Clean Eating Chicken Noodle Casserole

Healthified Classic Chicken Noodle Casserole with Coconut Milk Creamer and Gluten-Free Pasta and Breadcrumbs

A Classic Comfort Food

There are some classic comfort foods that really hit the spot! Chicken and dumplings, pot roast, pasta carbonara, classic beef stew, and pasta with herbed meatballs and red sauce. Chicken noodle casserole is for sure one of them.

I’ve been using this simple recipe from Betty Crocker for years, but thought I would share how to make it a little easier, healthier and gluten-free. We make a lot because it makes great leftovers for dinner the next night. And a couple of lunches, too.

We roast up two organic Smart Chicken air-chilled bone-on breasts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. We are going to use about 3 cups shredded chicken in this casserole recipe. But there will be some extra chicken breast meat from the two chicken breasts.

If you have extra chicken you can store it in the fridge to use in another recipe like these BBQ chicken tacos or curry chipotle chicken salad. That way you’ve cooked once but got dinner covered for 3-4 nights!

Or you could use this recipe with leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead of chicken. It’s really versatile!

Healthified Classic Chicken Noodle Casserole with Coconut Milk Creamer and Gluten-Free Pasta and Breadcrumbs, frozen peas and carrots, and roasted chicken

Making the Gluten-Free Chicken Casserole

We are going to use my favorite organic gluten-free pasta from Bionaturae. We chose the Fusilli for this pasta casserole. I loved how it absorbed the liquid in this bison meatball stroganoff. But penne works great in casseroles, too. Like this baked penne pasta with bison or my dairy-free version of stroganoff with ground turkey.

We are also using a 10 ounce bag of organic peas and carrots. Remove the peas and carrots from the bag and rinse with filtered water and let thaw a bit.

The pasta usually requires about 10 minutes to cook, but we don’t want it to get soggy in the casserole and break down. So we are going to cook the pasta for about 6 minutes. Then drain. Then add that to the cold peas and carrots to stop the pasta from continuing to cook.

Next we are going to make the sauce with celery, garlic, goat butter, gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose), organic chicken broth, spices, seasoned salt, and organic coconut milk creamer. I used goat butter in this recipe but to make it dairy-free you could easily use a vegan butter substitute, avocado oil, or ghee.

Once you’ve mixed the sauce, chicken, pasta, peas and carrots together, you will pour it into a large casserole baking dish. Cover with foil and bake it for about 30 minutes.

Brown Rice Cereal Ground Down with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning before mixing with goat butter for the casserole topping

Meanwhile, make the crunchy topping. I make this with organic brown rice cereal that has been crushed in a mini-prep blender. We used Parmesan cheese and organic Italian seasoning to add some flavor.

You could easily leave out the Parmesan cheese for dairy-free. Or use gluten-free Italian bread crumbs. It’s really depending on what you have in stock or can find at the store. Or how obsessive you are about keeping everything as clean as possible (non-GMO, organic, etc.).

The bread crumbs are then mixed with melted goat butter. Again this can be substituted with oil, ghee or a vegan butter alternative. Once mixed together, sprinkle over the casserole.

Place under the broiler in the oven until nice and browned. Then dig in to this delicious healthified comfort food favorite!

Healthified Classic Chicken Noodle Casserole with Coconut Milk Creamer and Gluten-Free Pasta and Breadcrumbs

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Clean Eating Chicken Noodle Casserole

This clean eating chicken noodle casserole is made with mostly organic ingredients, roasted chicken, gluten-free pasta and can be made dairy-free, too.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword casserole, chicken noodle casserole
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Deana Larkin Evans

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (from 2 large organic bone-in breasts)
  • 12 oz gluten-free organic fusilli pasta
  • 10 oz frozen organic peas and carrots
  • 2 tbsp goat butter (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 1 cup finely chopped organic celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp Redmond Real seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (Bob's Red Mill all purpose)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk creamer (So Delicious)

Crispy Topping

  • 1/2 cup finely ground organic brown rice cereal
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp goat butter, melted (or dairy-free substitute)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place two chicken breasts in a baking dish, and spray with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. The skin should be crispy and the center cooked to 165 degrees F.

  3. Remove the chicken from the oven and shred off the bone when cool enough to handle. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.

  4. Meanwhile, open the bag of frozen peas and carrots. Place into a strainer and set aside to let thaw a bit. Rinse with filtered water before using in the casserole. Place the peas and carrots in a large baking dish.

  5. Also, boil salted water for the pasta. Add pasta and cook for about 6 minutes so that it is still al dente. Drain and rinse. Add hot pasta to the cold peas and carrots in the casserole dish to stop the cooking.

  6. To make the sauce, add the 2 tablespoons of goat butter to a medium sauce pan. Add the chopped celery and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and spices and bring to a boil. The other 1/2 cup of broth will be whisked with the flour and added to the sauce to thicken it. Cook for a few more minutes until nice and thick.

  7. Remove from heat, and add the coconut milk creamer. Then mix in the shredded chicken. You can pour that over the peas, carrots and noodles in the casserole dish and mix everything together. Or you can add the peas, carrots and noodles to the sauce and then transfer back to the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.

  8. To make the crunchy topping, place brown rice cereal into a mini-prep and grind down to half a cup. Add the Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning and pulse a few more times. Mix with melted butter. When the casserole is done baking, remove from oven and remove the foil. Turn on the broiler. Place the crunchy topping on top of the casserole and place under the broiler until nice and browned.

Recipe Notes

I try to buy gluten-free as well as organic spices when possible.

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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