This tasty cream cheese pasta bake is packed with bacon, onions, and a Ritz cracker crumb topping. Rich, creamy, cheesy, and filling this dish has everything for a perfect weeknight comfort meal.
Bacon pasta bake
I was inspired to create this recipe after seeing something about cream cheese spaghetti. While that dish was completely on the stovetop and didn’t have Ritz, bacon, or even green onions in the mix, I knew the flavors would work out well if I tried.
So I made a recipe and tried it out, modifying it a few times until I finally found something worth blogging about.
This comfort meal is far from healthy, but it hits all the right spots. Cheesy, creamy, soft, crunchy, salty, savory. It’s all good.
Cheesy pasta bake ingredients
- Bacon grease
- Cream cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Green onion
- Ritz crackers
What you’ll need to make this recipe
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Tips for making creamy bacon pasta
Making this pasta recipe is easy, but there’s one thing that I’ve noticed. Depending on the type of pasta used, it may absorb liquid faster than others.
For this, I recommend adding up to a cup of water while the pasta is boiling. It’s only needed if you notice the liquid running low and the noodles still aren’t fully boiled. But you can toss it in for good measure either way.
Adding the cup of water does take away a little flavor (in my opinion) so you don’t want to add in too much more than that or you won’t get the same desired results.
You can use whole milk, half and half, or even heavy cream in this recipe and the results are all fabulous.
FAQ’s about cream cheese pasta
My favorite way of warming up cream cheese fast is taking a small clean kitchen towel and running it under hot water. Then wrap it well around a foiled brick of cream cheese and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes until soft.
These leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. For best results eat sooner rather than later.
Yes, you can assemble the pasta recipe in advance by assembling it as directed, and just before the actual baking process, cover it with foil and place it in the fridge instead. Then let it sit there for no more than 2 days before baking in the oven until heated through.
It might take a little longer to bake from cold, but it should still taste great. I also recommend not adding the ritz topping until ready to bake to prevent the crumbs from getting soggy.
How to Make Cream Cheese Bacon Pasta Bake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
In a large pot, cook your bacon until crisp, remove bacon, chop. Set aside.
Reserve 2-4 Tablespoons of bacon grease and rain the rest.
Cook your onion in the reserved grease until caramelized (about 5 minutes).
Add in the minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add in cream cheese and stir.
Whisk in the milk, bringing the mixture to a boil.
Add in the noodles and reduce heat to medium.
Boil for 8 minutes or until the noodles are al dente. Some may take longer than others see notes about adding water.
Add in the salt and pepper. Add in mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, most of the bacon, and half of the green onions.
Pour mixture into the greased 9×13 baking dish.
Top with crushed Ritz crackers and the remaining green onions and bacon.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
More great recipes to try
- Crispy Fried Tuna Patties
- Honey Lime Baked Mahi Mahi
- Browned Butter Garlic and Thyme Purple Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Orange Fluff Salad
- Chicken Cream Cheese Crescent Bombs
- Maple Dijon Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Cream Cheese Bacon Pasta Bake
- 1 cup chopped bacon (about 6 strips)
- 2-4 Tbsp reserved bacon grease
- 1/2 med onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened & cubed
- 4 cups milk
- 16 oz box elbow noodles
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed into crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.
- Cook bacon in a large pot until crisp. Remove bacon, chop and set aside. Drain grease, reserving 2-4 tablespoons for later.
- With the reserved grease, cook onions until caramelized, about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add in minced garlic and stir for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add in cream cheese. Stir.
- Whisk in milk to combine. Bring to boil.
- Add in elbow noodles and reduce heat to medium.
- Boil 8 minutes or until al dente.
- Add in salt, pepper, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, most of the bacon and 1/2 of the green onions.
- Pour into greased 9×13 baking dish.
- Top with crushed Ritz crackers, and the remaining green onions and bacon.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve warm.