Chicken and pumpkin pasta bake

Chicken and pumpkin pasta bake

This chicken and pumpkin pasta bake has a delicious cheese sauce and wilted baby spinach all through it. It is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd. Find more on Kidspot New Zealand.


  • 1/2 large butternut pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g rigatoni pasta, cooked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (additional)
  • 3 chicken breast fillets, diced
  • 3 rashers middle bacon, diced
  • 70g butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Toss pumpkin in 2 tbsp olive oil and lay out on the tray. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the additional 2 tbsp olive oil and fry the chicken until golden in small batches, setting aside each one as you go. Return all chicken to the pan with the diced bacon to cook for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Using the same pan, melt the butter and sprinkle flour over the top. Stirring constantly, cook the flour for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk half a cup at a time until you have a smooth sauce. Whisk in the grated cheese and chicken stock powder.

Toss the chicken, bacon, pasta, sauce, pumpkin and spinach leaves together. Pour into a large baking dish and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pasta is heated through and the cheese is golden on top.


  • Use two trays for the pumpkin if you need to. It shouldn't be too crowded on the tray.
  • This dish is lovely served with a garden salad on the side.
  • If you are short on time you can use a store-bought barbeque chicken to replace the chicken breast fillets in this dish.
  • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand's best recipe finder.

More first foods recipes:


Connect with Kidspot:


what's new on kidspot