diced small.
- Shallots – This small onion is more delicate and sweeter than common yellow onions.
- Frozen Peas – Little sweet peas are a wonderful compliment to salty bacon. Thaw them first.
- Half and half – This is equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.
- Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated for best flavor.
- Seasonings – Salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Include garlic. Sometimes I add in fresh garlic with the shallots.
- Add in some heat. If you like your food spicy, you could add in a bit of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Use a different onion. If you can’t find shallots, another type of sweet onion (diced very small) works fine.
- Half n half. This is a common dairy product in all U.S. grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can make your own, or just use whole milk – the overall sauce just won’t be as rich or thick.
How to Make Peas and Bacon Pasta
This homemade focaccia bread comes together in just 20 minutes. Here’s a brief summary:
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions.
- Sauté bacon in butter until almost crispy. Add the shallots and cook until softened.
- Add peas and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently until slightly thickened.
- Drain pasta, reserving some of the water. Add pasta to the sauce; toss to combine, adding a little bit of the reserved pasta water at a time, only if necessary.
- Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan on top.
Because of the pasta, bacon, and peas, this is a hearty dish all in one, but it definitely goes well with some garlic bread or a side salad for a more complete meal.
How to Store Leftovers
This pasta dish is best served right away. If you do have any leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep up to 3 days. To reheat, we recommend stirring in a little bit of water or chicken broth to loosen up the sauce again. This does not freeze well.
Read What Everyone Is Saying!
More Easy Pasta Recipes:
- Chicken Tetrazzini
- Tuscan Chicken Pasta
- Broccoli and Bacon Pasta
- Baked Ravioli Casserole
- Chicken Alfredo
- Baked Feta Pasta
I hope you love this delicious and simple recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas
- 12 ounces dried Ditilani pasta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (about 4 ounces) diced bacon
- 2 shallots , minced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas , thawed
- 1 cup half-and-half
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions.
- In the meantime, in a large pan, heat butter over medium heat; add bacon and saute for 5 minutes until almost crispy. Add shallots, stir occasionally until they begin to soften, 1-2 minutes. Add peas and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Add pasta to the sauce; toss to combine, adding a little bit of the reserved pasta water at a time, only if necessary.
- Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan on top.
Reader Questions and Reviews
This was easy & delicious! I used milk instead of half & half just to make it a bit lighter for summertime & it was amazing. I will definitely be making this again.
A must try Receipe
Just made this for lunch and it was delightful. Made exactly as recipe called for and did not deviate… I think…next time… we will add more peas.. simply because they were delicious … when you got that bite of bacon an pea together
This was so quick and easy to make. I followed the recipe and it was delicious! I love bacon, but can’t have too much, so I may substitute with some chopped grilled chicken next time!
I can’t wait to make this…it looks awesome!
One question. Do you drain the grease or leave it in the mix?
If your bacon is very lean and doesn’t render a lot of fat, then I wouldn’t drain the grease (since that will add to the flavor), but if there is a lot of grease left in the pan, I would drain off all but a tablespoon.
I. just made this and it was good! My daughter also liked it so we will make this again!
what s half and half…
It looks amazing! How nig is each serving? One cup, two cups, half cup?
Am in Australia, whats half and half please ??
Hi Rita – it’s equal parts heavy cream and whole milk.
Heavy cream and milk. Usually added to desserts and coffee and soups
Finally made this today. It was great. Did not change anything accept maybe a little more bacon then called for because I had extra really good bacon. Everyone loved it. The fresh grated Parmesan really brought it home. Definitely a keeper.
Got up craving this!
I’m now enjoying it for breakfast
Can’t wait for leftovers tmw!
What kind of Pasta used in the photo? Curious
Ditalini – probably my favorite tiny tube shaped pasta!
Looks delicious! I had something similar from a local Italian restaurant. Do you serve this dish on its own or do you add any sides? Perhaps it would pair well with a simple green salad?
I serve it as the main meal. With bacon and peas, it’s quite a substantial pasta dish.
Do you think using 2% milk would work in this, to lighten it up a little? Hubby and I are needing to eat lighter, but this sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jami – you can, the dish just won’t be quite as rich. Since milk is thinner, you most likely won’t need any extra water at the end (which is fine.) I’m sure it will still be delish!
Would this work with cubed ham?
I have the pickiest child on the planet but this was a hit!
Great quick and easy dinner! Made tonight with corn instead of peas and everyone took 2nds. Looking forward to lunch leftovers tomorrow!
This has been on my “to make” list for awhile. Finally made it last night & it was delicious. I loved that it only made 4 servings. Need to find more dishes like that since I live alone.
Glad you finally made it and it worked out for you!
Oh my gee!! Just finished eating this delicious meal, all four kids and hubby absolutely loved it! Well done x
Wow. We’re enjoying a big plate full right now for lunch, and it’s heavenly! I love that it’s quick to throw together for lunch during our homeschool day, without creating a mountain of dishes. And, my kids are eating peas!
Right?? Isn’t that the best?! Thanks, Tracy!
Could frozen edamame be used in place of the peas?
Sure! Although it will render a slightly different flavor. Also, when you defrost edamame is it cooked? If not, you’ll want to, otherwise they won’t cook enough when added to the half and half.
Very good. Made this and the French Coconut pie tonight. My poor tummy. My 3 yr old grand daughter loved the pasta, then asked for pie.
This looks to me like it could be served warm or cold. I live in the South and we LOVE our summertime salads and/or one dish meals on those very humid evenings. Will definitely give it a shot!
Hi Gen – the cream, unlike a vinaigrette or white wine sauce, does not lend well to being eaten cold, fyi. I recommend serving it right from the pan or heated up the next day if you have left overs.
Made something similar as a summer salad by mixing cooked diced bacon, frozen peas, small pasta and bottle of ranch dressing, Chill and serve.
New favorite pasta dish, thank you!
I want this for dinner. Looks so beautiful and yummy!
I don’t want this. I NEED it.
When a food blogger makes a recipe every month for YEARS…you know it has to be good!
I’m happy you reposted it! This looks so, so yummy. :)
You know what’s stupid? We don’t have half and half in Germany. I bet I can make my own, though. Yay! This is on the list. :)
Half and Half is simply a mix of half cream and half milk.
I honestly think peas and pasta were made to go together. Forget this peas and carrots stuff. Peas and pasta, my friends, that’s where it’s at. Also, cream. YUM.
So glad to see Ditalini being used… it’s like the forgotten noodle.
Oh yes, this little bit of lovely is definitely going to happen! I’m actually craving something I’ve never had before…weird, but it’s happening. Thankfully I haven’t hit the store yet today!
Yes. Peas, pasta, bacon and half and half. Enough said.