This Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Pasta Bake recipe can be made ahead of time, making it the perfect meal for feeding a hungry crowd on a busy weeknight.
This dinner is delicious! Chicken, bacon, roast pumpkin and macaroni tossed through a delicious cheese sauce then baked with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese – what’s not to love?! Normally speaking I’m not a fan of pumpkin so I rarely cook with it, but when roasted like this its flavour enriches, and it becomes the perfect addition to this Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Pasta Bake.
I have to be honest, this isn’t the quickest of recipes and you may use every dish you own to make it, but it’s well worth all the time and effort. I poached and shredded the chicken breast as a budget-friendly option, however you can use a BBQ chicken instead if you prefer to save time instead of money.
I made this during the day, then placed in the fridge just before the final step. Once home from our after school sport activities I popped it into the oven. I had it in the fridge so heated for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 20 minutes.
I love dinners like these that can be made ahead of time and then heated just before eating – it helps takes the stress and chaos out of busy nights. Serve this mel with salad and there will most certainly be enough left over for everybody for the following night.
Chicken and roast pumpkin pasta bake
1 hour 5 mins
- 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1cm pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500g macaroni
- 500g chicken breast
- 2 shortcut bacon, finely diced
- 60g butter
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups tasty cheese, grated
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup parmesan or tasty cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Place pumpkin onto a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until golden, then allow to cool slightly.
- In a large saucepan, cook macaroni following packet directions, drain and place back into the saucepan.
- Place chicken in a large saucepan, cover chicken with tap water, season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes or until almost cooked. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
- Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan with a dash of oil, cook bacon for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
- Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.
- When butter is foaming (very bubbly), add flour. Cook stirring for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat, gradually stir through milk, mixing until smooth.
- Return to heat, cook stirring for 4-5 minutes until boils and thickens.
- Stir in tasty cheese and season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Using a fork, shred chicken.
- Add chicken, bacon, pumpkin, spinach and cheese sauce to pasta, gently stir to combine.
- Spoon into a large rectangular casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until browned.
By Kat – The Organised Housewife
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