If you're looking for an easy-to-assemble weeknight meal requiring minimal hands-on time, I'm offering you a delicious one pan creamy alfredo pasta recipe that'll propel you to 'Rock Star Status' with the family in that very first bite!
A sheet pan is shallow which by itself, is a way to assemble ingredients easily, giving you the same convenience as would a casserole. But shallow also means the ingredients are spread thin. This allows for faster caramelization and deeper browning of all of those tasty ingredients, something a casserole cannot achieve on its own. And then, there's just the sake of having to clean only one pan.
Think 'BLT Meets Fettuccine Alfredo!'
Sheet pan dinners are all the rage! They've been around for decades though admittedly are a great deal more creative given the internets popularity for searching out perfect recipes and perfect ingredients. Gluten free, dairy free, slow cooker, and instant pot searches dominate the popular tags on dinner nowadays. For this meal, you'll only need one pot for boiling water and your biggest sheet pan for a quick oven roast. What are we making? Well, do you want the creamiest alfredo sheet pan pasta?
Not too far back, I shared my recipe for Creamy Chicken Alfredo Casserole. Rich alfredo sauce with tender sliced chicken breast, all baked up with mezze penne and basil pesto creating a mouthwatering comfort casserole. The recipe was an Instagram-Facebook-Pinterest sensation. Nevertheless, there are some nights that regardless of how badly I want a casserole, I'm just not motivated enough to tackle it. Today's Creamiest Alfredo Sheet Pan Pasta is a sort of spin-off of that casserole.
Get 'Dinner Inspired' With Some Of My Other Popular Main Dish Pastas!
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What Mom in America doesn't love an easy cook dinner? And who doesn't love a good creamy alfredo pasta for that matter?
Here, I am using all fresh vegetables to compliment smoked bacon and cheese in an abbreviated alfredo pasta. Make no mistake, this isn't just easy, it's FANTASTIC! Baking the smoked bacon on the sheet pan means a whole lot less cleanup. Additionally, I use some of the drippings to flavor the pasta while everything is combined and baking in the oven. Hence, the end result is a mess of yummy creamy alfredo pasta scattered about a hot sheet pan just begging for a side of garlic bread!
It would take nothing to personalize this recipe to make it your own. I specify fusilli pasta, but any pasta you and your family enjoy can be used. Penne, cavatappi, long macaroni, and even fettuccini work well. Keep it simple for a unique twist on a fettuccine alfredo recipe. Add chicken for a sheet pan chicken alfredo pasta. Go a step further and substitute broccoli for the fresh spinach to create a chicken broccoli alfredo pasta. Swapping out spaghetti squash and serving the 'sauce vegie mixture' atop it could also be a great option for a healthier meal. The possibilities with this dish are limited only to your imagination.
Pasta recipes are a dime a dozen, I promise you this nifty method is a "must try, must keep" tool to add to your arsenal. Ultimately, it gives you the most bang for the buck, feeds 6 to 8 HEFTY portions, and is largely hands off.
On nights I'm 'spent' energy-wise, I use store bought refrigerated alfredo sauce. This method really is fantastic though with the homemade alfredo sauce I highlight in the recipe card below. You make this in minutes using butter, garlic, heavy cream, and a healthy addition of fresh Parmesan cheese. Once you've made my alfredo sauce you won't go back. Keep the options open though knowing you can easily fall back on store bought if the need arises. This is helpful to know if you prefer a skinny alfredo sauce which mine is definitely not! Not sorry, not sorry! This alfredo recipe also employs a cute cooking trick. The smoked bacon gets chopped and tossed into the pasta mix. Additionally, I use a wee bit of the drippings to flavor the pasta noodles as the mixture bakes. As a result, this dish is absolutely delicious!
Do You Have What You Need To Make The Creamiest Alfredo Sheet Pan Pasta? Check The List!
smoked thick cut bacon
fusilli pasta, or pasta of your choice
fresh baby spinach
fresh lemon zest
shredded Italian cheese blend
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
- 10 x 15-inch rimmed non-stick baking sheet
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 8 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
Ingredients for The Creamiest Alfredo Sheet Pan Pasta
for the alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup butter salted, sweet cream, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream room temperature
- 4 cloves garlic crushed and minced
- 3 cups Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1/4 cup parsley fresh, chopped
for the Creamy Alfredo Sheet Pan Pasta
- 8 slices smoked bacon thick cut
- 12 ounces fusilli or pasta of choice
- 4 cups baby spinach rough chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest fresh
- 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
prepare the alfredo sauce
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Do not allow the butter to brown, only to foam. Add the garlic and stir in the pan for 1 minute only. Add the heavy cream all at once and bring to a full simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and keep warm while preparing the pasta.
prepare the Creamy Alfredo Sheet Pan Pasta
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bacon on a wire rack set in a 10 x 15-inch rimmed non-stick baking sheet. Bake in oven until bacon is crispy, about 25 minutes. Remove bacon to paper toweling to drain and roughly chop. Set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings to a small bowl. Remove wire rack but do not wipe out pan.
- Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions LESS ONE MINUTE. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return hot pasta to pot. Add the chopped spinach and 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings and stir until wilted, 1 minute. Add Alfredo sauce, reserved pasta water, tomatoes, mustard, lemon zest, and chopped bacon. Stir to combine.
- Spread pasta mixture in an even layer onto rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with the shredded cheese. Bake at 425°F until it’s melted and golden brown in spots, about 15 to 20 minutes. Mixture will be bubbling. Garnish with parsley.