Recipe: Baked Penne w/Butternut Squash, Ricotta, Bacon, & Walnuts

November 22nd 2010 / 2 minutes to read

This is a delicious Autumn themed meal and very filling! The walnuts add a nice flavor and crunch while the bacon… is bacon! Smokey and AWESOME!


  • 2 LBS butternut squash, cubed and peeled
  • 5 C whole-wheat penne, cooked
  • 1 1/4 C milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 C Parmesan cheese, grated (I use REAL Parmesan Reggiano)
  • 1/4 C walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • kosher salt to taste (the type of salt I use)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 TSP fresh thyme leaves, chopped (you could also use dried)

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a cookie (baking) sheet and a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place squash on baking sheet; sprinkle salt and grind pepper over the squash and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl and mash until all the cubes are broken up but not totally smooth. I use a potato masher for this NOT a hand-mixer.

3. In a large saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mashed squash, chopped bacon, and the fresh thyme. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat.

4. Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish; dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with Parmesan and walnuts. Bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 20 minutes; remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Makes about 1 cup per serving and this recipe makes 8 servings. You can eliminate the bacon to make this dish vegetarian as well!

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I’m not a fan of squash personally but I’d be willing to try this. It looks yummy and we’re always looking for new things to add to the meal variety.

Reply to Amanda

Maybe it’s how you prepare it? I LOVE all sorts of squashes, both summer and winter varieties! Roasting it always makes it awesome.

I can’t wait to make this!!! thanks for posting the recipe :)

Yay! Let me know what you think!


This looks yummy! Wondering if it would work with pumpkin?

Thanks for the idea!

Reply to Andree

OH yes! Pumpkin, acorn squash… any winter variety really!


It looks yummy. If I could cook I would definitely give it a try!

Reply to Alice

Oh everyone can cook! It’s just a matter of taking time everyday to DO IT. Start with small basic recipes and then go from there!


Looks yummy but don’t think my husband would eat it as he hates all veg ha ha

Reply to Damita

Wow. This looks incredibly good. Peeking in because I saw your link on SITS and was intrigued by the recipe idea! I would drop the bacon and probably eat it up in a heartbeat! Yum!

Pacific Druid

We had this dish for dinner this evening.

I used wheat egg noodles instead of penne (because I had it.)

I used chicken instead of bacon (because I am fat enough, thanks.)

And it turned out AWESOME! Completely full of win, yum. I’ll even save some for Santa, if it keeps.

Pacific Druid

Reply to Pacific Druid

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