Pasta with Bacon and Peas

$4.00 recipe / $1.33 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.78 from 9 votes
Jump to RecipeStep by StepPin Recipe

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

It’s always a good idea to rummage through your pantry and freezer every week to see what ingredients you might need to use up. This week for me it was a half box of pasta, some frozen bacon, and frozen peas that were almost too frosty. So I took my favorite quick meal template (pasta + Parmesan + greens) and added in bacon for a simple and delicious meal. This Pasta with Bacon and Peas is definitely going on my regular rotation list!!

Overhead view of a bowl of pasta with bacon and peas

What Kind of Pasta to Use

You can literally use any type of pasta you have on hand for this recipe, which makes it a great option for using up leftovers in your pantry. Spaghetti, bowtie, fusilli, penne, or even ramen would work! I happened to have these little pasta shells, which turned out so cute because the peas would get caught in the shells and that made them look like peas in a pod. :)

What Else Can I Add?

As with most of my recipes, I love creating a nice simple “base” that you can enjoy as is, or add to if you have other ingredients on hand. Here are some other things you can add to this Pasta with Bacon and Peas that would be super delish:

  • Top with a fried egg or chopped hard boiled egg
  • Toss in a handful of fresh spinach
  • Top with crispy fried onions
  • Sprinkle on a dash of malt vinegar
  • Add heavy cream to make it saucy
Pasta with bacon and peas in the skillet.
Share this recipe

Pasta with Bacon and Peas

4.78 from 9 votes
Pasta with Bacon and Peas is a quick, satisfying, and inexpensive meal that you can make with ingredients that you can keep on hand.
Close up overhead view of a bowl of pasta with bacon and peas.
Servings 3
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. pasta* ($0.63)
  • 6 oz. bacon ($2.06)
  • 1 small onion ($0.32)
  • 1 cup frozen peas ($0.50)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan ($0.44)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) ($0.01)

Instructions 

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve about a half cup of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta in a colander.
  • While the pasta is boiling, cook the bacon. Add the bacon to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 2 Tbsp.
  • While the bacon is cooking, finely dice the onion. Add the diced onion to the remaining bacon grease and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the peas have heated through.
  • Add the drained pasta to the skillet, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
  • Top the pasta with Parmesan, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and crumbled bacon. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*You can use any type of pasta available.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cupsCalories: 601kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 22gFat: 26gSodium: 724mgFiber: 6g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!
close up side view of pasta with bacon and peas in the skillet.

How to Make Pasta with Bacon and Peas – Step by Step Photos

Pasta shells in a pot of water

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (7-10 minutes). Reserve ½ cup of the starchy pasta water before draining in a colander.

Cooking bacon in a skillet.

While the pasta is cooking, begin the bacon. Add 6oz. bacon (or however much you have on hand) to a skillet and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease from the pan.

Sauteed onion in the skillet.

While the bacon is cooking, finely dice a small yellow onion (or half of a large onion). After removing the bacon from the skillet, add the diced onion to the remaining bacon fat and sauté over medium heat until tender (about 5 minutes). The moisture from the onion will help dissolve some of the browned bits of bacon from the bottom of the pan.

Peas and pasta water added to skillet.

Once the onions are softened, add 1 cup frozen peas and about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until the peas have heated through.

Drained pasta added back to the skillet.

Add the drained pasta back to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn off the heat.

Parmesan and bacon added to the skillet.

Add ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper to the pasta, then crumble the cooked bacon over top.

Finished bacon with pasta and peas.

Stir until everything is well combined and coated in Parmesan. Taste the pasta and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Try These Other Quick Pasta Recipes

Share this recipe

Posted in: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. This was good! I doubled the amount of pasta and used all of the pasta water (the whole 1/2 cup) and it surprisingly wasn’t too salty. Super easy for a Monday night.

  2. Great recipe, very easy to make.

    Honestly it goes well with a bunch of frozen veggies. Stuck with a less than a cup of peas, carrot and green medley and 2/3 cup of california veggie medley? Just throw it all in. It’s just as good. The only difference in recipe is I cook my bacon in the oven so its extra crisp.

  3. I added garlic and arugula to this recipe and it was delicious! Definitely my husband’s new favorite recipe. Also, if you’re trying to increase your protein intake, sub out the normal pasta for chickpea pasta. It tastes the exact same and gives you an extra 12 grams of protein!

  4. This was absolutely delicious!! I used half a bag of chopped up sugar snap peas I had in the fridge from a stir fry instead of frozen peas. I also stirred in a tablespoon or so of cream cheese to make a bit more of a sauce. Definitely going to be a regular in our rotation from now on. 

  5. This was a great dinner on a busy weeknight. All 3 of my picky kids said it was so good! I used whole wheat penne.

  6. I didn’t realize I had some frozen broccoli in my freezer until trying to cook this. Thanks for the reminder! I tried without cream because I just didn’t have any but I highly recommend it to anyone who’s on the fence! I think we’ll do alfredo too next time.

  7. My husband calls this mystery pasta. (What goes in it? It’s a mystery!) Mushrooms that are on their last legs? Throw them in. Some cocktail shrimp? Throw it in. Add in whatever seasoning sounds good, and you have mystery pasta. It’s always a hit, and a great way to use up leftovers.

  8. This looks light & delicious! You mentioned adding heavy cream to make it saucy- how much would you suggest? 

    1. I would probably start with ¼ cup and then just add more to your liking. :)

  9. Soooo good! I made it GF and dairy-free., and probably doubled the onion lol.

    What a wonderful base though! I would love a little more veggies in this so maybe some steamed broccoli next time! I know a lot of your recipes are just “throwing together what I had on hand,” but the creativity does not come naturally to all of us lol. I did add some vegan butter too to give it some of that creaminess… and the crushed pepper just adds the final touch!

  10. Wow, another delicious recipe from Beth. I check your website almost on a daily basis, and never fail tò be inspired. Please continue all that you do. WE LOVE YOU

    1. I completely agree! All her recipes are so great and I check the site almost on the daily as well!