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Skillet with gluten free orzo, cheese and broccoli

Gluten Free Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Orzo

Made with gluten free pasta, steamed broccoli, and a homemade cheese sauce, this Healthy Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Orzo from @cottercrunch is a wholesome comfort food recipe. Plus it’s both gluten free and vegan!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups cooked DeLallo Orzo Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 14 -16 ounces broccoli florets (3-4 cups) - chopped and lightly steamed
  • Optional Mix ins:
  • 2 tablespoons of preferred salsa, spicy hummus, roasted bell peppers, or pesto
  • 1 cup of diced cooked chicken
  • Cheese sauce (roux) or see notes for quick sauce option:
  • 3 tablespoons butter or DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Gluten-Free All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or 3/4 cup shredded vegan cheese or real cheddar shredded cheese (1/2 cup extra for topping, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt/pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare orzo per package directions, cook for 9 minutes until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Drain orzo (do not rinse) and place back in the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2-3 tablespoon of reserved water to the orzo, stir to combine.
  2. While the orzo is cooking, steam the broccoli and prepare the cheese sauce.
  3. In a large bowl, combine lightly steamed broccoli with orzo, stir and add another tablespoon of olive oil, mixing together. Mix in any optional additional spice (i.e 2 tablespoon red pepper sauce, hummus, salsa, etc.) and chicken if desired. Set aside and prepare the baking dish.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8x11 or 9x12 casserole dish. Oil or lightly grease. Set aside.
  5. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter or oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in gluten-free all-purpose flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-low until the color of roux gets slightly nuttier in color. The texture might be very viscous at first, but keep stirring with a spatula or spoon to cook out the starchy flavor.
  6. Gradually whisk in milk. Whisk constantly as it will be very thick. Keep adding a little at a time until it smooths out.
  7. Next, whisk in the vegetable broth. Once it reaches a soft boil, reduce to medium low or low and whisk for 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup shredded cheese (or 1/4 cup nutritional yeast as cheese substitute) and a pinch of paprika last, stirring over low heat or off heat.
  8. Add the cheese sauce to the broccoli/orzo mix and stir to combine.
  9. *Make sure cheese sauce is still HOT when adding into broccoli/orzo mixture. (If sauce cools, it thickens and then you will need to reheat and maybe add more broth).
  10. Spread the broccoli cheese orzo mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining optional shredded cheese. (Personally, I like it without cheese topping.)
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
  12. Remove from the oven and season to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste.

For more information, check out our blog post on Everything you Wanted to Know about Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten Free Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Orzo

Made with gluten free pasta, steamed broccoli, and a homemade cheese sauce, this Healthy Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Orzo from @cottercrunch is a wholesome comfort food recipe. Plus it’s both gluten free and vegan!