Pumpkin and bacon – these are the stars of the show in this easy-to-make Cheesy Pumpkin & Bacon Pasta Bake that will delight even the pickiest of eaters!
It’s super easy to pull together on a busy weeknight, but making it ahead of time and just re-heating after getting home is a great option too!
Want to make sure everyone is getting their veggies? Throw in some broccoli florets before baking. You can use fresh or frozen, just make sure if you’re using frozen that you thaw the florets completely or the dish will get too watery.
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsps. ground sage
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Black pepper
Ingredients for the Pasta
- 1 lb. rotini pasta, uncooked
- 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- Fresh parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the 1 lb. cooked and shredded chicken, you can either use the meat from a rotisserie chicken or bake a couple of plain chicken breasts at 350 degrees for about 30 -35 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, use two forks pull it apart or shred.
Next, cook the rotini pasta according to package directions, but stop just short of the recommended cook time. This will allow the pasta to finish cooking in the oven. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
Finally, make the sauce by placing all of the ingredients listed for the pumpkin sauce into a blender and puree until smooth.
Assemble the Pumpkin and Bacon Pasta Bake
In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta, crumbled bacon, shredded chicken, pumpkin sauce and half of each of the cheeses, stirring well to combine.
Pour the pasta mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and top with the remaining half of each of the cheeses. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling.
Allow to stand for a few minutes to cool slightly, then sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.