The kids will love this creamy bacon and mushroom pasta bake! Gooey, cheesy pasta, baked in the oven, perfect for a family dinner. This recipe is also dairy free and can be adapted to be gluten free!
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Most kids love pasta.. mine included! I am always trying to come up with new pasta dishes that I can pack full of vegetables (sneakily!) and this creamy bacon and mushroom pasta bake is the latest invention.
This recipe is full of flavour! The bacon, peas and mushrooms work together really well with the creamy, white sauce. This recipe will become a new favourite for your weekly dinners!
Check out another great pasta recipe that the kids will also love, my vegan creamy mushroom and broccoli pasta.
If you are looking for a tomato based sauce instead of a creamy one, my hidden vegetable tomato sauce is a great way to sneak some healthy stuff into the mouths of fussy eaters!
- Pasta - I use wholemeal pasta as it contains more fibre. You can swap for gluten free pasta if needed.
- Bacon - If you prefer a milder flavour use unsmoked bacon.
- Mushrooms - Closed cup or chestnut mushrooms work really well.
- Peas - Can’t beat a frozen pea!
- Dairy Free Butter - I have used Flora Plant Based Butter in this recipe.
- Plain flour - can be swapped for gluten free flour
- Unsweetened plant based milk - I have used soya.
- Dairy Free Cheese - You can buy pre grated cheese for ease.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make creamy bacon and mushroom pasta bake
Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling water as per packet instructions.
Chop the bacon into small pieces and slice the mushroom (or dice finely if you have fussy eaters like mine!)
Add the bacon to a large wide based frying pan and fry on a medium/high heat for 1-2 minutes.
Crush the garlic into the pan and add the mushrooms and peas. Fry for another 2-3 minutes until the bacon is cooked.
Melt the dairy free butter in another saucepan on a medium heat. Once melted add the flour and mix together.
Once the butter and flour are combined pour in the milk slowly, whisking as you go. Keep whisking for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the bacon mixture. Mix well.
Pour over the sauce and stir together until the sauce has coated all of the pasta mixture.
Season well with black pepper (and salt if not cooking for children)
Transfer the mixture into an oven proof baking dish like this one and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
Bake in a hot oven until the cheese has melted nicely (around 15-20 minutes)
Tips and tricks
- Add a splash of water to the bacon mixture if it is looking dry when frying in the pan.
- Ensure the pasta mixture is fully coated with the sauce to stop the pasta going hard or burning in the oven.
- Use a large, non stick, wide based frying pan like this one , you will need a big pan to make sure you can stir everything together well!
- Gluten free - Swap the wholemeal pasta for gluten free pasta and the plain flour for gluten free flour.
- If you can eat dairy - use normal butter and replace the plant based milk with cows milk.
- Soya free - I have used soya milk in this recipe, however you can swap this out for any plant based milk as long as its unsweetened. Oat milk or almond milk would work well.
- Don’t bake it! - The pasta is equally as delicious if you eat it as a pasta dish without baking it in the oven. Just serve up once all the ingredients have been mixed together. Sprinkle some cheese on the top and you are good to go!
- Chicken and broccoli - Instead of bacon, chop some chicken up into small chunks and add to the frying pan. Add the broccoli florets to the pasta water for the last few minutes of cooking and this will give you another dinner option.
- Kid friendly - If your kids are not mushroom lovers, chop them really finely using a chopper like this one, they won’t even know they are in there!
- Breadcrumbs - Fancy a bit of crunch? Swap the grated cheese for breadcrumbs, sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture before placing in the oven.
This creamy bacon and mushroom pasta bake is best eaten fresh from the oven, however it can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
To reheat, microwave for a few minutes until piping hot, stirring half way through. Note that the sauce does dry a little once the pasta has been stored in the fridge.
The same goes for freezing, its perfectly fine to freeze for up to 3 months, however the sauce will be a little drier.
Defrost in the microwave or in the fridge overnight and re-heat as above.
In some recipes you can e.g if it is a tomato based sauce and you are adding water to the sauce, however as this sauce is thicker it is best to pre boil the pasta in a saucepan to stop the pasta from going hard and burning in the oven.
Yes! Prepare everything up to the point where it would go in the oven, then cover and refrigerate. When cooking, increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes to ensure the mixture is piping hot.
This is a hearty meal on its own, but you can’t beat a fresh green salad and some yummy garlic bread!
I would love to know what you think of this recipe - why not rate and let me know in the comments!
Creamy Bacon and Mushroom Pasta Bake - Dairy Free
- 400 g dried pasta can be substituted for gluten free pasta
- 6 rashers unsmoked bacon chopped into squares
- 200 g closed cup mushrooms sliced or diced finely
- 150 g frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 50 g dairy free butter
- 50 g plain flour can be substituted for gluten free flour
- 500 ml unsweetened soya milk can be substituted for any unsweetened plant based milk
- 100 g dairy free cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C Fan / gas mark 6.
- Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling water as per packet instructions.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and slice the mushrooms.
- Add the bacon to a large wide based frying pan and fry on a medium/high heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Crush the garlic into the pan and add the mushrooms and peas. Fry for another 2-3 minutes until the bacon is cooked.
- Melt the dairy free butter in another saucepan on a medium heat. Once melted add the flour and mix together.
- Once the butter and flour are combined pour in the milk slowly, whisking as you go. Keep whisking for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
- Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the bacon mixture. Mix well.
- Pour over the sauce and stir together until the sauce has coated all of the pasta mixture.
- Season well with black pepper (and salt if not cooking for children)
- Transfer the mixture into an oven proof baking dish and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted nicely (around 15-20 minutes)