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 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 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.
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
1 hour 15 mins
- 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
- Preheat oven to 180°C, fan forced.
- Place pumpkin on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast pumpkin in the oven for 30 minutes or until browned and just tender. Remove from oven, set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook macaroni following packet directions, drain and return to saucepan.
- Place chicken in a large saucepan, cover chicken with water and season with salt and pepper.
- Poach chicken by bringing it to the boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
- Heat a small frying pan with a dash of oil, cook bacon for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
- To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming.
- 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.
- Gradually pour in milk, and whisk continuously until the mixture is smooth.
- Return saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil, stir continuously for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat. Add the cheese and stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Using a fork, shred the poached chicken.
- Add chicken, bacon, pumpkin, spinach and cheese sauce to the pasta, gently stir to combine.
- Spoon pasta mixture into a 4L capacity baking dish.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake pasta bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Serve.
By Kat – The Organised Housewife
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ENAMEL BAKING PANS – SET OF 5
This quality and stylish enamel bakeware is perfect for cooking your roasts, baked vegetables, pasta bakes, shepherds pie, meatloaf, banana bread and more. Enamel is made from porcelain fused high-quality steel, resistant to chemicals, is scratch-resistant, durable, oven safe to 270°C. Great for everyday use and lightweight to lift in and out of the oven. The biggest size is what I now use for this Chicken and Roast Pumpkin Pasta Bake.