HelloFresharrow right iconarrow right iconRecipesarrow right iconarrow right iconBacon Crusted Cheese & Spinach Penne Bake
Bacon Crusted Cheese & Spinach Penne Bake

Bacon Crusted Cheese & Spinach Penne Bake

with Balsamic Dressed Rocket

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This Bacon Crusted Cheese and Spinach Penne Bake is a crowd pleaser and is one to get the family round the dinner table for. Super simple to make, and easily customised to suit the kids too.

Tags:Family Friendly
Allergens:MilkCereals containing glutenSulphites

Boxes and ingredients are packed in facilities that handles Peanut, Nuts, Sesame, Fish, Crustaceans, Milk, Egg, Mustard, Celery, Soya, Gluten and Sulphites. Due to the conflict in Ukraine, it has been necessary to substitute sunflower oil with rapeseed oil in some products without a label change. The FSA have advised that allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are rare.

Preparation Time35 minutes
Difficulty levelMedium
serving amount
Ingredientsarrow down iconarrow down icon
serving amount

1 unit(s)

Red Onion

90 grams

Mature Cheddar Cheese


180 grams

Penne Pasta

(ContainsCereals containing gluten)

100 grams

Baby Spinach

60 grams

Bacon Lardons

25 grams

Panko Breadcrumbs

(ContainsCereals containing gluten)

16 grams

Plain Flour

(ContainsCereals containing gluten)

10 grams

Chicken Stock Paste

1 sachet(s)

Italian Style Herbs

150 grams

Creme Fraiche


1 sachet(s)

Balsamic Vinegar


40 grams


Not included in your delivery

1 tbsp

Olive Oil for the Dressing

1 tbsp

Olive Oil for the Crumb

200 milliliter(s)

Water for the Sauce

1 tbsp

Oil for the Shallot

Nutritional information
Nutritional informationarrow down iconarrow down icon
per serving
per 100g
Energy (kJ)4395 kJ
Energy (kcal)1050 kcal
Fat61.0 g
of which saturates29.0 g
Carbohydrate88 g
of which sugars9.0 g
Protein37 g
Salt2.8 g
Always refer to the product label for the most accurate ingredient and allergen information.
Utensilsarrow down iconarrow down icon
Cutting board
Frying Pan
Oven dish
Instructionsarrow up iconarrow up icon
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Preheat your oven to 200°C. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with 1/2 tsp of salt for the pasta. Halve, peel and chop the red onion into small pieces. Grate the cheese.


When boiling, add the penne to the water and bring back to the boil. Cook until tender, 12 mins. Pop the spinach into a colander in your sink. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it over the spinach so it's wilted and piping hot. Set aside. TIP: Drizzle with oil to prevent it from sticking.


Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bacon lardons and stir-fry until lightly browned, 1-2 mins. Pour the bacon and its fat into a medium bowl. Mix in the breadcrumbs and olive oil for the crumb (see ingredients for amount), season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Set aside. IMPORTANT: Cook bacon thoroughly.


Put your frying pan back on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil for the onion (see ingredients for amount) and the onion. Stir-fry until the onion is soft, 3-4 mins, then stir in the flour. Cook until it forms a paste consistency, 1-2 mins. Gradually, stir in the water (see ingredient list for amount) and the stock paste. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, reduce the heat slightly and add the Italian style herbs, then stir and simmer until thickened, 1-2 mins. Mix in the creme fraiche, then remove from the heat.


Add the Cheddar cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir the cooked pasta and spinach into the sauce until combined. TIP: Add a splash of water to loosen if you need to. Pour the pasta into an ovenproof dish, then sprinkle the bacon crumb evenly over the top. Bake on the top shelf of your oven until golden, 8-10 mins.


When everything is nearly ready, wash up the breadcrumb bowl and pop in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing (see ingredients for amounts). Season with salt and pepper. Mix together, then add the rocket and toss to coat. Serve the penne in bowls with the salad alongside. Enjoy!