30-Minute Bacon, Lemon and Peas Pasta

Green garden peas are tossed with bacon, cheese and lemon juice in this vibrant and tasty Bacon and Peas Pasta. The tube shape and ridges of penne help catch and hide the peas from picky kids! Share as a side or main dish.

Prep TimeCook TimeTotal TimeYields
0 minutes30 minutes30 minutes6 servings


  • 10 ounces pasta
  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) frozen peas
  • 6 bacon slices
  • 2 garlic cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


1. In a large all-purpose pan, COOK pasta according to package directions. Within last minute of cooking time, BLANCHE the peas by adding it to the boiling water, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, CHOP the bacon slices and garlic, and set aside (skip chopping the garlic if using garlic powder).

3. In the same pan, COOK bacon over medium heat until brown and crisp. Set bacon aside and leave 3 tablespoons of bacon oil in the pan.

4. ADD garlic and cook for 1 minute. REMOVE pan from heat and STIR in pasta, peas, cheese and lemon juice to combine. (Alternatively, STIR in garlic powder with remaining ingredients). STIR in bacon to combine.



DO cut up 2 to 4 bacon slices at a time with kitchen shears (instead of chopping them with a knife). This method really works well for us.

DO use the same plate or bowl the bacon was cut in to transfer the cooked bacon for less dirty dishes.

We DON’T use added oil when cooking bacon, which in turn DON’T require lining the plate or bowl with paper towel.

We always keep a container of higher quality Parmesan and Pecorino Romano grated cheese mixture in our refrigerator. We buy a bag of each, and mix and store them in a tightly covered container. We playfully call it “stinky cheese”. With the exception of burgers and sandwiches, we use stinky cheese for almost every recipe that calls for cheese like this make-ahead Veggie Bake and kid-friendly Bacon and Peas Pasta.

When a recipe calls for lemon juice, DO prepare and squeeze the lemon into a small bowl or measuring cup ahead of cooking or during idle time in the kitchen.

We use organic, gluten-free pasta with only 2 ingredients—organic quinoa flour and organic corn flour—for all our pasta recipes. We don’t have a gluten sensitivity in our household, but we only buy this pasta because it’s lighter for the belly and better for our health.

We DON’T add oil or salt to the pasta water, because we found that simply giving them a good stir shortly after submerging them in the boiling water will keep them from sticking.

DO use generous amount of water when cooking pasta to keep them from sticking.

We DON’T rinse the pasta when it’s done. Instead, we DO set aside some pasta water before draining them in a colander. We add pasta water to the dish if the pasta seem dry.

Tools: large all-purpose pan, cooking spoon, cutting board and knife or kitchen shears, strainer


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