Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Primavera (Gluten Free)

I came up with this easy chicken primavera several weeks ago. I love the concept of this simple meal made with fresh or leftover chicken (I usually make it with leftovers). It is very easy to prepare on my stovetop in my large, enameled, cast iron dutch oven. (A recent birthday present from my sweetie!) I've made this easy, yummy dish several times since, and I'm looking forward to it again this week!

One of the best things about being gluten free is that I learned how to make a roux. Basically, a roux can be the base of a creamy sauce, soup, gravy, etc... A roux is so easy and so helpful in cooking. I like knowing that I no longer have to depend on a can of Campbell's soup to make a meal. I am able make that "can of cream soup" all by myself, and it's so much better than the "can" ever was!

For a great picture tutorial on how to properly make a gluten free roux (for a mushroom cream soup), see Mary Frances' lesson.

If you haven't yet made a roux, you need to! It is a great cooking skill to learn, it is very simple, and you can use it as the base of so many different meals!

The roux in this meal uses very little "flour." It uses only 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch (or arrowroot flour, or sweet rice flour: use the gluten free thickening agent you prefer) to make the base of the cheese sauce for the chicken, pasta, and vegetables. If you precook your noodles and defrost your vegetables ahead of time, this dish can be prepared very quickly!

Cheesy Chicken Pasta Primavera

6 oz. uncooked gluten free spaghetti or other thin pasta
2 cups low-fat milk (I use reconstituted evaporated milk)
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot starch, or sweet rice flour)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen California vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots), defrosted
2-3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
3 Tbsp. fresh parmesan cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

Break spaghetti into 2-3 inch pieces and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large heavy bottomed cast iron pan or Dutch oven melt butter. Whisk in crushed garlic. Whisk in cornstarch until thoroughly combined with butter and garlic into a soft paste. Slowly whisk in milk. Add lemon juice, white wine, basil, salt, and pepper. On med. heat, whisk constantly for about 6-8 minutes until milk is creamy and saucy. Whisk in cheese. When cheese has fully melted and incorporated into the sauce, add vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cooked chicken and heat through. Drain spaghetti and add to chicken mixture. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately! Makes 4-5 large servings. A simple salad goes well with this meal!

For a printer friendly version, click here.


Unfortunately, due to time restraints and illness, the Gluten Free Grill has been put on hold until April!

We will have a fantastic interview with our secret grill victim in about 2 weeks so please stay tuned!

Check back later this week for a delicious, healthy, and easy carrot cake!

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  1. Looks really good Carrie! Growing up in a house that ate a lot of pasta, quick meals often involved leftover meat and veggies mixed into some kind of pasta. Nothing wrong with that! It's really my comfort food. Fortunately, I like the Tinkyada brand.

    And don't you just love enameled cast iron?! I have a couple of pieces that I use all the time.


  2. Karen -- Thanks girl! It is seriously good food that has now made my comfort list too!! Believe it or not, this dish and the cacciatore were the first dishes I have ever made that I used spaghetti noodles in (other than spaghetti of course!)I really feel like i'm branching out with spaghetti noodles! haha!

    And you are not kidding! The enameled cast iron pan has become my absolute favorite pan in the kitchen (other than my great-grandma's cast iron skillet that is! haha!!)

  3. Looks yummy. Making a roux is a great skill to have, I learned from my uncle, but I never thought of it to replace using cream based soups....hmmm, you have given me some good food for thought!!!

    I don't feel like cooking tonight ~ wish you could send some over!!!


  4. Carol -- Comfort food it is!! Sometimes I wonder if I should have named myself, "Comfort Food Girl" lol but that just doesn't have a ring to it! lol thanks for stopping by today!!

  5. Sm -- you know I'd bring you some if you lived next door!! You would like our meal tonight. I just threw a roasting chicken and two sweet potatoes in the oven! They'll cook an hour and dinner's done! That's my kinda dinner!! Come on over!! ;-)

  6. That's my kind of dinner! One pot. You know I'm going to be making that!

  7. Gluti Girl! LOL Yeah... I'm all about 1 pot dinners!!! They are THE best!! ;-)