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

Renal and renal diabetic food choices

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

Carbohydrate choices


Download Free Kidney-Friendly Cookbooks

Get instant access to recipes and kidney diet tips from DaVita dietitians.


753,730 Downloads So Far!

Kidney Diet Tips Blog

Recipes, tips and news for people on a kidney diet.

More Recipes

More Recipes

Honey-Maple Trail Mix

A DaVita dietitian shares a kidney-friendly snack that is both nutritious and delicious: Honey-Maple Snack Mix.


Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins are the perfect choice for an easy, high protein breakfast on the road. DaVita renal dietitian Christine serves these yummy muffins to her...


Heavenly Challah

Challah is a simple yeast bread served on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Try Maryam's Heavenly Challah. It's so good it definitely lives up to it's ...


Strawberry and Goat Cheese Spring Salad

Sweet fresh strawberries and goat cheese combine with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to make a healthy, delicious spring salad. Strawberr...


Broccoli and Beef Stir-Fry

Now you can enjoy Chinese restaurant-style dinner at home thanks to DaVita dietitian Trisha and her kidney-friendly version of Broccoli and Beef Stir-...


Easy Turkey Sloppy Joes

Enjoy a savory, family favorite that celebrates the Americana diner of yesteryear. DaVita renal dietitian, Tammy from Louisiana, shares a kidney-frien...


Honey Spice Rubbed Salmon

Try a tasty Honey Spice-Rubbed Salmon for dinner and you'll want to have it again for lunch the next day. This flavorful and kidney-friendly recipe is...


Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is a perfect kidney-friendly recipe to make for a large group.


Hawaiian Chicken Salad Sandwich

You don't have to travel to Hawaii to get a taste of the islands. Linda, a DaVita dietitian from Michigan, created Hawaiian Chicken Salad Sandwich, a ...


Quick and Easy Ground Beef Soup

Your next kidney-friendly meal is only four easy steps away with Quick and Easy Ground Beef Soup. This combination of mixed vegetables, beef and rice ...


Pineapple Salsa

Most people hear "salsa" and automatically think tomato salsa, but really, salsa is a spicy sauce that can be created with any fresh vegetable or frui...


Grilled Multicolored Peppers and Onions

This colorful combination of bell peppers and onions can be grilled together and served with a grilled protein source of your choice. Flavorful, color...


Lemonade or Limeade Base

Try the tangy kidney-friendly recipe for Lemonade or Limeade Base on your next picnic.


Triple Berry Protein Parfait

Besides being delicious, berries are loaded with powerful antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system and ward off disease. Accordingly, the k...


Write a Comment

Tell Us What You Think

Note: Your username will be displayed for reviews.

All comments will be approved by a DaVita teammate and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.