Leftover chicken spaghetti with bacon may be the perfect early week meal.
Sometimes meals like this leftover chicken spaghetti with bacon happen the best laid dinner plans don’t work out. My plans for our family favorite no fuss Chicken Parmesan went out the window when Olivia’s school play rehearsals went long, Noah got invited to a friend’s for dinner and Spouse was late coming home from work. Not wanting to keep the fresh chicken breasts in the fridge for another day, I just simply seasoned and grilled them and figured we could use them for sandwiches or something over the next couple of days.
The next day, schedules shifted again, this time in the other direction when we suddenly had to have dinner earlier than usual. This is where that leftover chicken came into great use. In a fridge clearing exercise, there was bacon, bell peppers and already opened canned tomatoes that needed to be used so I set out to make a smoky bacon tomato sauce to serve with the chicken. I stirred in some grated Parmesan cheese and a little smoked paprika added a further smoky note to the sauce which in the end turned out absolutely delicious. The key here was not to add the already cooked chicken until the very end so it stayed moist and tender and stayed together in nice bite sized pieces. I’m sure leftover roast chicken would work just as well and the recipe was so successful, I know we will be using this one as a go-to recipe in the future too.
- 3 cups cooked chicken, diced
- ½ pound crisp cooked smoked bacon, chopped in small pieces
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups pureed canned tomatoes (San Marzano if possible)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 large bell pepper, diced small
- 4 servings cooked spaghetti pasta
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Begin by making the sauce. In a medium saucepan heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium low flame and sauté the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Add the pureed tomatoes, smoked paprika, oregano, chili flakes, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, crisp cooked bacon, salt and pepper.
- Simmer over low flame for about 20 minutes.
- Add the cooked diced chicken and bell peppers in the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Stir in the Parmesan cheese at the end.
- Serve over the cooked spaghetti with a generous sprinkle of additional Parmesan cheese.