With this dish I’ve combined the best of both worlds: pumpkin and pasta. It’s a perfect meal for those cold winter nights that lie ahead. Rich and creamy, and delightfully gluten-free, this baked pasta sticks to your ribs and will warm your soul.
Let’s dream for a moment together. It’s a cold fall night, we’re curled up on the couch, our favorite movie is playing and we have a comforting bowl of this gluten-free pasta in our hands. Steaming, pumpkiny and oozing with cheeze sauce.
Are we on the same page?
Sounds like a perfect night to me.
Let’s come back to reality and talk about the pasta a little bit more. It’s kind of like mac n’ cheese only better. Yes, I said better. Why? That’s simple because there’s pumpkin in it. And pumpkin makes everything better.
Plus, this gluten-free pasta bake isn’t loaded with all those added calories and fat that you’re accustomed to with cheesy pasta dishes. The sauce is cheese free. Only a little shredded cheese on top for the crunchiness factor, and that’s it. The creaminess in this dish comes from the pumpkin. And that heavenly cheese flavor? That’s from the nutritional yeast.
How can you go wrong with a healthy pasta bake? Low-calorie pumpkin, with poached shredded chicken, and almost no cheese, is exactly what I’m looking for. I could have this pasta for dinner.
Every. Single. Night.
- 1 medium chicken breast
- 1 cup vegetable broth (chicken would also work)
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb gluten-free pasta (I used brown rice fusili)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons toasted quinoa flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
- 2½ cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ cup shredded goat milk cheddar (or cheese of choice)
- 1 cup steamed kale, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Add the water and broth to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breast and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down to low for another 10 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from the water and let sit until cool to the hand. Shred the chicken with two forks and set aside.
- Bring another pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, then slowly whisk in two cups of milk, whisking constantly until combined. Add the pumpkin and nutritional yeast and stir until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Strain the pasta and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the pasta and stir until fully coated. Stir in the chicken, kale and remaining ½ cup of almond milk.
- Transfer the pasta to a large baking dish and cover with shredded cheese. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the cheese is browned.
- Cool for 10 minutes and serve.