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Easy One Pot Squash and Bacon Rigatoni 

Published on: September 07, 2023

Easy One Pot Squash and Bacon Rigatoni 

It’s always tempting to reach for boxed mac and cheese in a pinch. But nothing says unappealing quite like a package of neon cheese powder. In the debut “Kitchen Magic” video, Parker (age 7) and Everly (age 6) work with Chef Joel to whip up a mac and cheese dish with a healthy twist that’s so easy, you'll add it to your regular weeknight rotation after just one bite. Customize each serving by adding crispy bacon or keep it plain for the vegetarians in your family.


  • 12 oz. rigatoni pasta 
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes 
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 cup pasta water (reserved from cooking the pasta) 
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish, optional) 


1. Cook the rigatoni pasta in salted boiling water until it's al dente. During the last 6 minutes of cooking, add the diced butternut squash to the same pot. 

2. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside. 

3. In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Be careful not to burn it. 

4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pasta and squash directly from the pot to the skillet with garlic. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the rest. 

5. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet with garlic and pasta. Blend the mixture until it becomes a creamy sauce. 

6. Stir in half of the grated parmesan cheese and mix well. 

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

8. Serve the squash and bacon rigatoni in individual plates or bowls, topped with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese and the crispy bacon. 

9. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Enjoy your delicious and easy-to-make Squash and Bacon Rigatoni! The butternut squash blends with the pasta water to create a creamy sauce, while the garlic and bacon add amazing flavor to this simple dish.

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