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Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake

20 reviews / 4.7 average

Hiiii friends!

It’s pumpkin loving me, still here, still going strong, even though it’s November tomorrow. Lots of shock and denial about that going on up in the brain, because November equals the start of the holiday season which equals the start of Big Bad Winterrrr here in Minnesota. I’ve worn my fuzzy hat like five times already this week and my teeth are chattering nonstop.

Basically what happened in this recipe is that everything good about fall went and got all cozy together in a pan just in time for dinner. Caramelized onions make for a rich and velvety pumpkin sauce to blanket that shredded chicken with love. Pasta and cheese hold everything together, and b-a-c-o-n means crispy delicious is up in tha howwwwse.

So but backing up a tad wee bit. I have good news about the Winter thing: pumpkin still tastes good even in November, and it might even taste BETTER in the winter because it warms you to the toes. And it’s especially delicious when used in non-tradish ways like as a sauce for a chicken bacon pumpkin pasta bake. Life is good when this baby is in your oven.

Wait, no, I didn’t mean… NO. This is not me making any awkward announcements.

This IS me being an utter fool for cheesy oven-baked pasta.

Noodles steaming in a pot and sauce in a skillet.

And now for the topic of kitchen remodel. Someday soon, I will have a kitchen again. Won’t that be fun? — said in the most genuinely excited, actually-I-mean-it voice ever. I am beside myself with anticipation for the day when I make this again, and many other things requiring use of stove, oven, fridge, and maybe even dishwasher *holla* and take pretty pictures RIGHT ON THE COOKTOP and RIGHT ON THE COUNTERTOP because we now have triple the natural light sources in the kitchen. NO SERIOUSLY TRIPLE. I AM SHOUTING A LOT RIGHT NOW.

Countertops will go in soon, and I can totally wait another two weeks. I totally can. I can I can I cannnnnot! But I can.

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake in a white dish.

These pictures were obviously not taken in the basement, nor was this yummy little number made in the basement, as much as I want it to be. If you could see what the basement really looks like right now, you would see me at a folding table working under mean, harsh, fluorescent lights that flicker – no for real, they flicker – with an obnoxiously strong cinnamony candle burning right next to the computer to try to bring a little good cheer into my life (I already know this is a very bad idea having to do with Hot Wax On Keyboard and yet I continue to let it happen because I’m a rebel child), sporting my old slippers to combat against the icy cold cement floors, and sipping a tea on the other side of the laptop because apparently I am actively seeking out the opportunity to destroy my computer. <– lie. I love my computer. I just equally love candles and tea. Why can’t we all just get along?!?

If you have a kitchen, and if you have a functional stove and oven combo, be blessed by melted cheese and pasta tonight with a fallish pumpkin and caramelized onion sauce and chicken for filling and bacon for delicious. You deserve all the homemade goodness that is packed into that pan. I really mean that and I have no hint of jealousy in my voice whatsoever. None. Negativo. Nada.

I heart your face eating this for dinner.

But… seriously.

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake in a dish.
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Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake bring pulled out of pan with a spoon.

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 810 (nutrition info is for 10 servings) 1x

Description

Chicken Bacon Pumpkin Pasta Bake! Caramelized onions make for a rich and velvety pumpkin sauce to blanket that shredded chicken with love.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Pumpkin Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • a splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 18 ounces pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (or just ground)
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the Pasta:

  • 1 lb. uncooked pasta
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Mozzarella or other white melty cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • crumbled, cooked bacon (as much or little as you want)
  • parsley for topping

Instructions

  1. Caramelize the onions: Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cut the onion into thin slices and add to the melted butter in the pan. Keeping the heat on medium-low, cook the onions until they are caramelized and deep golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. You can add a splash of white wine as they’re cooking to get a little extra sweetness.
  2. Make the sauce: Puree the garlic, pumpkin, chicken broth, milk, olive oil, salt, sage, nutmeg, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Add to the caramelized onions in the pan and cook until heated through.
  3. Prep pasta and chicken: Cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping a little early so they are still firm enough to hold their shape in the oven. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and add the chicken, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove from the water; when cool enough to handle, shred the chicken.
  4. Assemble and bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the cooked pasta, chicken, and bacon with the pumpkin sauce and 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese. Transfer to a greased 9×13 baking dish, top with remaining cheese and cover with greased foil to prevent sticking. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and let stand a few minutes before serving.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken bacon pumpkin pasta, pumpkin pasta bake, bacon pumpkin pasta

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Recipe rating

118 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    UM YES, you bet your boots (winter attire) that my face is eating this for dinner!
    I’m severely worried about this winter as last year I spent it in Sunny Florida. Seattle is JUST NOT THAT.
    But I’ll curl up in the pumpkin (agree to still eating it in November) pasta bake ALL the days. Pinned!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      You’ll love it! you’ll get a nice little bit of winteriness without the bone chilling icky stuff. I’m jealous!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so yummy. I’m a sucker for anything related to mac and cheese (and bacon)! Have my pumpkin oatmeal going right now and doing PW’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls tomorrow–this pasta bake may just join the party. PS so jealous of your soon-to-be natural kitchen light!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love the looks of fall in this dinner dish!
    And I’m totally in denial about the start of November. Ears closed. Eyes closed. It can’t be happening. I currently wear my robe and slippers every moment I’m home. Totally get you on the teeth chattering thing.
    But God is good, so I’m great. 🙂

    Have a blessed November weekend!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is so unique. I’ve seen nothing like this on Pinterest or anywhere else. Pinch of yum, this is a whole dollop of yum. And of course we all know what bacon does to any dish. Nothing is more touching that when I can smell bacon (usually burnt) wafting upstairs when I’m still trying to sleep in the morning. But at least my husband tries so I give him credit for that!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thanks Laura! Appreciate that! I always always burn bacon, so your husband and I are in the same boat on that one. 🙂

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Abbie Rose

    This looks so good! Like, I wish I could nab a bite off the screen… At first I was a little weirded out by the pumpkin, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the sound of all that comfort food in one pan! Bring it on, I’m ready!! (Ah-mazing pictures, BTW, the cheese…that’s all I have to say!)
    But seriously, the thought of you in a basement in Minnesota in November is freezing me! It makes our rain and 50 degree whether seem balmy…

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Is pumpkin technically a vegetable? I think it is. Which basically makes this a salad, right? So I will be whipping this up tonight with no cheese guilt whatsoever. Pumpkins have fiber, and that basically makes it health food. 🙂 Yay for warm and cozy Friday nights with Hocus Pocus and pumpkin!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I will always and forever remember that awful scary scene from Hocus Pocus where the witch is hiding in the bed. Or something involving a window in an upstairs bedroom. I don’t know. In my mind, it’s really scary.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, I’m so excited to see you in your new kitchen! We redid ours a few years ago and I thought I loved baking before the remodel, but creating things in such a fresh, happy place that you helped design just brings that love to a whole new level! Love this pumpkin pasta dish too! I’m a little jealous you are cold – the high here in AZ is 93 degrees today!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Eek! I love a good warm day but after living in the Philippines I feel like I can just barely understand your pain. I am definitely counting my lucky stars for this chilly weather! We complain but we secretly like it. 😉

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Yaaaaassss. I want to become a vegan but it’s recipes like these that make me think twice!! As for snow? Yeah, it’s currently snowing hardcore here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      toni julianelle

      I made this for dinner tonight and family loved it! Including my vegetarian husband, whlse separate baking dish had really good veg meat substitutes in it. We use Morningstar Farms frozen soy bacon, which is a bit strange on a plate next to eggs but quite tasty chopped into a casserole. And the U.K brand Quorn, which you can buy here in New England and possibly elsewhere, does a fabulous job on mushroom-protein chicken-substitute chunks or fillets. He does eat dairy though. Still. Veg can be very adaptible! It’s all about having great sauces like this one. The sage and nutmeg were amazing in the savory pumpkin sauce. Mm. This blog rocks!!






  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    YES. These are all the foods I want to eat right now. It’s 80 degrees in South Africa but all my friends and favorite food bloggers are talking pumpkin and comfort food so I’m totally craving it. We find butternut squash around here a little more easily so I think I might try this subbing the pumpkin for butternut!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jammy

    I love the teeny-tiny little grooves in the sides of your elbow noodles. They look like they must grab every last bit of sauce. What brand of noodles are they? Where did you buy them? (If they are some low-carb version of real pasta, don’t even bother responding to my comment because I. Will. Not. Eat. Them.)
    BTW… Happy Halloween!
    p.s. I had to reread the “I heart your face eating this for dinner.” sentence like four times before it made sense. In my brain, it was a very zombie-ish thing to say.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Had to throw in a zombie comment for Halloween, right? 😉 The pasta is … something cheap from Cub. I don’t remember.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Mine is actually dried, but it’s not like a powder, it’s “rubbed sage” which is more like little dry sage leaves. 🙂 I guess I don’t know what it technically means…

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Oy. You’re killin’ me! All the yummy things in one!! I’m just starting to navigate how to cook/blog from Bali, and am realizing it’s going to be REALLY HARD because ovens in houses just simply don’t exist. So, I’m ovenless and missing cookies and baked pasta and pizza and ALL THE BAKED CARBS. So, I might be in a love/hate relationship with your photos for the next six months. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Dharma

      If you can get a grill with a lid, you have an oven! Takes a little practice but when our oven blew up a few years ago (literally a huge POW!!! & a flash inside & it was dead), we used our grill for everything from bread to brownies. A casserole would be relatively easy!