My Debut Cookbook 'Comfy' Is Out Now. ORDER HERE!
Bacon/ Cream/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato

February 7, 2019 (Last Updated: October 3, 2023) by Chris Collins

A delicious twist on the classic Alfredo. Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato will change your ‘go to’ quick dinner forever!

As one of my most loved and most popular recipes, I had to include this in my Debut Cookbook ‘Comfy’!

overhead shot of pasta in skillet surround by forks, garlic, parmesan and basil
Penne Alfredo

Sometimes your belly just calls for the simple things in life. The simply gorgeously, creamy and flavoursome things that is. Penne Alfredo is one of those dishes that you won’t see being made the same way twice; an ambassador of variation if you will. For me? I like a Penne with some very ‘non classic’ additions. Italians, forgive me.

A traditional Alfredo sauce actually doesn’t involve cream. In fact its creamy texture comes from an emulsion of butter, cheese and pasta water. A classic Alfredo also uses Fettuccine. My Alfredo? Well, it certainly may not be traditional, but it’s ridiculously tasty nevertheless.

The stars of the show here are bacon, sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Yes, an unfamiliar combo not have in a creamy pasta recipe, but it totally works.

Alongside all the above, we are of course going in with some cream. I can hear the sound of Italian tears hitting the floor, but, I’ve already put the ‘non-traditional’ disclaimer out so we can throw in anything we want, can’t we? That’s how it works isn’t it?! 😂 Anywho, follow me.

closeup shot of wooden spoon diving into skillet of creamy pasta

Making Creamy Penne Alfredo

Making this dish truly couldn’t be easier. People are always so surprised when I show them the recipe for this because it really does taste like so much more effort has gone into it than actually has. This recipe is SO simple and requires such little ingredients; which is quite hard to believe after how beautiful it tastes. So smooth and silky, yet tangy and bursting with flavour.

Starchy Pasta Water

One of the key ingredients in a creamy pasta recipe is the water you cook the pasta in. Admittedly there is a good amount of fat in this recipe, and as such, it runs the possibility of the sauce turning greasy/oily. We don’t want to get rid of the fat, because the fat brings with it a huge amount of flavour.

By stirring through some starchy pasta water, you help emulsify the fats, to help turn the sauce extra creamy, as opposed to oily.

How to make Creamy Penne Alfredo (quick summary)

  1. Fry bacon in a little oil until nice and crispy. Drain fat if there’s too much.
  2. Add garlic and sun dried tomatoes and fry for a further minute or so.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Pour in cream, allow to simmer, then add basil, parmesan and seasoning.
  5. Add in cooked penne.
  6. Stir through and thin out with pasta water if needed.

How to make Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato - step by step photos

Tips for the perfect Penne Alfredo

1. Salt

Go easy on the salt and make sure you use unsalted butter. Bacon and parmesan are both fairly salty so just ensure you don’t go overboard with the seasoning. A good amount of black pepper however is encouraged.

2. Pasta Water

As discussed, creamy pasta dishes often thicken and go gloopy quite quickly, so use your pasta water to thin out when necessary.

3. Al Dente Pasta

There’s nothing worse than overly soft pasta, so make sure you boil it until it’s only just cooked. It will finish cooking in the pan.

closeup overhead shot of pasta in skillet

To serve, I usually sprinkle with extra parmesan and fresh basil, but this is totally optional!

And there we have it. All my top tips have officially leaked from my brain.

Hey, whilst you’re here why not check out my other recipes?

Creamy Pasta Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this penne Alfredo with bacon & sun dried tomato shall we?!

closeup shot of wooden spoon digging into pasta in skillet

How to make Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato (Full Recipe & Video)

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sundried Tomato- serving bowl

Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato

A delicious twist on the classic Alfredo. Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato will change your 'go to' quick dinner forever!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate Share by Text
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Calories per serving: 615kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50


  • Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Mug/Cup (for scooping pasta water)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 10.5oz / 300g Penne Pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups / 300ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup / 100g Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced
  • 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve if desired
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced (~1 large clove of garlic)
  • 1/2 small bunch of Fresh Basil, finely diced (1/2oz/15g)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste


  • Add the bacon to a large pan over medium heat and fry until crisp with the fat rendered down. Drain away fat if there is excess (a tsp or so is fine, just eyeball it).
  • At this point pop the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Retain a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining.
  • Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to the bacon and fry for a minute or so, just before the garlic begins to pick up colour. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the cream and allow to simmer on low-medium heat for 5 or so minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir in the parmesan, basil and seasoning to taste (go easy on the salt, may already be salty enough). The sauce should be fairly thick at this point.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta alongside a splash of the starchy pasta water. Continue to toss until the sauce thickens around the pasta and clings to it, thinning out with more pasta water if needed. If you go overboard with the water, just continue to gently simmer & stir until the sauce wraps itself around the pasta.
  • Serve with an extra sprinkle of parmesan if desired.

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Salt - Whilst black pepper is encouraged, start on the side of caution when seasoning with salt. The bacon, sun dried tomato and parmesan are all fairly salty ingredients, so you may not find you need extra in the sauce. 
b) Pasta Water - The sauce gets fairly thick in a short space of time; adding a few splashes of water will help thin the sauce out again. The starch in the pasta water will also help bind the fats and help turn the sauce nice and creamy/glossy. Make sure the pasta water is seasoned and scooped out just before draining so it's as starchy as possible.
c) Leftovers - I have actually had readers tell me that they have reheated this recipe and tastes glorious. However in my experience, with the recipe and most creamy pasta dishes, when it's reheated it ends up very oily. Same great flavours, just none of the original creamy texture. I'll leave leftovers (if there is any) to your best judgement!
d) Readers notes - Although I have never tried myself, it sounds that grilled chicken and spinach are great additions to this recipe!
e) Calories - whole recipe divided by 4 with no extra parmesan to serve.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomato
Amount Per Serving
Calories 615 Calories from Fat 444
% Daily Value*
Fat 49.35g76%
Saturated Fat 21.441g107%
Trans Fat 0.233g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.786g
Monounsaturated Fat 10.021g
Cholesterol 150mg50%
Sodium 398mg17%
Potassium 680mg19%
Carbohydrates 30.09g10%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6.35g7%
Protein 15.66g31%
Vitamin A 3700IU74%
Vitamin C 6.6mg8%
Calcium 160mg16%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

If you loved this Penne Alfredo recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up for free ecookbook on the way!





Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    chef mimi
    March 27, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    This is fabulous! What’s funny is that my husband won’t eat sun-dried tomatoes, so I buy him semi-sec or demi-sec tomatoes, and that works for him. Great pasta, though.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 28, 2022 at 10:30 am

      Great to hear it went down well! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 12, 2020 at 2:16 am

    5 stars
    If you love to eat and are eating for one, do not make this recipe without making sure to put the leftovers up, prior to eating!! Otherwise, you’ll eat the entire dish. It’s that good!!!!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      January 12, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Haha, thanks Charlotte! This is literally the story of my life!!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2019 at 12:47 am

    5 stars
    This doesn’t even masquerade as healthy and it was worth every single bite. One of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever eaten. It will definitely be making a home in our favorite comfort food recipes. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 22, 2019 at 10:52 am

      I don’t think it could be less healthy if it tried So glad it went down well! Thanks for popping back and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  • Reply
    Monica Richmond
    November 20, 2019 at 11:04 am

    This looks so delish, I am headed to the store‍♀️, well as soon as the sun comes up. (This is what happens when I can’t sleep, I find fattening scrumptious food that makes me starving)
    Anyways, what do you think about putting mushrooms in with the bacon and butter to saute, do you think it would be extra yummy?
    Nah impossible this looks great.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 20, 2019 at 11:20 am

      If you love mushrooms I think they’ll work great with this! 🙂

  • Reply
    Adrienne Yappen
    October 29, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    5 stars
    Very easy and everyone loved it. Including picky eaters.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 30, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      That’s awesome to hear!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    The one picture looks like more of a pink sauce, how do I get the sauce less white and more pink?

    • Reply
      August 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Hey Jenny! The sauce should end up more on the creamy side, but it does tend to turn a orange/pinky colour as the cream dries out/gets soaked up. I also find it gets more colour if I use sun dried tomatoes that have been marinated!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Do you use the sun dried tomatoes in oil or the ones that don’t?

    • Reply
      April 22, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Julie! I use whatever I’ve got on hand, both work perfectly! If you go for the sun dried tomatoes in oil, then definitely make note of step 2 in the method ‘Drain excess fat/oil if there’s too much’ before adding the garlic. The only other minor difference is that those preserved in oil are marinated in a little more flavour, but it won’t make a noticeable difference. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Hello – do you use fresh Parmesan or the green can kind? Thanks

    • Reply
      April 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      Hey Becky! I always use fresh Parmesan 🙂

  • Reply
    March 24, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you! Making it now! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t find double cream here, can I substitute heavy whipping cream?

    • Reply
      March 24, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Yep, that’ll do the trick!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    5 stars
    Some alfredo recipes seem so difficult but yours really sounds like something I could make. The hard stuff I leave to my husband, as he is a way better cook than I am. I love alfredo when we go out to eat, will give this a try at home.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      I feel ya Kristi! That’s why I’ve tried to keep this one super simple 🙂

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve absolutely been craving sundried tomatoes! This dish looks so incredible! I know many folks will just love your twist on this classic!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks so much!! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    5 stars
    Loved the video…I was never on a diet anyway haha get in my belly!!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Haha, as you can tell neither was I!

  • Reply
    David @ Cooking Chat
    January 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    Mmm, love a good creamy pasta, even better with bacon!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Everything is better with bacon 😉

  • Reply
    Linda @ With A Blast
    January 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

    5 stars
    This looks amazing and I already know my family would love this pasta for dinner !

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Definitely a great one for family dinners!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    5 stars
    Made this last night for me and my partner and it was INCREDIBLE!! So rich and luscious. Oh my, family staple right here.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Geoff, I’m so glad! Definitely a family staple over here too 🙂

  • Reply
    September 2, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Wow — this looks perfect for the chilly days we are having in NY right now; cannot wait to try it out!

    • Reply
      September 2, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Definitely feeling the chilly vibes in Melbourne here too!! Enjoy, Leslie 🙂

      • Reply
        December 28, 2021 at 1:25 pm

        can these recipes be frozen.

        • Reply
          Chris Collins
          December 29, 2021 at 11:27 am

          I wouldn’t recommend freezing this recipe unfortunately! C.

          • Yvette
            November 27, 2022 at 11:37 am

            Why would you not recommend freezing this?

          • Chris Collins
            November 29, 2022 at 4:58 pm

            You could probably get away with it, I just usually steer away from freezing cream-heavy dishes as they can sometimes split and don’t reheat particularly well.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2017 at 3:56 am

    This might be the best thing I have ever tasted! I would definitely recommend <3

    • Reply
      July 4, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Thanks, Lotte! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    • Reply
      March 29, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      5 stars
      I love this recipe. Very flavorful.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I want to bury my face in that.

    • Reply
      February 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      hahahaha I definitely think it is flaceplant-worthy!