Braised Butternut Squash, Bacon Penne Bake is a creamy pasta bake tossed in a creamy butternut squash, bacon sauce.

Braised Butternut Squash, Bacon Penne Bake

Pasta tossed in a creamy bacon, braised butternut squash sauce and baked with mozzarella cheese on top. A great recipe for a weeknight dinner or guests.
Course Entree, Gluten Free dinner, gluten free main dish, main dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, bake, butternut squash, casserole, gluten free, mozzarella, pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 495 kcal


  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed 1" pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 ounces penne or gluten free penne
  • 1 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
US Customary - Metric


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Heat a large oven proof sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook about 3 minutes, or until about halfway done. Add onions and continue cooking until bacon is crisp and onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds longer.
  3. Add the thyme, cubed squash, and salt. Stir to combine. Add broth and scrape bottom of pan with a silicone spoon to loosen all the bits. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook for about 10 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  4. Meanwhile cook the penne according to the directions for al dente. If you are using gluten free pasta, cook it 5 minutes less than the package calls for al dente. It should be firm and a little crunchy. Drain.
  5. Add the half and half and Parmesan to the squash mixture and stir. Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine everything. If you aren't using an oven proof sauté pan, transfer it all to a greased baking dish. Top pasta dish with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Recipe Notes

Make ahead instructions: Cook the bacon and make the butternut cream sauce that follows. When you are ready to eat, just boil the pasta, mix with prepared sauce, and bake. 


Nutrition Facts
Braised Butternut Squash, Bacon Penne Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 811mg35%
Potassium 755mg22%
Carbohydrates 62g21%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 13770IU275%
Vitamin C 34.8mg42%
Calcium 336mg34%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.