Friday, September 20, 2013

Guilt-Free Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

Guilt-Free Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
In case you haven’t noticed, the transition from summer into fall has officially begun. Pumpkins are beginning to pop up at every grocery store, coffee shops are heavily advertising their hot and foamy seasonal drinks, and Pinterest is overrun with hearty comfort food dinners, along with snacks and appetizers for football games.
Fall is an exciting time of year, but its focus on heavy comfort foods can make it tricky for families trying to eat nutritiously—especially during the busy back-to-school season. While a pumpkin latte or cheesy spinach dip makes a great indulgence for the cooler weather, most fall comfort foods aren’t the best at contributing to healthy eating. Hearty, creamy casseroles are typically packed with high-fat sour cream, lots cheese and high salt levels, while all those yummy pumpkin pastries your kids beg you for are loaded with butter and sugar.
Luckily it’s possible to enjoy hearty, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food this fall without completely deviating from nutritious eating, and one of the best ways to do so is actually with one of fall’s most popular flavors: pumpkin. Pumpkin is technically a fruit, so if you cook it right, it can make a delicious addition to all kinds of cozy fall meals, from pumpkin chili to pumpkin pasta like the recipe below. And, its creamy texture will fool you and your kids into thinking that you’re eating something much unhealthier than it actually is!
This Guilt-Free Creamy Pumpkin Pasta is one of those easy recipes for dinner that you’ll find yourself making over and over again this fall. Each serving is less than 350 calories, but this dish tastes much more decadent than that thanks to a smidge of cream cheese and lots of creamy, healthy pumpkin. Kids will love this healthier spin on mac-and-cheese (the orange color will have them fooled!) and you’ll love the dish’s nutritional benefits, quick cooking time, budget-friendly ingredients and, of course, delicious taste. Try it out this fall and enjoy!
Guilt-Free Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
(Recipe from
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories per Serving: 336
  • 8 ounces dry penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
• 3 tablespoons chive and onion cream cheese spread
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters® Original
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine pumpkin, milk, cream cheese spread, garlic salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm and cheese melts when stirred. Slowly whisk Egg Beaters into the pumpkin mixture and set aside.
Combine cooked pasta, pumpkin mixture and 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and heat over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over top.
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of ReadySetEat. Visit ReadySetEat online to find other quick and nutritious dinner ideas that can keep you and your family feeling great.

Linking Up With: Practically Functional, Just Us Four, Tatertots & Jello, Create and Inspire, Our Little Nest



At September 20, 2013 at 6:10 PM , Blogger Melissa Llado said...

I'm so excited for Fall!! We LOVE pumpkin in my house so I'm definitely going to have to make this! Pinning it for later!!

At September 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM , Blogger Tara and Devin said...

So glad to hear!! Thanks for stopping by Melissa!!

At September 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM , Blogger Jessi @ Practically Functional said...

This looks so amazing, I definitely need to try this! In case you didn't see it earlier, I featured this on my blog today! I'm stopping by to pin, and to let you know you can grab a Featured button if you don't already have one!

At September 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM , Blogger Crafty Mama of Four said...

Making this for supper tonight! Thanks for sharing!!


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