Showcase summer sweet corn in this Bacon Corn Pasta. This comforting dish takes less than thirty minutes to prepare and is sure to be a family favorite.
This post was originally published on August 11, 2020, and has been updated with additional information including step-by-step instructions and process photos.
This creamy corn pasta with bacon is everything I want a pasta dish to be - comforting, indulgent, and flavorful. The corn is fresh off the cob and pops with sweetness. It pairs beautifully with the salty bacon, just like it does in this corn, bacon, and pine nut pizza.
- Corn is the star of this dish. We're using both fresh sweet corn (or frozen, if fresh is out of season) and cream-style canned corn. Cream-style corn adds more corn flavor while helping to create a creamy sauce.
- Pasta - Any pasta with grooves or ridges for catching the sauce works well. I use Rao's fusilli pasta. Long fusilli which has a pretty, rippled look can also be used. You can also try cavatappi, farfalle, orecchiette, or rotini.
- Smoked gouda or mozzarella provides a subtle smokiness and has good melting quality. Regular mozzarella or gouda, fontina, and Monterey Jack are also great options. Always use freshly grated cheese for the best flavor and melting quality.
- Sun-dried tomatoes - Oil-packed is best. They have more flavor and better texture than those packed in water. I use Mezzetta julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes. They come sliced which saves prep time. To substitute, fold in some halved cherry or grape tomatoes at the end.
- Bacon - I love using thick-cut bacon for its meaty bite. Feel free to use your favorite variety or what you have on hand.
- Heavy cream helps bring the creamy sauce together. Just ¼ cup is needed for this recipe.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Cook the pasta in well-salted water according to the package directions. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining. Do not rinse the pasta. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
- Drain the excess bacon drippings, leaving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Add the onion and the fresh corn and cook until the onion has softened.
- Add the cream corn and cook for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in pasta, pasta water (½ cup to start), and cream.
- Next, add in the cheese and stir to combine. Add more pasta water as needed for the sauce to coat all of the pasta. I usually use ¾-1 cup of pasta water in total.
- Stir in the bacon and sun-dried tomatoes. I like to reserve some of the bacon for the top when serving.
For casual weeknight meals, I like to serve this straight out of the pan.
If you are serving guests, transfer the pasta to a large platter or shallow bowl. Don't forget to top it with the reserved bacon! If desired, garnish with scallions.
- Prep ingredients first. This dish comes together quickly, so it's helpful to have all of the ingredients ready to go.
- Salt the pasta water. Cooking pasta in well-salted water will flavor the pasta itself. A general guideline is to add 1 tablespoon of salt per pound of pasta. For this recipe, I use 2 teaspoons of salt for 12 ounces of pasta.
- Reserve some of the pasta water before draining the pasta. It is full of starch and flavor and is wonderful for helping the sauce come together.
Storing, Reheating, and Freezing
- Storing - Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheating - Small portions can be reheated in the microwave. For larger quantities, reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a little heavy cream as needed to loosen up the sauce.
- Freezing - For best results, I don't recommend freezing this dish. The consistency and texture will be comprised.
This creamy corn pasta is best served warm.
Try these corn recipes next
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Creamy Corn Pasta with Bacon
- 12 ounces fusilli pasta (or pasta shape of choice)
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- ½ cup diced yellow onion
- 3 ears sweet corn (sliced off of the cob (or 10 ounces frozen) )
- 14.75 ounces canned cream-style corn
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces smoked Gouda or mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- ⅓ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (drained)
- pepper (to taste)
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain - but don't rinse - the pasta. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crisp, approx. 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
- To the skillet, add the onion and the fresh corn and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the creamed corn and cook over medium-low for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta, ½ cup of pasta water, and the heavy cream. Stir together. Add the cheese and toss until the cheese is melted. Add more pasta water as necessary to bring the sauce together.
- Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and bacon, reserving some bacon for garnishing. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.
- Cook the pasta in salted water to flavor the pasta itself. I use about 2 teaspoons of salt for 12 ounces of pasta.
- Use freshly grated cheese for the best flavor and melting quality.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat small portions in the microwave. For larger quantities, reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat, adding some additional cream if necessary.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.