Skinny Pumpkin Pasta Bake

I feel weird writing the word “skinny” in my title here. Bear with me. If you have been reading my blog for long (e.g. more than 1 post) you likely know that while I eat a lot of vegetables, I also eat a lot of fat, oils, sugar, carbs, etc. It’s delicious, and we’re both active enough that we need the calories!

skinny pumpkin pasta bake

I am aware, however, that not everyone wants a 1,500 calorie dinner. Now that the marathon is over, I might be in the market for some lower-calorie options myself (although I promise nothing). This pasta is easy to throw together, simple, still tastes good, and could probably fool your kids into thinking they are eating straight up mac and cheese. The pumpkin makes it taste deceptively cheesy!

While we’re on the “healthy” topic: I’ve recently added nutritional information to my posts! You can choose to ignore it (and probably should) on whatever you want (brownies), but I’ll put the option there in case you want it. I’m still testing it out, so let me know if you have any glitches, but you should be able to see the info below the recipe and click on the far right side of the bar for more detailed information.

skinny pumpkin pasta bake

In other blog news, have you seen my “How to Start a Food Blog” page? This is version 1.0, which will definitely be updated, refined, and improved upon as time goes on. I know when I started this blog I did a lot of searching for how the heck to do it: hopefully this page will be helpful to others in their quest to start a food blog (or any blog!).

Skinny Pumpkin Pasta Bake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb dry pasta (penne or rotini work well)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, fineley minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 29 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup lowfat milk
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook the pasta according to directions.
  3. As the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  4. When the butter is melted, add the shallot and cook for 1 minute before adding the nutmeg and thyme.
  5. Add the kale to the shallots, and cook for 3 minutes, or until somewhat wilted.
  6. Add the pumpkin puree, parmesan, cheddar, and milk to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook until warmed through (cheese should melt).
  7. Season generously with salt (1-2 tsp) and pepper (1/2-1 tsp) before tossing the (drained) pasta with the pumpkin mixture.
  8. Pour into a 9x13 pan and top with breadcrumbs, and more cheese if desired.
  9. Bake until the top is golden, 25-30 minutes.



  1. Margaret says

    Thanks for adding the nutritional info (how about fiber?)! I use that info. I know, on desserts it isn’t fun to look at so I don’t on desserts; I just ensure that I use great ingredients. Also, I LOVE pumpkin and have been looking for a pumpkin mac & cheese recipe, this one will do just fine.

    • Mary says

      You’re welcome! If you click on the grey arrow on the far right side of the nutritional information you’ll see more options, one of which is fiber (under the Carbs heading). Hopefully this helps!

  2. says

    I know what you mean about skinny. It does sound weird, but it is accurate so why not. And this looks like it doesn’t taste skinny at all.

  3. Laura says

    More “skinny” recipes please! This has been added to the list for future meals. Some of us can only eat 1500 calories in a whole day in order to not gain weight :)

    • Abby says

      This is a long shot since it’s been two years since any comments were made, but do you think it would be possible to freeze this pasta bake? We are a couple weeks away from having our 2nd little one and I am searching for yummy dishes that freeze well.

      • says

        Congratulations, Abby! I haven’t tried freezing this — or really much at all — so I can’t give you much of an answer here. I think it would work, if you froze it before baking, and then moved it to the fridge a day before baking it! Please let me know how it goes, if you try! Much love to you and your growing family! xo

  4. Ann says

    This was absolutely tasty! However I neglected to take a gander at the nutritional info the first time and now I can’t find it. Am I just oblivious or is the nutritional info down?


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