April 4, 2024

Pasta and Peas with Bacon

This salty and slightly sweet pasta dish is packed with bacon, sweet peas and onions, and a ton of Parmesan cheese. This 5 ingredient easy pasta dish is a perfect one to make for a weeknight dinner for the family.

Let be real, a bad dish never started with bacon. In all seriousness though pasta and peas with bacon hits close to home and is ridiculously easy to make. Growing up in the 90’s in a non-Italian household pasta was either spaghetti or macaroni topped with Ragu meat sauce, and I am not talking about the homemade kind. We just weren’t pasta people, but also does anyone feel like there are just more options these days? My mother was known for making a handful of dishes really well, lasagna, taco meat, and this pea and bacon pasta dish. 20 years later it’s still one of my favorite simple pasta dishes. Maybe it’s the sweet onions and peas, but let’s be real it’s the bacon that makes this dish so great.

up close of pasta and peas with bacon


  • Pasta – Players choice here. I always had this dish with linguini or spaghetti, but feel free to swap it with your favorite shape or what you have lying in the pantry.
  • Bacon – Let’s talk bacon for a second. Personally, I don’t like to use thick-cut bacon for this dish. First off, it’s impossible to get it super crispy, and secondly, it takes much longer to cook. Do yourself a favor: get standard-cut, run-of-the-mill bacon. The bacon needs to be pan-fried and chopped before putting this dish together. This is the bulk of the work. Cook it in sections and don’t overcrowd the pan.

    When cooking the bacon, aim for a combination of both really crispy pieces and some fatty pieces as well. Do not overcook it! Call me crazy, but before you throw out that bacon grease, STOP! You need it. Save the bacon grease (some, not all) to cook the onions and peas, and then some more when tossing the pasta.
  • Peas – Frozen is recommended. Not only do they retain their beautiful green hue, but they are tough enough to be tossed in with the pasta. Canned also work if that is what you have on hand just toss the pasta with care.
  • Yellow Onion
  • Parmesan Cheese – Freshly grated parmesan, HOWEVER growing up it was the powdered stuff you find in the non refrigerator section. This will probably be the only time I say this but If that’s all you have use it.


  • Wide Pan – Choose a pan that is wide enough to cook the bacon, as well as deep enough to toss 3/4 of a pound of pasta comfortably.
bowl of pasta and peas with bacon topped with extra parmesan cheese


Prepare the Pasta – Cook the pasta as per packaging instructions in salty water. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. You’ll only need 1-2 tablespoons, but it’s always good to save more than you need just in case.

Cook off Bacon – In a wide pan over medium heat, cook the bacon in batches. Depending on the size of your pan, this may be 3-5 slices at a time. Cook until brown and crispy. Once finished, set aside and cook the next batch. When all the bacon is cooked and cooled, roughly chop it and set aside. Remove approximately 3/4 of the bacon fat from the pan and save it aside.

Put it Together – In the remaining bacon grease, sauté the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, approximately 4-6 minutes. If the onions begin to brown, lower the heat. Add the frozen peas and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm them up. If you opt for canned peas, add them at the same time you add the bacon.

Add the chopped bacon and gently toss it. Then, add the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat, and 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water. If you need to add a little more bacon fat, feel free to do so. Mix to combine and serve.

Typically, my pasta dishes are based on half a box of pasta, which serves 3-4 people, depending on the dish. However, this pasta dish is designed with a family in mind, so it’s on the larger scale. Feel free to scale it down if needed. While the original recipe called for 1 pound of pasta, it has been revised to 3/4 of a pound to ensure that each bowl has a generous helping of bacon and peas. However, you can still use 1 pound of pasta and not adjust the recipe if needed.


Can I cook my bacon in a separate pan?
Yes, but make sure you reserve the bacon fat. If opting for this route add 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of the fat to the pan to cook the onions. If you need more add more.

Can I use pre-cooked bacon?
No, you need the fat to bring the dish together, and you loose a lot of the fat when you buy precooked.

Can I substitute the bacon for something else?
If you want to elevate this dish, pancetta is a great replacement. What I don’t suggest you do is to substitute for a bacon alternative or turkey bacon. You need the fat to bring the dish together and alternatives just aren’t able to provide it.

bowl of pasta and peas with bacon topped with extra parmesan cheese


Leftover pasta can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I always recommend you reheating pasta in a pan with a little bit of pasta water, chicken broth, or water.

Looking for more ridiculously easy weeknight pasta dishes? Check out the below!

Old Bay Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Lemon Caper Pasta
Spinach Pesto

April 4, 2024

Pasta, Peas, and Bacon

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Smoky and fatty from the bacon, sweet from the onions and the peas. This 5 ingredient pasta dish will become a staple for those short on time nights.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword 30 minute meal, Bacon, Pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 people


  • 3/4 lb linguini
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese loosely packed


  • Prepare the pasta as per packaging instructions in salty water. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  • Pan-fry the bacon in sections over medium heat, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove the bacon and roughly chop it. Save it for later use.
  • Remove 3/4 of the bacon grease and reserve it for later use. In the remaining bacon grease, sauté the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the onions have sweated out and become soft.
  • Add the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the bacon and toss.
  • Add pasta, parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp of the bacon fat and 1-2 tbsp of pasta water. Toss and serve.

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