Easy + Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon

Difficulty Easy

Another easy and delicious 15-minute meal to make at home: Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon! Spicy kimchi adds incredible flavor to a creamy sauce. So fast and flavorful, it will soon become your favorite pantry meal, too!

Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon

Out of all the pasta dishes to love, this is one of my favorites: Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon. A delicious fusion dish that combines spicy kimchi and cream pasta.

The beauty of this dish comes from the combination of kimchi and a creamy carbonara-style sauce. Chopped bacon is fried until crispy. Then kimchi is cooked in the rendered bacon fat. With cream and parmesan cheese, the sauce becomes silky and lush. And flavorful!

So easy and fast, it can be put on the table in 15 minutes. In the time it takes to cook the spaghetti noodles, the spicy sauce is made.

Enjoy the ultimate in easy pasta dishes with Kimchi Cream Pasta with Bacon!

Ingredients:

  • Kimchi. Napa cabbage kimchi adds so much flavor and is good for your gut healt. Old, well-fermented kimchi works best for this recipe. Make sure to include some kimchi juice for the best flavor.
  • Pasta. I like easy and accessible spaghetti for this recipe. The sauce will coat and cling to the strands.
  • Bacon. Smoky, meaty bacon adds so much flavor. Can be subbed with ground pork or pork belly.
  • Garlic. Adds aromatic flavor.
  • Gochujang. Korean red pepper paste. A pantry essential that’s spicy-sweet and full of umami flavor. You only need a small spoonful. Swap with tomato paste for a less spicy, mild kick of flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano adds salty sharp flavor and melts beautifully. It also has better flavor and a less grainy finish than pre-grated parmesan.
  • Table Cream. For a silky sauce and creamy richness, use table cream (18% milk fat). If you prefer, swap with Heavy Cream (36% milk fat) or Half and Half. I don’t recommend regular milk — it will be too thin and watery.
Ingredients for Kimchi Pasta

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti. Bring a large pot of salted water (2-3 generous pinches of salt) to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti noodles and cook until almost al dente, about 7 minutes. (Read package directions, if needed).
  2. *NOTE: While the water comes to a boil and the spaghetti cooks, make the sauce. By the time the sauce is done, the pasta should also be finished cooking.
  3. Cook bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and bacon. Cook until the bacon is browned and crispy looking, about 4-5 minutes. The fat should be rendered out of the bacon, leaving a bit of fat in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Make kimchi sauce. Add garlic to the crispy bacon and bacon fat. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and somewhat softened, about 30 seconds. Add kimchi, a little kimchi juice, and the Gochujang paste. Cook, stirring often, until the kimchi is soft, caramelized, and dark orange — about 4-5 minutes. Add the cream and let it reduce slightly until thick and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add noodles. Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan with the kimchi sauce. Add the parmesan cheese directly on top of the noodles. Add 1/2 cup pasta water.
  6. Finish cooking. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring the noodles and the sauce together. At first, the sauce will be watery. As it cooks, the Kimchi cream sauce will thicken and coat the noodles. If the sauce reduces too quickly, lower the heat to medium-low. Add more starchy pasta water, if necessary. This part of the cooking process goes fast and will take 1-2 minutes.
  7. Serve. Season the pasta with salt and black pepper. A quick toss and that’s it! Divide evenly between two bowls. Garnish with parsley and extra parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

PRO Tips:

  • Use old kimchi. If possible, use old kimchi that is very ripe and mature. The flavor of old kimchi is far superior in this recipe. When cooked, the flavor changes to a deep, mellow intensity. If using new kimchi, you’ll need to cook for a longer time.
  • Salt the pasta water. When boiling the noodles, make sure to salt the water with 2-3 generous pinches of salt. Salted water will season the noodles.
  • Add pasta water to make a sauce. Don’t throw out the starchy pasta water! It’s essential for creating a creamy, velvety sauce that’s not too thick.

FAQ:

How do I store leftovers?

Cooled leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. Transfer to the fridge for 2-3 days.

Can I make this less spicy?

Yes, the spice level can be easily adjusted! Add less Gochujang paste (or none at all) for a less spicy dish. Or, swap with tomato paste.

How can I tell if my kimchi is old?

Old kimchi is ripe and well-fermented. It is soft, juicy, and dark orange. When you take a bite, it will taste sharply acidic and may fizz slightly in your mouth.

More recipes with Kimchi:

Easy Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon

Lis Lam
Another easy and delicious 15-minute meal to make at home: Creamy Kimchi Pasta with Bacon! Spicy kimchi adds incredible flavor to a creamy carbonara-style sauce. So fast and flavorful, it will soon become your favorite pantry meal, too!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Fusion Food, Korean
Servings 2
Calories 729 kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Large Stockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 cup kimchi *preferably old, well-fermented kimchi
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3/4 cup table cream (18% milk fat) *can be swapped with heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated *plus more for garnish
  • parsley, chopped *for garnish
  • 1/2 cup pasta water *plus more, if needed

Instructions
 

  • Cook spaghetti. Bring a large pot of salted water (2-3 generous pinches of salt) to a boil over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti noodles and cook until almost al dente, about 7 minutes. (Read package directions, if needed).
  • *NOTE: While the water comes to a boil and the spaghetti cooks, make the sauce. By the time the sauce is done, the pasta should also be finished cooking.
  • Cook bacon. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the bacon. Cook until the bacon is browned and crispy looking, about 4-5 minutes. The fat should render out of the bacon, leaving a bit of fat in the bottom of the pan.
  • Make kimchi sauce. Add garlic to the crispy bacon and bacon fat. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and somewhat softened, about 30 seconds. Add kimchi, a little kimchi juice, and the Gochujang paste. Cook, stirring often, until the kimchi is soft, caramelized, and dark orange — about 4-5 minutes. Add the cream and let it reduce slightly until thick and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add noodles. Transfer the cooked noodles to the pan with the kimchi sauce. Add the parmesan cheese directly on top of the noodles. Add 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
  • Finish cooking. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring the noodles and the sauce together. At first, the sauce will be watery. As it cooks, the sauce will thicken and coat the noodles. If the sauce reduces too quickly, lower the heat to medium-low. Add more starchy pasta water, if necessary. This part of the cooking process goes fast and will take 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve. Season the pasta with salt and black pepper. A quick toss and that's it! Divide evenly between two bowls. Garnish with parsley and extra parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

*Cooled leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. Transfer to the fridge for 2-3 days.
**The spice level can be easily adjusted. Add less Gochujang paste (or none at all) for a less spicy dish. Or, swap with tomato paste.

Nutrition

Calories: 729kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 29gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 1039mgPotassium: 518mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 587IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 438mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Bacon, Cream, Kimchi, Pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
15 minutes, All Recipes, Gochujang, Kimchi, Korean, Snacks, Weeknight Meals

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