Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Pasta Bake

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.

Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Pasta Bake recipe

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.

Meal prep in advance easy quick dinner idea pasta bake

I made this during the day, then placed it in the fridge just before the final step. Once home from work I simply popped it into the oven. I had it in the fridge so heated for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 20 minutes.

Tasty delicious Chicken Pumpkin Pasta Bake recipe

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 meal with salad and there will most certainly be enough left over for everybody for the following night.

With the cold weather setting in, it’s a great time to start creating home-cooked meals like this one. For more hearty dinner ideas, be sure to check out my new cookbook!


Chicken and roast pumpkin pasta bake

  • Author: Katrina
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dinner


  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g macaroni
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 short-cut bacon rashers, 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 cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C, fan forced.
  2. Place pumpkin on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Roast pumpkin in the oven for 30 minutes or until browned and just tender. Remove from oven, set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook macaroni following packet directions, drain and return to saucepan.
  5. Place chicken in a large saucepan, cover chicken with water and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Poach chicken by bringing it to the boil over medium-high heat.
  7. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
  9. Heat a small frying pan with a dash of oil, cook bacon for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
  10. To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming.
  11. Add flour, then cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and begins to come away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat.
  12. Gradually pour in milk, and whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth.
  13. Return saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil, stir continuously for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  14. Remove from heat. Add the cheese and stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
  15. Using a fork, shred the poached chicken.
  16. Add chicken, bacon, pumpkin, spinach and cheese sauce to the pasta, gently stir to combine.
  17. Spoon pasta mixture into a 4L capacity baking dish.
  18. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  19. Bake pasta bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Serve.

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Katie B. of February 10, 2013 - 8:42 AM

This sounds delicious! Pumpkin is the only form of squash my husband and son will eat, so I definitely must give this recipe a try. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Kim February 11, 2013 - 1:12 PM

Made this last night and we all loved it. I have a lactose free child which is sometimes difficult to feed because she still thinks some things will make her sick. I adjusted the recipe for her and she loved it. So great that we could all enjoy the same thing.

Katrina February 12, 2013 - 2:47 PM

That is wonderful that she was able to enjoy it too!

Mummzi February 12, 2013 - 9:36 AM

Sounds so yummy any ideas what to replace bacon with? Daughter is allergic.

Katrina February 12, 2013 - 2:46 PM

It was delicious, you could omit the bacon and add more vegetables, broccoli, onion?

possmum September 30, 2013 - 9:21 PM

Thanks for this recipe, it has been a hit with the family. Which is fortunate, as I took a risk and made four times the quantity, and froze them for later. They defrosted and reheated really well, and are on my list for my next bulk cooking day.

Liz August 26, 2014 - 1:49 PM

Maybe the bacon could be replaced by some feta cheese?

Katrina August 27, 2014 - 9:00 AM

Ooh that does sound yummy, Liz. I like the sound of that variation.

Tricia August 28, 2014 - 1:15 PM

Will try it and see…sounds yummy

Bronny March 30, 2015 - 12:43 PM

I’m also allergic to bacon and plan on replacing it with a chicken sausage.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 30, 2015 - 1:47 PM

Fantastic idea, Bronny!

Christina Michelle June 1, 2015 - 4:28 PM

Possums thanks for answering my never ending question of – can I freeze it??
ps. seeded mustard adds a little kick to pumpkin if people can’t do the bacon or feta. I vote feta every time – but then I would use bacon also 🙂

Megan July 3, 2017 - 9:55 AM

Will try this dish on the weekend. I have made an all in one dish in the past where I baked the bacon on top of the rest of the food in the oven ,it crisped up and I didn’t have to dirty a frying pan!

Myra September 11, 2019 - 9:00 PM

At which step would it be good to pop into the freezer please? Just before the final step? Just checking 🙂 First time making a meal for the freezer lol

Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 12, 2019 - 9:22 AM

Myra I would recommend covering and freezing before the final step, and then simply pulling it out when you were ready and popping it in the oven. Alternatively you can freeze once cooked, but this tends to have better results with tomato based bakes instead of creamy ones. Hope this helps! Kat x

Amanda May 20, 2020 - 6:45 PM

Hi, just wanting to check if it’s the grated cheese that is added when making the sauce and then the parmesan sprinkled on at the end or the other way round?

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 26, 2020 - 8:52 AM

Hi Amanda, apologies for the confusion. The parmesan cheese gets sprinkled on at the end. I have amended the recipe above to correctly reflect this now 🙂 Thanks, Kat.

Dee March 30, 2021 - 1:39 PM

Totally love the chicken and roast pumpkin pasta bake. This is the second week I’ve made. Tastes just as great for lunch the next day. Love your recipes and weekly meal plans ?

Kate April 9, 2021 - 9:17 AM

That’s so lovely to hear Dee! Thank you. Kat x


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