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This bacon and leek pasta recipe comes together fast and uses just 6 everyday ingredients. It’s great for busy weeknights but feels a little special!
Why you’ll love it
I find leeks to be so underrated. If you’re unfamiliar, they have a mellow buttery and mild onion taste. They’re likely most popular in soups, but you don’t really see them in pasta dishes as prominently, so I knew I had to create this pasta! I just love the crispy bacon and leek combo in this quick and easy pasta recipe.
This bacon leek pasta makes a wonderful way to change up your usual pasta night go-to dishes, but it’s every bit as hassle-free as many other Pasta Recipes in the S&L repertoire. All you need is six ingredients and 30 minutes, and a flavorful yet simple dinner is on the table.
What you’ll need
- Leeks – they’re in the allium family along with onions, shallots, etc. but milder and sweeter. Look for ones with a pearly white bulb without blemishes and dark green leaves.
- Spaghetti – I like a longer pasta variety for this one
- Bacon – I used thick-cut bacon. I recommend using a fatty bacon vs. something leaner like turkey bacon for this recipe because the bacon fat helps coat the pasta. It’s an integral part of the sauce!
- Garlic – go ahead and use even more if you’re really into garlic. This is the garlic press I use so there’s no chopping needed.
- Chicken broth – adds in extra savory flavor to the sauce
- Parmesan cheese – for that irresistible cheesy quality and a touch of elegance
- I highly recommend grating your own parmesan cheese. It makes a huge difference in taste and how it melts, especially when it’s one of only a few ingredients in a recipe. I keep a good-quality wedge in my fridge at all times, and it’s easy to grate with my Microplane.
How to make leek and bacon pasta
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Start by prepping the leeks. If you’re unsure how, check out my How to Prepare Leeks guide. Cook the spaghetti al dente.
- Cut the bacon, and fry in a skillet. Set aside, leaving behind the bacon fat. Sauté the leeks until softened, followed by the garlic.
- Pour in the broth, and reduce. Before draining the pasta, add a splash of the hot starchy water to the skillet along with the bacon and the parmesan.
- Remove from the heat, toss with the drained pasta with cooking tongs until coated, and season with fresh ground pepper.
Substitutions and variations
- If you wanted to, you could add in a small amount of cream to the sauce just prior to tossing the pasta. This isn’t a really a “saucy” kinda pasta as written.
- Feel free to swap the spaghetti with a different kind of pasta. Bucatini or linguine would work well.
- For a little bit of a fancy touch, swap out the chicken broth for a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
What to serve with bacon leek pasta
- This recipe makes two fairly large or four more reasonably sized portions. If you’re planning on serving four, I recommend serving this with a side to ensure no one is left hungry like a dinner roll or slice of Garlic Bread to round it out.
- A side salad is another good option. I suggest my Super Simple Parmesan Arugula Salad with this, or you could make a green salad with my Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this pasta with leeks will keep in the fridge for a few days, but it’s best when first made.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. If it’s looking a little dry, add a splash of chicken broth. You can also grate more parm if desired.
- I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this.
Will you give this bacon and leek pasta a try? If you have any questions or want to leave a review, let me know in the comments below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Bacon and Leek Pasta
- 2 small-to-medium leeks chopped
- 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pepper to taste
- To prep the leeks: discard the top dark green portion of the leeks, keeping the bulbs. Slice the bulbs into rings. Add leeks to a colander and rinse them thoroughly (use your hands to dislodge any stubborn dirt – it may be hidden).
- Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces (I find this easiest using kitchen shears) and cook in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook the leeks for about 3-4 minutes, or until softened (a bit of light browning is ok too – adds more flavor).
- Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the broth and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced by half (and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan).
- Prior to draining the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and add it to the skillet, along with the parmesan cheese and the bacon. Turn the heat off and add the drained pasta to the skillet and keep tossing it all together until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens up a bit and coats the pasta. I like to add some freshly cracked pepper (add salt if needed, but I found it plenty salty). Serve immediately.
- This recipe serves 2-4 depending on how much people eat/how much sauce you want each portion to have/what it’s served with.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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