Comfort food!! My favorite! This is a quick and easy dish that I often make at work, it gives me my protein and the satisfaction of a cheesy pasta…without the gluten that, unfortunately, I have discovered my insides are not fond of. Sad day… Oh wait…over it!! Cause you know what?! I declare that gluten-free does not have to mean delicious-free!
If you or someone you know is attempting a gluten-free lifestyle…and if you love macaroni and cheese and all that yummy comforting childhood food but want to avoid the wheat and that mysterious orange death powder…give this one a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂
What you’ll need:
- 6-8 ounces of your favorite uncooked gluten-free pasta. (Pictured is corn/quinoa blend pagodas. I’ve also made this recipe with gf macaroni…that was my favorite. Be creative, you could certainly use spaghetti or even spaghetti squash!)
- 1 lb fully cooked turkey kielbasa (or smoked sausage of choice), cut into slices. Double check your package to make sure its gluten-free! According to Google it looks like Hillshire Farms is a safe brand.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (I am a “more is better” girl when it comes to garlic. Can I get a witness?!)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 1 C fresh or frozen peas, or half a bag of frozen broccoli
- 1 C (4 oz, or more to taste) cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
- A few good cracks of fresh black pepper
- Read the package on your pasta, and get it cooking. I would follow the instructions closely on this one…gluten free pasta can be finicky and you don’t want to end up with mush 🙂 Note: if your pasta gets done before your sauce…make sure to toss it with some olive oil so you don’t end up with a pasta brick 🙂
- While you wait for your pasta, melt your butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Toss in your kielbasa slices and garlic cloves. Cook until your kielbasa is starting to brown, but be careful! You don’t want your garlic to burn!!
- Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth. Gradually add it to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add peas or broccoli. Cook and stir until it reaches desired thickness…probably 2-5 minutes.
- Add in pasta and cheese, and stir until it is all combined, melty, cheesy, thickened goodness!!
- Eat. Be pain-free. Enjoy!
Verdict: This meal makes me happy because I love pasta, cheese, AND kielbasa. I thought I was giving up pasta when I decided I should give up gluten. NOT SO! I have made this twice with minor differences between the two…and definitely recommend the use of gluten-free macaroni, and cheddar cheese! If I do pagodas again I will cook less so the sauce covers the noodles better…which is why I changed it to “6-8 oz uncooked pasta” from the original “8 oz pasta.” Feel free to try adding your favorite herbs and spices and let me know how it goes!!
Here’s some more pictures of the process!! I put the recipe first cause I always scroll through to the recipe at the end when I am using recipes from other blogs, and I get annoyed having to pass all the pictures! But for you visual learners, here ya go!!
Cook your gluten-free pasta according to package instructions, drain when ready and toss with olive oil if sauce is not done.
While waiting for your pasta to finish cooking, brown your kielbasa and garlic in the butter!
Combine your milk and cornstarch and gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil and add veggie of choice. Stir, letting thicken for 2-5 minutes.
Add in pasta and cheese and stir until well combined and melty!!! Serve hot and enjoy peace of taste buds and peace of digestive system!