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Baked Pumpkin Pasta with Pancetta, Gruyere, Kale, and White Beans

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This Baked Pumpkin Pasta is made with pancetta, kale, and white beans and topped with gruyere and panko crumbs.

Pumpkin Pasta with Kale
Baked Pumpkin Pasta

This healthy baked pumpkin pasta bake is total comfort food. I know it’s rare to hear the words “healthy” and “comfort food” in the same sentence but hear me out! The pumpkin, kale, cannellini beans, and whole-wheat pasta give this dish a ton of fiber, and the gruyere and pancetta give it that comfort-food element while adding protein. You can also try my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies, and for a more pared-down version of this recipe, try my other Cheesy Baked Pumpkin Pasta.

Baked Pumpkin Pasta

I don’t know about you, but I tried to like whole wheat pasta for years and never found a brand that my family would eat. I didn’t care for the texture until I discovered DeLallo Organic Whole-Wheat Pasta, which changed my life. My husband, who is pretty picky about his pasta, also loves it, and now it’s the only brand of whole-wheat I will ever use. Their gluten-free pasta is also AMAZING, so if you can’t eat gluten, you can easily swap it out.

What are the benefits of eating pumpkin?

I love cooking with pumpkin. Not only does it require no prep (besides opening the can!), it’s also full of nutrients. One cup of pumpkin has two grams of protein and seven grams of fiber. Plus, it’s a great source of vitamins A, K, and E.

Pumpkin Pasta Ingredients

This creamy pumpkin pasta bake is like a fancy mac and cheese! Here’s what’s in it:

  • Pasta: I teamed up with DeLallo to make this pasta recipe. Their whole- wheat penne was the perfect choice, but you could really use any shape, like their shells, fusilli, or cavatappi.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is obviously a key ingredient here, but you could also use butternut squash puree.
  • Cheese: This dish isn’t called “cheesy baked pumpkin pasta” for nothing! I use gruyere, but you could swap it for white cheddar. I mix one cup with the pumpkin puree and half of a cup sprinkled on top for maximum
  • Kale: I use two bunches of kale for this recipe, which means you’re getting a very healthy dose of greens. The kale cooks in the boiling pasta water for a couple of minutes before cooking the noodles. If you want to sub it for spinach, skip cooking it in water and just add it in towards the end with the pasta.
  • Beans: I use cannellini beans but feel free to swap with great northern.
  • Pancetta: Pancetta is basically Italy’s version of bacon, but you can sub it with bacon if you prefer.
  • Other Ingredients: The onion cooks in the pancetta drippings with a little bit of salt, garlic, and red pepper. This combo really enhances the flavor of the whole meal.
  • Panko: I top the pasta with panko, which gets crispy and golden in the oven. If you want to brown the breadcrumbs even more, you can broil the pasta for a minute or two at the end.

How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat Pumpkin Pasta

This pasta will last in your fridge for up to five days and in the freezer for up to three months. I like to portion out leftovers into individual serving containers, so if I need a quick lunch, I can just pull one serving out at a time. Thaw overnight and then microwave to reheat.

You can also freeze the whole baking dish. Complete all the steps through topping the pasta with cheese. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. To reheat, thaw overnight, sprinkle with panko, and then bake until heated through.

Baked Pumpkin PastaPumpkin Pasta with White Beans andKalePumpkin Pasta with GruyerePumpkin Pasta with Kale and White Beans

More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love:

Cheesy Baked Pumpkin Pasta with Pancetta, Kale, and White Beans

3.93 from 13 votes
This Baked Pumpkin Pasta is made with pancetta, kale, and white beans and topped with gruyere and panko crumbs.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Pumpkin Pasta with Kale
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups


  • 6 oz panchetta, diced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches kale, stemmed and torn
  • 12 oz DeLallo whole-wheat or gluten-free penne pasta
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree, or butternut puree
  • 1 ½ cups grated Gruyère or sharp Cheddar cheese , 4 ½ oz (I used Gruyere)
  • ½ cup panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the pancetta until it’s crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or rack to cool and discard all but approximately 2 tsp rendered fat.
  • To the same pan, add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes for the last minute and toast for just 20 to 30 seconds, before the garlic scorches.
    sauteed onion
  • Add 2 Tbsp water to de-glaze the pan, scrape up any browned bits, and remove from the heat.
  • While the onion cooks, fill a large pot of salted water and bring it to a boil.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F and grease a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Add the kale to the boiling water and cook for just 2 minutes or so, until it’s bright green and tender but not soft. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a colander.
  • To the same pot, add the pasta and cook it a minute or two short of package instructions; it should be just shy of al dente.
  • Reserve ¾ cup of pasta water and drain the pasta in the colander with the kale.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the canned pumpkin with 1 cup shredded Gruyère or Cheddar. Season generously with black pepper.
  • Whisk ½ cup pasta water into the pumpkin mix. It should be about the consistency of bechamel, thin enough to coat the pasta but not watery; if needed, add a bit more water.
  • Fold in the pasta, kale, onions, pancetta and beans and stir well to coat.
    pasta with pumpkin and kale
  • Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup shredded cheese over the top; finish with the breadcrumbs and spray with a bit of cooking spray to increase browning..
    baked pasta with pumpkin
  • Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden. For deeper browning, place 3 to 4 inches beneath your broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 473 kcal, Carbohydrates: 66.5 g, Protein: 25.5 g, Fat: 13.5 g, Saturated Fat: 5.5 g, Cholesterol: 17.5 mg, Sodium: 729 mg, Fiber: 13 g, Sugar: 6 g


This recipe is sponsored by Delallo. Thank you for allowing me to share the products I love, which allow you to get these recipes for free.

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24 comments on “Baked Pumpkin Pasta with Pancetta, Gruyere, Kale, and White Beans”

  1. This recipe was just okay but too many steps and it created too many dishes. I felt like this was a little more complicated than the recipes I usually use from this website. In the end, I wish there was a bit more sauce. If I make it again, I will try to tweak it and make it in the dutch oven to eliminate some of the extra dishes

  2. Would Canadian bacon work in place of the pancetta?
    I just printed the recipe. Will try soon. I love that your recipes link to WW

  3. This looks amazing, just surprised to see the ingredients list calls for penne pasta while the recipe photos show cavatappi pasta. 

  4. This was a great recipe! I used Banza spiral pasta and left out the beans. I also added a few pinches of salt to the pumpkin/cheese mixture (I used sharp cheddar since I had it on hand) and then smoked paprika on top for a little extra flavor/color.

  5. Is the pumpkin purée 100% pumpkin? Just making sure this wasn’t supposed to be the pumpkin pie mix. 

  6. Oops, technical error in that last review! What I meant to say is, the flavor profile of this recipe is really good, which is why I’m going to make it again with some adjustments. It was too dry and really hard to mix it all together. Next time, I’m going to add the pumpkin to a fat-free or low fat bechamel sauce. I’ll also chop the kale up finer, rather than tearing it. 

  7. I am usually a big fan of all of the recipes on this site- in fact I just made the General Tso chicken earlier in the week and loved it. I have to comment on this though because I want to save others from spending $ on some pretty pricey ingredients for an overall bland meal. I blame the wheat pasta, which I find to be the devil’s gluten (sorry sponsors!). Every so often I try it, thinking this time will be different, but it is always a flavor sucking, sawdust meal ruiner. Anyway- some adjustments I would recommend: regular pasta. Deglaze with white wine for some acidity because this meal needs it. Half the beans. Maybe massage the kale with some amino acids to punch up the flavor even more. Instead of pasta water in the pumpkin mixture I would do chicken broth. And perhaps cut the recipe in half the first time so you don’t end up with a casserole dish full of this stuff. I’m hoping I can convert some to soup?

  8. One of my new favorites! I couldn’t find pancetta, so I swapped in some shredded chicken instead. It mixed well with these other flavors! I’m cooking for myself and use dishes like these throughout the entire week and I was still looking forward to eating this one at the end of the week. Despite the amount of things needed to be done with this, it felt like it went pretty quickly! Would definitely make again!

  9. This came out okay, but not something I would make again. I found the beans within the dish confusing. 

  10. Delicious casserole I’d consider giving as a gift. As a warning, I didn’t have pancetta or bacon around, so I made it with cubed leftover ham, but the final product lacked “something” which may have been the fat/salt/flavor from the pancetta.  If you decide to sub, taste, and adjust with salt or maybe more red pepper. 

  11. I made this tonight and it was delicious! Super easy to come together and lots of flavor. This is a keeper!

  12. Holy Wow – this was amazing! I used smoked Vermont cheddar and replaced the beans with leftover turkey. Outstanding!!! I will make this again – for guests! Thanks for a great recipe!

      1. This was really tasty! Like really, really tasty! Pretty much followed the recipe to a T but I added in a lot more garlic and used gluten free penne (Jovial Pasta). I will definitely make it again!

  13. Hi! This recipe looks amazing, but I am vegetarian. Would it be okay to omit pancetta, or is there a substitute you might recommend, such as tempeh bacon? Thanks!

  14. Thanks for letting me know about Delallo brand of pasta—looks great! I’ll try that pasta for sure. I’m a recent fan of yours. Often when a recipe is relatively easy to make, it can lack  flavor. But all your stuff tastes great!

  15. My family doesn’t like kale. What green would you suggest? I was thinking spinach, but then would I still boil it?

  16. Avatar photo
    Vanessa Harris

    Hi Gina.  Haven’t made this delicious looking recipe yet but I’m so happy that you included a link to WW for easy access  to my personal points!  Thanks so much!  It makes the process much less of a headache as well as editing the recipe!