Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta is the ultimate fall comfort meal. Each creamy bite is loaded with sweet & savory flavor thanks to McCormick Gourmet™ spices. This meal is the perfect sweet & savory combo that your family will enjoy.
This post has been sponsored by McCormick Gourmet™. All thoughts and
opinions are my own.
Shop now for McCormick Gourmet™ spices at Stop & Shop
Fall is my favorite season because I love to cook and bake. Creating comfort meals from fresh ingredients is one of my favorite things to do. There is just something so uplifting when a cool breeze is flowing through the house as I cook and bake.
When I concocted this meal, the heavenly scents of roasted butternut squash, caramelized bacon, and onion wafted throughout the home. Fall is here folks, and it is time to relish in the kitchen and enjoy home-cooked meals.
If you are lucky enough to have grown some garden-fresh butternut squash, this meal is just what you need to try out! We grew quite a few pounds of squash this year, which has made recipe testing fun!
The nicely spiced, nutty squash was enhanced beautifully with the McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cracked Black Pepper, McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cayenne Pepper, McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Thyme, and the McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon. Each of these lovely, organic spices combined perfectly give this dish a flavor that is hard to resist.
Bacon- I used hickory-smoked, quality bacon. You only need 6 ounces for this recipe, but you could add more if bacon is your thing.
Onion- I used a large, white, sweet onion. I love how onion and bacon pair together so well. All my pasta dishes always include caramelized onion.
Butternut squash- We used garden-fresh squash for this pasta dish. Peeling, and cubing is a little cumbersome, but worth it.
Pasta- Penne is always my pasta style of choice, but if you prefer another type, feel free to substitute.
Olive oil- I used extra virgin olive oil to bake the cubed squash.
Vegetable stock- Use stock or bullion paste. I prefer the paste which is a higher quality product you mix with water.
Heavy cream- This helps give the dish a creaminess it achieves during the last cooking step. The sauce is not too thick and is not overpowering.
Parmesan cheese– I used a premium block of cheese because it grates, and melts better than pre-shredded blends.
Spices featured in this dish
If you ever came to my home, the first thing you would notice is how well-stocked my kitchen is. There is surely no lack of ingredients in my nicely arranged Lazy Susan. I pretty much own the entire McCormick Gourmet™ line.
These days, the McCormick Gourmet™ Cracked Black Pepper is the only pepper I use. I said goodbye to the cheap, lackluster, “fine powder pepper” years ago, and love the bold flavor of this product. Both the McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cayenne Pepper and Cracked Black Pepper liven up everyday meals, dips, salsas, sauces, wings, and even desserts!
This butternut squash dish also features McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Thyme, which adds sweet warmth and a light minty flavor to not only my squash, but hearty soups, stews and oven-roasted chicken as well. Don’t let this spice fool you, because despite being dried, it enhances dishes even better than fresh thyme!
I also am a firm believer that all butternut squash recipes should have at least a touch of cinnamon. McCormick Gourmet™ Ground Saigon Cinnamon adds a rich, spicy flavor to this squash pasta and naturally enhances its sweet flavor.
Be sure to use a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board when prepping your squash. An ice cream scoop can easily remove the squash guts and seeds for composting later.
I lined my baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easier. If you prefer a baking mat, you can also opt for that method.
When it comes to stocks, I believe that bullion paste is much more flavorful than traditional cubes or canned stocks. They are easy to use and mix quickly with water.
Rather than add my penne and squash to my skillet, I added the sauce to the stockpot. Typically, stockpots have more room to freely mix ingredients without the worry of overflowing.
You can transfer this meal to a serving dish before serving.
A fresh block of Parmesan cheese adds more flavor to this dish than store-bought shredded cheese. You can add more at serving time if you wish.
McCormick Gourmet™ spices can be left table side for anyone who wants to add extra spice to their meals. Although additional spice is not needed, some people enjoy additional cracked pepper or extra thyme.
I found everything I needed to make this fall recipe a hit at Stop & Shop. I love shopping at Stop & Shop because it is super close by. They always have everything I need (including McCormick Gourmet™ spices) to make my meals drool-worthy.
From fresh baked bread to local produce, and quality meats–they have it all! I love the gas points and the additional savings the app provides. Be sure to head to your local Stop & Shop or consider their grocery delivery and pickup service.
Shop now for McCormick Gourmet™ spices at Stop & Shop
Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta
- 6 quart stock pot
- large, deep-walled skillet
- 1 1/2 lbs butternut squash peeled, cored, cubed
- 2 tbsps. extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp. McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cayenne Red Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Thyme Leaves divided
- 1/2 tsp. McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Ground Saigon Cinnamon
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 6 ounces bacon cubed
- 1 large white onion diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsps. Parmesan cheese shaved
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Add cubed squashed to a large glass bowl and mix with olive oil and spices.
- Add parchment paper to a large rimmed baking sheet and bake squash for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until tender.
- Boil pasta until al dente.
- In a large skillet, add chopped bacon and cook for 5 minutes over high heat stirring frequently.
- Add in onion and cook over medium high heat until onions and bacon are golden brown-about 8-10 minutes.
- Once bacon is crisp and onions are golden brown, add cream and stock. Cook for 8 minutes bringing liquid to a boil. Then, lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Add grated cheese directly to the sauce mixture and stir. Remove from heat.
- Drain liquid from pasta. and return pasta to the stockpot.
- Add the cooked squash to the pasta pan and stir.
- Add sauce to the pasta and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes to combine.