Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta

Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin PastaPinit

What did you do this weekend?

I took advantage of the opportunity to eat blissful creamy bacon and pumpkin pasta and snuggle with a pug.

Yes, I said snuggle with a pug.  I was snug as a bug in a rug with a pug.  And a mug.



That sweet wrinkly face gives me a tingly nose and shivers.  Sheeeee’s sooooo cuuuuute!  I might absolutely do have a puppy crush on her.

And you probably already know that I have a hungry girl crush on this pumpkin pasta.

Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.

Pumpkin in pasta.  Um, questionable.

Long story short, we need to stop judging our favorite fall vegetable.  fruit?  …ingredient.  How did pumpkin get stereotyped as an exclusively sweet ingredient?  It’s so versatile and healthy. And healthy is a good thing this week.  Cause come Turkey Thursday, you know what’s goin down.  Seconds, thirds, and multiple desserts with whipped cream are what’s goin down.   JOY.

If you liked this butternut squash mac and cheese with caramelized onions, apples, and bacon (which is pretty much impossible not to like), then this pasta is going to  And it might rock some pounds off, too?  That’s a fool-proof diet plan, if you ask me.  I love when eating a huge bowl of pasta makes your jeggings fit better.

Speaking of jeggings, I’ve been majorly over-wearing them because of their comfy wonderfulness.  Help?

Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta

4.7 from 16 reviews
Healthy Bacon & Pumpkin Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 cups dry whole grain shells
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup fat free evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions or green onions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and return to pan. Reduce heat to low.
  2. Add pumpkin through salt and pepper and stir until cream cheese is melted and mixture is warmed through.
  3. Divide between two bowls and top with crumbled bacon and green onions.
I've also made this with caramelized onions for a little sweeter, more buttery flavor.

Nutrition Facts

Have you tried pumpkin in savory dishes?

And btw, who wants to see more snogglishly cute pug pictures?  I’m trying not to overwhelm you with cuteness all at once, but there’s definitely more where that came from.  Get ready.

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  1. Yummy – I love the butternut squash pasta, so pumpkin also sounds pretty good to me. And with bacon? Genius.

    • I was surprised at how much the pumpkin “sauce” actually just tastes like the butternut squash sauce. Although I was extra generous with the bacon… so maybe I was just getting those flavors coming through a little more :)

  2. Oh that pug is adorable! Just look at his cute squishy face!

    This pasta sounds delicious too. I really like the little green onions too to add an extra flavour, not to mention the bacon and pumpkin obviously!

  3. I have never used pumpkin in a savory dish and I have no idea why. You’re right. I’ve let pumpkin fall into the sweets only stereotype. And I totally feel ya on the jeggings. While I don’t own jeggings, I do own a pair of leggings that I want to wear exclusively because they are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever put on my legs.

    • I know! I feel like I should reserve them for once a week. But I wear them all weekend long! And I will definitely be wearing them this Thursday. :)

  4. Yeah, I’m just not sure about the combo but you’ve never steered us wrong before so perhaps I’ll give it a shot.

  5. I think pumpkin totally works in savory dishes — in fact, your butternut squash mac n’ cheese inspired me to make a similar meal with pumpkin. Bacon makes everything better!

  6. this is making my mouth water!

  7. Please post more pug pictures!!!!! She looks like she was hamming it up for the camera, too!

    I’m kinda embarrassed to say that I haven’t tried pumpkin in any savory applications beyond soup. Seeing how easy your recipe is, I’m not sure why my brain hasn’t gone there! It looks beautiful studded with the bacon and scallions :)

  8. I haven’t even had pumpkin this year! Horrifying! :) But I’d much rather have it in savory then sweet!

  9. “Gahh” is right, so cute!
    Pasta looks delish :)


  11. Oh my, your pug is soooo cute 😀 I totally don’t mind pug pictures, haha. Your pasta looks awesome. I thought it was cheesy(besides the cream cheese – I mean like mac and cheese cheesy) but that must be just the pumpkin color. Awesome! Looks delicious – especially with a little bacon 😀

  12. This looks DE.LIC.IOUS. As in, I need it in my belly right now. (Can you tell it’s lunchtime?) Totally can’t wait to try it. :) I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!!

    P.S. I am normally not a dog person, but your pug is too cute for words. Squee!

  13. Pumpkin and bacon! This sounds fantastic!

  14. Blog is the New Black says:

    This looks delicious! Love that it uses bacon and is still healthy!

    • Yeah… I’ve been known to be a little liberal with my use of the word “healthy”, but since it’s pretty low fat + high protein, and it’s super filling… it seems healthy enough to me, even with a lil bacon! :)

  15. Soo @ Little Miss Fitness says:

    What a fun weekend you had with your pug. :) She is sooo cute. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, Lindsay and Bjork!

  16. What an adorable pug! My Boston Terrier does the same thing, laying on the back of the loveseat like that. This pasta aint bad either ;). Looks delish!

  17. All about the bacon! This looks so delicious. And btw, I don’t know when you changed your blog header, but I love it! Your blog looks great!

  18. Tell me your address, i’d love to be your neighbor…. who constantly ran out of food….

  19. C’mon – really? Can you really put “bacon” and “healthy” in the same title?? 😉 This looks awesome – and I MIGHT be able to convince my family to eat it because the bacon is like a bribe. . . . I know I would love it. Maybe I’ll tell them it’s cheese. . . because there’s no way I’m letting this one slip by. Looks totally yummy!

  20. Hey! I’m new to the site. Found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and it looks fantastic. Question: Is the nutritional info for one serving or both?


  21. i LOVE pumpkin pasta. so fantastic. i’ll have to try your version…and with bacon? even better! :)

  22. lol.. healthy bacon? and how about another shout out to your kewl sister for the jeggings!

  23. Im so excited to try this recipe. I have a husband that is a very picky eater. He doesnt do veggies too well so I sneak them in as much as possible. I think he might like this….and if not, more leftovers for me!

  24. Wow, I can’t decide which I want more, the pug or the pasta. One of each? And love the jeggings comment, mine are way more comfy than they are flattering but I.can’t.stop.wearing.them.

  25. Ahhh your on the I love that you are famous and I can say we spent a semester in Spain together! Next up…!

  26. Looks delicious! Question: why evaporated milk? Can I sub it with regular milk? Thanks!

    • I think evaporated milk gets a really nice creamy texture, and it lasts a little bit longer (sometimes just using milk can kind of get dry). But I’m sure you could use regular milk and it would still taste fine. :)

  27. Another one: when you say pumpkin puree do you mean canned pumpkin, like for pies?

  28. Hi Lindsay. This looks great but I think there may be one step to the recipe missing (or step two is incomplete).

  29. … i love pumpkin. and i love bacon. im making this tonight!

    just discovered, but love your blog. especially enjoy how all your recipes seem very easy to follow/make. thanks for sharing :)

  30. This looks amazing, so trying it.

    Thank you.

    Love your blog!


  31. Terry Oliver says:

    Hooked up to your awesome recipes and look forward to this one ESPECIALLY since I could eat an entire huge batch of mac and cheese by myself. Too bad I have to share with my husband…he’s celiac so we have those lovely gluten-free shells waiting in the wings for the next exciting dish. Yum- cant wait to give this a try!
    Also, your lil’ pig is the cutest thing (right there with my tiny black schnauzer). Such the Sweet Face!!!! Cant you just squeeze them? Arf!

    • Way to go for helping him out with the gluten-free shells! Do they taste alright?? And oh my gosh, how I wish that pug was mine. We were just pug sitting. :)

  32. The picture looked so tasty that I had to try this, and it did not disappoint! Very tasty, and not just on a “healthy” scale. Plus, it was husband approved! Thanks for sharing!

  33. Jennifer says:

    Here in New Zealand, pumpkin is pretty much a savoury vegetable. We eat it boiled, roasted, in soups, as a pasta sauce and very very rarely as a pumpkin pie. (Which always gets a sideways look from the family). Pumpkin, feta and bacon muffins – Yum!

  34. Jennifer Vail says:

    Planning on making this tonight. My cream cheese never made it home from the store. :(. However, I think your calorie count may be slightly off. Without the 70 calories from cream cheese, my count is at 345/serving, assuming I don’t cook with any oil.

    • Jennifer Vail says:

      Just wanted to follow up: LOVED IT!! Even without the creaminess from the cream cheese, it was delish. I did blanch the garlic in a little water, as to not add extra fat and to get the raw garlic taste out, and just let the water evaporate before adding the pasta back into the pan. Added little red pepper flake and fresh basil from my garden. I’m in heaven! THANK YOU!!

  35. I watched “Baby Boom” last week and the Tiger Lady had pumpkin pasta for lunch. It sounded appealing.

    I was supposed to use this recipe for dinner but my wife and I are eating it for lunch! It is delicious! My wife only tries anything new after prodding. With the bacon on top all I had to do was put it in front of her.

    Now, if I can only convince her to get a pug. . .

  36. This sounds wonderful! I would like to make this for my family tonight but I’m not understanding step #2. Also, the directions never mention when to add the garlic or evaporated milk. Help!

  37. Francesca says:

    I just made this…it’s hot on the stove still! Wow is really all that needs to be said! This dish is amazing! Can’t wait for my boyfriend to get home so we can indulge. Nothing about ours is “healthy” though…I didn’t use any “light” ingredients. I used 16oz. of pasta and tripled(!!) the sauce. I hope it doesn’t dry up before we can eat. Good thing I have some evaporated milk left over…just in case.

    Thanks for a fantastic recipe!!

  38. after searching the web trying to find some sort of pasta with pumpkin in it, i found nothing! i then decided i was crazy for being inspired to put these two together. then i found this recipe! i am making it as we speak, but i substituted goat cheese fro cream cheese. i have a feeling this is gonna be delish!

  39. This was so yum! I made it with turkey bacon because my boyfriend doesn’t eat pork. I think next time I will add a little more bacon than this recipe calls for since turkey bacon doesn’t pack quite the same salty punch as real bacon.

  40. It sounds yummy and I’m making this tonight, though I don’t see in your instructions when you add the garlic? Looks like something got cut off in your formatting. I’m sauteing the garlic in the bacon fat (since I have an intolerance for raw garlic) and topping the pasta with some fresh roasted pumpkin seeds – from the same pumpkin in the sauce, of course!

  41. I just made this last night, and it was wonderful; thank you! My only question-I emailed the recipe to my mom, thinking she’d like to try it. My dad watches his sodium, so she was pretty astonished about the amount in this recipe. Neither of us can figure out where it comes from, as the primary ingredients only have trace amounts, and that quantity of bacon has less than 500 mg. Is this an accurate amount? We’re baffled!

    • The nutrition label generator I was using at the time is not always accurate (as with any generic online tool like that, I suppose). I usually have a good idea of whether the calories and fat are in the right ballpark, but I don’t usually check the sodium of each listed ingredient too carefully. I would trust your own instinct, especially if you’re read up on sodium amounts in these ingredients.

  42. Just wanted to let you know that we had to improvise a lot on this recipe as you are missing 1/2 the ingredients. For instance, when does the garlic come in? Or the evaporated milk? We winged it, but this is a very poorly written recipe. Might want to edit it.

  43. I just discovered your blog, and the first thing i read is this awesome pasta! i can’t believe how easy looks! i want to try it!

    i have my own food blog, but i in spanish, so you may not understand it, haha.

    Well, i’ll keep this blog in my favourites!

    • Thanks for stopping by Daniel! I studied abroad in Spain for a while so I … used to know Spanish. :) Maybe it would come back to me if I started reading your blog. I’ll have to check it out!

  44. this sounds so creamy good!

  45. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now

  46. Do ou think it would work with coconut cream? I have a dairy intolerant daughter that’s all. It looks yum! She would love it I think. Thanks x

  47. Magaly Gonzalez says:

    Delicious recipe and lovely pug
    How does you prepare pumpkin puree?
    Thank you

    • It’s just what you buy in a can at the grocery store for baking things like pumpkin pie. Unless you want to make it yourself, in which case you’d boil or steam the peeled, seeded pumpkin and puree it in a blender. :) I just buy it, though.

  48. How big of a can of pumpkin did you use?

  49. This was great! Totally making this again before fall is over. Mac & Cheese is a staple for anyone with kids. Great family friendly meal. I just linked it up to your blog when i wrote about it. Changed the recipe up a bit by making with more cheese, more bacon, more veggies and making it spicy. I liked a bit more cream cheese because of the veg I added it didn’t seem like enough to cover everything. Very creamy and yummy! Great recipe. veggie pasta really helps in the nutrition level but can only find it in rotini so it doesn’t look cute like the shell pasta in your pictures :) Oh well… happy pumpkin eating! :)

  50. This was the most disgusting pasta I have ever tried! I made if for a group of people last night and we ended up throwing it all out! YUCK!!!

  51. I enjoy, result in I discovered exactly what I was taking a look for.

    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless
    you man. Have a great day. Bye

  52. Um this sounds AMAZING!! Great combo…can’t wait to dish this up to the fam:)

  53. Ohh sounds soo good! And perfect timing as my leftover pumpkin is going to grow hair soon! lol – just wondering if you’ve ever tried mixing it with your cauliflower alfredo sause? I modified your recipe so it’s dairy free but thought might work instead of the cream cheese & evaporated milk! I LOVE the cauliflower alfredo sause soo much! Thanks!!

  54. I’m about to give this a try, I’m psyched! I’m going to sub in greek yogurt for the cream cheese (I have some yogurt I need to use). Will let you know how it turns out!

  55. OMG… saved!! this looks totally scrumptious! i will be making this right after the Thanksgiving holiday…… Thank You for sharing with us.

  56. Beautiful photos, but unfortunately this dish was super bland. Creamy, but zero flavor. I tried adding nutmeg to individual portions to see if it would help, but it didn’t. I’m not a natural cook, so I really rely on the recipe to be right. I also agree with previous commenters that the “through” directions should have been clearer.

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