Bacon-Parmesan Penne and More 5-Ingredient Pastas
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Bacon-Parmesan Penne and More 5-Ingredient Pastas

Five-ingredient pasta recipes are here to rescue your busiest weeknights! The key? Make those five ingredients really count: think fruity olive oil, fresh herbs, quality cheese, smoky meat, and high-quality tomato sauce.

This five-ingredient penne pasta recipe from AllRecipes is busy weeknight cooking at its finest — made of stuff you already have on hand, thrown together in 30 minutes or less, and focused on flavor, especially when you use smoky bacon, a nice Parmesan cheese, and premium olive oil. The result is minimal prep time and maximum taste.

Bacon and Parmesan Penne Pasta


  • 1 lb bacon (about 15 slices), coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 lb penne pasta (about 5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Click through the recipe for step-by-step instructions!

More five-ingredient pasta recipes

If you’re fresh out of penne or bacon, don't fear — there are myriad quick and easy five-ingredient pasta dinner recipes at your service! The key to making these seemingly simple dishes feel a bit "extra" is to use the very best ingredients you can find, salt the pasta water vigorously, and cook the pasta perfectly al dente. What happens after that is up to your taste — and what you happen to have on hand. Add a simple salad and glass of wine and call it an evening.

Ruth Rogers' Spaghetti with Lemon and Basil

Olive oil, lemon zest, basil, and Parmesan cheese come together for an uber-fresh, five-ingredient pasta dish that is perfect for a summer night when everything else feels too fussy — or, really, any night when you have fresh basil on hand. This version, from People Magazine, is by Ruth Rogers, the American-born British chef and owner of the beloved Michelin-starred Italian restaurant in London, The River Cafe.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Technically, this fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Epicurious has just four ingredients — but that doesn’t make it any less decadent. Heavy cream, butter, and grated Parmesan cheese coalesce into a perfectly rich and creamy sauce. Feel free to riff on that fifth ingredient: chopped parsley for color; sliced mushrooms, peas, or chicken for some extra heft; a couple of cloves of garlic for another layer of flavor; or nutmeg, just because. These are all variations on one delicious theme.

Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes

If you like sardines enough to have a tin or two in the pantry, this recipe, from Killing Thyme, is a keeper. A premade pasta sauce of your choice (again, the higher the quality, the better) helps this dish come together in more or less the time it takes to boil and drain the pasta. And, says Killing Thyme’s Dana Sandonato, this is a great way to use up greens that are about to go, spinach or otherwise.

Spaghetti with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

When cherry tomatoes are in season (and, if you're lucky, spilling forth from your garden), there really is no better pasta. This tasty recipe is one of Grits and Pinecones’ simple summer suppers. Just sauté a few cloves garlic and cherry tomatoes until the tomatoes burst, add basil — and season to taste. That’s it!

Five-Ingredient Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese takes four hours to make — and you can taste the time and effort. This is not that. But this 25-minute meal is also quite tasty for a hectic Thursday night. What makes this more than just tomato sauce and ground beef sautéed together are the splurge-worthy bottle of marinara, high-quality olive oil, and aged Pecorino Romano, says blogger Elizabeth Lindemann of Bowl of Delicious.

5-Ingredient Chorizo Carbonara Pasta

Pasta doesn’t always have to be traditionally Italian. In this Mexican riff on carbonara, by Chop Happy, chorizo takes center stage, and cilantro stands in for parsley.

5-Ingredient Italian Sausage and Kale Baked Ziti

Pasta bakes count, too, you know. Italian sausage, kale, and mozzarella come together to form the ultimate comfort food in this recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Want more 5-ingredient pasta recipes? Search Yummly now!