This healthy Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta comes together so deliciously with a creamy pumpkin puree sauce and tasty chunks of bacon. All you need are a few pantry ingredients to make this hearty and filling family dinner!
Nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground sage provide a subtle, earthy flavor that blends perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon and mildness of the pumpkin. Your family will love this!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
Sometimes I get fatigued from making the same pasta dishes over and over. This pumpkin bacon pasta is the perfect remedy! Full of flavor and so filling, this unique bacon and pasta recipe will become a fast family favorite.
If you've always wondered how you can incorporate more pumpkin into your diet but you never knew how, this is a great opportunity. This recipe is perfect for fall but delicious and comforting any time of year!
And for another tasty pasta dish, try this Ground Turkey Pasta Broccoli Dinner, which packs all of the components of your dinner into one easy recipe!
Or for another quick and delicious recipe using bacon, check out my Air Fryer Taquitos with Bacon!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- pasta - I like to use cellentani pasta for this recipe, but your favorite pasta will work perfectly.
- onion - yellow onion is my preference here.
- olive oil
- minced garlic - cooks with the onion to give your bacon and pumpkin pasta lots of flavor.
- chicken broth - helps form the base of your pumpkin sauce.
- pumpkin puree - a key ingredient in this recipe, pumpkin adds a warmth and a heartiness as well as having lots of health benefits.
- half and half - thickens up the sauce.
- Parmesan cheese - for added cheesiness and flavor in the sauce.
- cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, salt and pepper - this warm and earthy blend of spices plays well with the pumpkin sauce.
- cooked bacon - you can cook your bacon ahead of time or even use pre-cooked bacon to save time!
- Cook your pasta according to package directions and drain, then place back in the pot to keep warm.
- Chop onion.
- Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Stir in pumpkin, chicken broth, half and half, Parmesan, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, salt, and pepper and stir.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin sauce into the pot with pasta, then add the cooked bacon and stir until combined.
I like to pair bacon with pumpkin for a salty contrast with the more earthy flavor, but beef would also pair well with pumpkin!
The pumpkins we use to make jack-o'-lanterns are not typically grown for the purposes of eating, so if you want to cook with pumpkin you'll want to find pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins, which are specifically grown for cooking and eating.
If you want to get really fancy and make the puree from scratch, check out this recipe from Love and Lemons that will teach you how to make your own pumpkin puree!
💭 Expert Tips and Tricks
- Every pumpkin puree will be a little different in terms of consistency. If your sauce looks too thin, try adding just ¾ of it to the pasta then let it sit to see how much it thickens up. You can add more if needed.
- Cook your bacon ahead of time or even buy pre-cooked bacon to majorly cut down on prep time!
This pumpkin bacon pasta is a hearty and earthy dish that's great to serve for a comforting weeknight meal but elegant enough to make for weekend dinners or even holidays!
📖 Substitutions and Variations
- Substitute macaroni, rotini, or other kinds of pasta.
- Feel free to garnish with extra Parmesan, parsley, and/or fresh sage.
- Allow your onions to caramelize before adding the other sauce ingredients for a sweet and buttery flavor.
- If you need to thin out your sauce, try adding some white wine. For a thicker and sweeter sauce, add a dash of sweetened condensed milk.
🔊 What readers are saying...
"I love pasta and bacon a lot, but the taste of pumpkin in the menu is very interesting and tempting. It is really great for fall."
🥫 Storage and Reheating
To store leftover bacon and pumpkin pasta, allow it to cool then transfer to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. It should last 5 days to a week. To reheat, you can microwave your pasta for a minute or so and then in 30-second increments until fully heated.
Since there's dairy in the pumpkin sauce, I wouldn't recommend freezing this pasta.
⏲️ Make Ahead Instructions
To save on prep time, the bacon and pumpkin sauce can both be made ahead of time. Store them in the fridge until it's time to make your dish. You may want to pour the pumpkin sauce into a pot or pop it into the microwave and heat for a bit before stirring it into the pasta.
💡 Suggested Side Dishes
This pumpkin bacon pasta has lots of nutrition already, but it pairs great with a tasty vegetable. Serve with Air Fryer Green Beans, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, or this super easy Garlic Butter Microwave Broccoli.
🎃 More Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Overnight Oats - A delicious and hearty breakfast recipe with classic flavors.
- Pumpkin Apple Butter Pancakes - This sweet and comforting breakfast is great for a cozy weekend spent with family.
- Cheddar Pumpkin Grilled Cheese - Healthier than classic grilled cheese, this is a great go-to meal for busy weekdays.
- Pumpkin Brownies with Oreos - When you're craving a fudgy and decadent dessert, these brownies are ready in 30 minutes!
Pumpkin Bacon Pasta Recipe
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📋 Recipe Card
Bacon and Pumpkin Pasta
- 12 oz cellentani pasta (or your favorite)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 14.5 oz chicken broth (1 can)
- 15 oz pure pumpkin (1 can)
- ¾ cup half and half creamer (use fat-free if desired)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1 cup cooked bacon, roughly chopped (about 8-10 slices)
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is done, drain and place back in the pot, covering to keep warm.12 oz cellentani pasta
- Chop the onion.1 medium yellow onion
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high, then add the onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Stir in the chicken broth, pumpkin, half and half, Parmesan cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, salt, and pepper, and mix until well combined.14.5 oz chicken broth, 15 oz pure pumpkin, ¾ cup half and half creamer, ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground sage, ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Simmer about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin sauce into the pot with the cooked pasta. Add the bacon (and the optional sriracha sauce, if using) as well and mix thoroughly.1 cup cooked bacon, roughly chopped, 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- Let stand for a few minutes for the sauce to thicken.
- Not all pumpkin purees are created equal, some are less thick than others. If your sauce looks really thin, only add about ¾ of it to the pasta at first and toss. Let the pasta sit for a few minutes to see how much the sauce thickens, and then add more if needed.
- You can substitute macaroni, rotini, or another pasta for the cellentani.
- If your package of pasta is 16 ounces instead of 12, go ahead and use the whole thing, it should still work fine.
- If you will be short on time, cook your bacon the weekend before or even buy pre-cooked bacon.
- Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, or some fresh sage if desired.
Nutritional information is an estimate. The nutritional values for your final dish may vary based on measuring differences and products used.
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