Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Spinach Cheesy Pasta Casserole

Gluten-free pasta casseroles are one of my favorites because not only do they usually turn out amazing, but I can cook for an hour and have enough leftovers for three meals! Like risotto, you can add and subtract so many different ingredients in a casserole that it never tastes exactly like the one you previously made. I have always been a huge fan of experimenting with different vegetables and seasonings in my casseroles.

I think I have mentioned this before, but I usually limit the dairy in my diet. I still include cheese or milk in some recipes, but for the most part, I like to make dairy-free versions of most meals. I generally just feel more energetic and healthy when I am not eating much dairy.

I was VERY satisfied with how this “cheesy” pasta casserole turned out. Daiya cheese can be great in the right quantities, but if you put too much of it in your dish, it can take a turn for the worst. I think the amount of Daiya called for in this recipe is just about right: not overly powerful, but definitely not a small part of the dish, either.

Spinach Cooking

Spinach Cooking

Spinach and Gluten-Free Pasta Mixture

Spinach and Gluten-Free Pasta Mixture

Pre-Oven View

Pre-Oven View

Post-Oven!

Post-Oven!

Dinner Time!

Dinner Time!

The Recipe

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 12 oz. (about 1.5 packages) of gluten-free quinoa pasta (penne or rotelle)
  • 10 oz. of fresh or frozen (thawed) chopped spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of shredded Mozzarella Daiya cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 package of shredded Cheddar Daiya cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1.5 jars (~39 total oz.) of tomato basil pasta sauce

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the gluten-free pasta into pot and cook 6-9 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Put spinach in and cook 5-6 minutes, until tender.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and olive oil. Combine the pasta, cooked spinach, egg mixture and gluten-free bread crumbs.

5. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish with about 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the baking dish, and cover with another 1/3 of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle with half of the Mozzarella Daiya and half of the Cheddar Daiya. Put the remaining pasta mixture in on top. Sprinkle the rest of the Daiya cheeses over it.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven. The casserole should be bubbly and lightly browned.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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