Confession: I’m not such a pasta lover. It’s just not something I ever had a lot growing up and Dreamy’s not a pasta lover, so it never really factored into my meal planning UNTIL we created two pasta-loving kiddos. And even if I don’t eat it so often, I always make the pasta gluten-free because we’re a 100% GF household due to my celiac disease and Ma Petite’s gluten sensitivity.
And just as sure as I make one of these pasta dishes, pasta lover that I am not, I end up with the biggest portion in my bowl or I end up going back for seconds. This recipe is no exception. It’s creamy, hearty and hits all the right cheesy notes without a shred of dairy. The combo of nutritional yeast with the cheese substitute are the trick for all the cheesy taste and texture when you’re dairy-free like me.
This makes a great easy make ahead dish, and you can shortcut the process by using rotisserie or leftover chicken. Or leftover rotisserie chicken. :)
You can also watch me make it at the Ingles Table!
Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake
For the chicken-pasta mixture:
2 cups cooked skinless, boneless chicken (white or dark meat, or combination), cut or pulled into bite-sized pieces
2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta (spiral shape or similar)
½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
½ cup shredded carrot
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock (make sure your stock is gluten-free if using store-bought stock)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk from a carton
2 Tablespoons coconut milk from a can (the thick, solid portion only)
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (I use Bragg’s)
3 Tablespoons Daiya vegan cheddar shreds
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the topping:
½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon dairy-free butter substitute
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
Prepare pasta according to directions on package; drain and discard cooking liquid.
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch casserole.
Place chicken, pasta, carrot and peas in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients for the chicken-pasta portion (stock through pepper). Whisk and/or stir to combine.
Pour that mixture over the chicken-pasta mixture and stir gently to mix.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Mix crumb topping ingredients until uniform. Sprinkle over the top of the dish.
Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbling and top is crisp.