Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Pasta with Bacon and Tomatoes in Asiago Cream Sauce – yummy pasta with lots of veggies! The vegetables are smothered in such a delicious Asiago cream sauce (and crumbled bacon) that even non-veggie lovers will love this dish. Chicken and Pasta lovers will certainly love this dish!
Asiago cheese and bacon provide a ton of flavor to this pasta recipe. Make sure to season your sauce with enough salt (I recommend 1/4 teaspoon of regular salt in this recipe) and a small amount of crushed red pepper flakes.
Here is how easy it is to make this pasta dinner. Start by cooking sliced chicken, sprinkled with paprika and Italian seasoning, on medium heat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet for 4-5 minutes on both sides until the chicken is completely cooked through. I used thinly sliced boneless and skinless chicken thighs – they are very flavorful! Remove the chicken from the pan.
To the same pan (but without chicken), add fresh uncooked baby spinach, chopped tomatoes, artichoke hearts from the can (drained REALLY WELL and roughly chopped), 1/3 of the cooked chicken, crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and half the bacon (already cooked and drained of fat). Mix everything.
Add half and half and bring to boil. Because spinach has so much volume before it wilts, this is what your pan will look like with all the half and half and the vegetables before they wilt:
Reduce the heat to simmer, and keep stirring until spinach starts to wilt (don’t let it wilt too much and overcook). Now you’re finally seeing the cream sauce and not just the spinach as in the previous picture.
As spinach starts to wilt and reduces considerably in volume, add grated Asiago cheese, and keep stirring on medium simmer until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy, only about 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Then, immediately remove from heat. Season the sauce with salt – I use 1/4 teaspoon of regular salt and that’s usually perfect. You might want to use more salt if needed.
In the mean time bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and drain again. Add pasta to the skillet with the sauce, stir to coat well, and reheat. To serve, add the remaining half of bacon (cooked and drained of fat) and the remaining 2/3 of sliced chicken (warmed) on top of pasta either right in the skillet or in the serving plates.
Top with grated Asiago cheese and serve this delicious dinner to your family and friends and yourself!