This is NEXT LEVEL pasta! Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken, Bacon and Asparagus is quick and easy to make, but has flavor that tastes like it came out of a restaurant kitchen. This is one pasta dinner that the adults will enjoy every bit as much as the kids!
This post is sponsored by Minerva Dairy. All recipes and thoughts are created here at The Pinning Mama!
Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce – The EASY Way!
There are few things that are more incredibly delicious or as entirely simple that pasta with butter.
I can remember stirring butter into noodles as young as 4 years old. There is some magic that happens when salty butter melts over hot pasta. And as a tiny girl, I would help my mom stir, and she soon learned never to leave me unattended because I once ate the whole pot of pasta while she went to check something in the other room! We still laugh about that today.
That magic is the inspiration for our recipe today as we take those delicious flavors and turn them into a complete family meal.
What makes this Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Asparagus so great is:
- It is still super effortless, with simply seasoned chicken, a 3 ingredient sauce and all of the flavors at their best
- Made with everyday ingredients – You may even have everything you need already in your fridge or pantry!
- 30 minute meal – This recipe goes from fridge to fork in under 30 minutes for the busiest weeknights!
- Filling and delicious! You have protein, starch, veggies, all in one home run dinner.
- Family Friendly– This is one the kids and adults can both agree on!
This Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Asparagus recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few every day ingredients for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
For the Chicken
- Chicken breast– It is important to use thin chicken breasts, pound, or cut the chicken breast horizontally so that it is thin. I usually aim for about 1/2 inch thick. This will help the chicken cook quickly, evenly, and completely in the skillet.
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins can be substituted.
- Seasonings: Equal parts salt, black pepper and garlic powder make up the seasoning for the chicken.
- Olive oil – or your choice of cooking oil. Vegetable oil or can also work in this recipe
For the Sauce
- Minerva Sea Salt Butter– This is where the MAGIC happens! Salted butter is a must for this recipe and Minerva is absolutely the best.
For over 5 generations, Minerva Dairy has produced 85% butterfat, slow-churned, butter made in the U.S. They make it the traditional way, using farm fresh milk. When you taste it, you just think, “Now THIS is butter!”
I was so excited about this partnership with Minerva Dairy because I am a huge butter fanatic. My friends often hear me say “Butter safe than sorry!” as I incorporate butter into most things I make.
When you use butter, it should be DELICIOUS. Not okay, or pretty good, but amazing. Using quality ingredients often gives you more flavor in every bite, and Minerva butter is no exception. Since they use 85% butterfat, the butter is richer, creamier, and more flavorful.
This recipe calls for Minerva Sea Salt Butter , however you could also use the Minerva Garlic Herb Butter in this recipe as well. Minerva Dairy usually carries seasonal flavors that would be a fun twist too, so make sure to check their website and see what they are offering right now!
- Fresh garlic– It really needs to be fresh for the best flavor! It seems like a lot of garlic, but it cooks to the perfect flavor for the pasta.
- Crispy crumbled bacon– You can prepare the bacon in any method you prefer. Oven, skillet, or even microwaved bacon can work well in this dish.
For the Pasta
- Penne pasta- I like penne because it is easy for the kids to eat without making a mess, but you can make mix this garlic butter sauce with any pasta variety you have on hand.
- Asparagus– I recommend using 1 pound, but you can use more or less based on preference. The best part is that the asparagus can cook right along with the pasta, making this recipe so quick and easy!
Other vegetables can also be used in place of asparagus such as broccoli, spinach, zucchini, etc. If you use a different veggie, the cooking time or method may vary.
- Parmesan cheese– This finishes the dish. I like to use grated over shredded because you can use less and get the flavor throughout more easily.
Romano cheese can be used in place of parmesan based on personal preference.
- Salt– This is a really important finish for the dish. Salt will bring all of the flavors and and meld them together. Start with 1/2 tsp and season with more to taste.
- Prep first. Make sure to read the recipe start to finish and prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking. This recipe moves FAST, so having everything ready to go keeps it moving, and helps to prevent any delays or mistakes along the way.
- Use a LARGE pan. The need for a large pan is two-fold. First it makes cooking the chicken easier, as you don’t want to over-crowd the pan. The chicken should have enough room to cook without touching.
Second, you will use the same pan to combine the pasta with the garlic sauce, chicken, asparagus and bacon. Once you put it all together, you will still need some room to toss the pasta, so a large pan is a must.
- Use Good Butter– In a recipe called Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken, Bacon, and Asparagus, you know butter is going to be the star! It is important to use a high quality butter for the best flavor.
Things that make butter above average are using farm fresh milk, 85% butter fat, and a slow churned process. As America’s oldest family owned creamery, Minerva Dairy has been doing these things to prefect the flavor of perfect butter for over 125 years!
- Half or Double- This Garlic Butter Pasta recipe will feed a crowd. The recipe as written makes 8 servings. If you need less, the recipe can be halved by simply cutting the ingredient quantities in half.
If you need to feed even more, I recommend making the pasta in batches so it would be hard to cook more than this at one time without a commercial kitchen.
What to Serve with Butter Garlic Pasta
Since this recipe has pasta, veggies, two kinds of meat and dairy all in one dish, you really don’t need anything else! You can feel good about serving this as an all inclusive dinner.
If you want to stretch the meal or round it out with a few extras, you can add a side dish or two.
Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken, Bacon and Asparagus has classic comforting flavors, so it will pair well with many of your favorite traditional side dishes.
Side Dish Ideas
- Salad with balsamic vinaigrette– This balsamic dressing makes the salad almost steal the show! It only takes 5 minutes to make!
- Garlic Bread– The secret to this is in the garlic bread spread (and make sure to use good butter here too!)
- Sautéed Spinach– This is a go to healthy side for our family.
- Antipasto Salad– Not your traditional salad, this one is filled with meats and cheeses galore!
- Roasted Veggies – If you want a more vegetable heavy meal, these make a perfect compliment to pasta.
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making this recipe, they make a perfect hot lunch for the next day! The Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken can save and reheat well, and can makes a great hot lunch for the next day.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
More Easy Pasta Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Pasta recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Italian Sausage Tortellini
- Easy Fettuccini Alfredo
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach
Hungry for more family-friendly recipes? Sign up for my free recipe club to get new family-friendly recipes in your inbox each week! Find me sharing daily meal-time inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.
Garlic Butter Pasta with Chicken Bacon and Asparagus
For the Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into thin pieces or cutlets
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Sauce
- 8 tbsp Minerva Sea Salt Butter
- 6 cloves fresh garlic or more if they are small
- 1/3 cup crispy crumbled bacon about 4-6 slices
For the Pasta
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the chicken
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Season the chicken breast on both sides with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Place the chicken flat in the skillet once hot, and cook on each side for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Then reduce the heat to low and cover until the chicken is cooked through, about 4-6 minutes depending thickness. (165˚F internal temperature)
- Remove from heat and chop into small bite sized pieces.
To prepare the sauce
- Press the garlic through a garlic press.
- In the same skillet over low heat, add the Minerva Sea Salt Butter and garlic and stir occasionally, cooking for about 3-5 minutes. As you stir, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any bits cooked on from the chicken.
- The butter should be melted and starting to bubble, and the garlic will soften and take on a dark brown color as the flavors from cooking the chicken release from the bottom of the pan.
- Once the butter starts to bubble, add the crumbled bacon in and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
To prepare the pasta
- Prepare the asparagus by removing the woody stems, then cutting the remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
- Cook penne pasta per package directions. During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus pieces to the boiling water. Then drain once done.
- Add the pasta, asparagus, salt and parmesan cheese to the garlic butter sauce and toss to coat. Then stir in the chicken. Serve warm, topping with extra parmesan if desired!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)