Creamy Shells with Peas and Bacon


Serving Size:
1 cup

    Diet Types:
  • CKD non-dialysis
  • Diabetes
  • Dialysis
  • Lower Protein


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 slices bacon, uncooked 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat small shell pasta, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot for cooking pasta.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces. Place ricotta, Parmesan cheese, butter and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold pasta, when cooked.
  3. Cut the bacon into 1/4" strips. In a medium, nonstick skillet over medium heat add oil and bacon. Fry until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Add onion to the same skillet and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with ricotta mixture.
  5. Boil the pasta. When pasta is about 1 minute shy of al dente (still slightly hard), add the peas and continue to cook for 1 minute. Reserve one cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and peas.
  6. Add 1/2-cup of the reserved cooking water and lemon juice to the ricotta mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the pasta and peas to the bowl and toss to coat, adding more reserved cooking water as needed to moisten pasta. Stir in the crisp bacon and add additional pepper to taste.

Helpful hints

  • Compare brands and select the lowest sodium bacon.

Nutrients per serving

Calories 313

Protein 13 g

Carbohydrates 27 g

Fat 14 g

Cholesterol 32 mg

Sodium 244 mg

Potassium 172 mg

Phosphorus 203 mg

Calcium 191 mg

Fiber 3.3 g

Kidney and kidney diabetic food choices

  • 1 meat
  • 2 starch
  • 1/2 vegetable, low potassium
  • 2 fat

Carbohydrate choices


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