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Gluten-Free Recipes


Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week

One Pot Taco Spaghetti

One Pot Taco Spaghetti is a delicious and comforting gluten-free dish that you can whip up in a snap for your family!

From Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma

Pasta is certainly a comfort food for me. Finding an easy recipe like Gluten-Free One Pot Taco Spaghetti is perfect for my busy nights.

I have been wanting to try a one pot pasta meal for a long time.  I knew that I would have to use my favorite pasta. I used Explore Cuisine’s Organic Chickpea Spaghetti for this dish.

This dish starts by frying up some onion in a large soup type pot. Heat up that oil and throw in the oils! Can you smell them yet?

Then you are going to add in the black beans and taco seasoning. Be sure to check the label to make sure the taco seasoning is gluten-free.

Gluten has a sneaky way of finding its self into taco seasoning. So if you need to be gluten-free, please check the label.

Next up, we are adding in the remaining ingredients and three cups of water. You can leave your pasta full length or break in half.

It is up to you! Then we cover and wait! Not much longer!

Once your pasta is done, give the pasta a toss. Hopefully, you remembered to stir in that last two minutes so it didn’t stick. BUT if it did stick…no worries. It happens to the best of us! Promise!

Ingredients:

  • 1 T oil
  • 1 c onion diced
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1.4 oz package of taco seasoning make sure its gf
  • 10 oz diced tomatoes with jalapeno and cilantro or similar
  • 8 oz of Explore Cuisine Chickpea Spaghetti
  • ½ tomato diced
  • ½ c black olives quartered
  • Cilantro for garnish

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE ON VEGETARIAN MAMMA

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Tags: Dinner, Vegetarian, For Kids

Lemon Squares

This delicious gluten-free version of classic lemon squares is sure to please!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I’ve eaten some gluten-free lemon squares, and tried out some recipes and really didn’t like the topping, mainly because to me the texture was like a gluey custard. Then, by chance, I read someone saying they made a lemon curd topping instead. I make lemon curd frequently in the microwave (and lemon curd means lemon butter not anything cheese), and I’m happy with my gluten-free shortbread pastry dessert base, so went from there.  Tanginess will depend on size of lemon you zest and juice. I like it tangy but not sour and just quote number of lemons to use, not teaspoons of zest (honestly, how do you accurately measure teaspoons of zest or grams on a scale) or amount of juice. No flour or cornstarch (cornflour in UK) needed in lemon top.

I have made these with Earth Balance for the base and coconut oil for the lemon curd.  Obviously not the flavor of butter but still tasty.

Ingredients:

Shortbread base

  • 1 c (4 oz, 112g ) my gluten-free flour mix (see below)
  • ½ c (2 oz, 56 g) gluten-free almond flour (ground almonds in UK)
  • ½ c (2 oz, 56 g) powdered sugar (Icing sugar in UK)
  • 1+1/2 sticks (6 oz, 168g) butter, hard from the fridge and cut into 1 tablespoon slices
  • ¾ tsp (4 ml) xanthan gum

Lemon curd toppings

  • 2 lemons, washed, zested, squeezed of juice and strained of pips. (approx ½ c 120 ml juice)
  • 1+1/4 c (8 oz, 224 g) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 oz (112g) unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • Powdered sugar to finish when cold

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C). Put flours, sugar and xanthan gum in food processor. Add cold hard butter and run food processor until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. 

2. Grease 8x8 (20x20 cm) baking pan. Sprinkle in shortbread mix, spread evenly and press down.

3. Bake in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. You do want the base to be light golden brown all over now or it doesn't taste cooked enough.

4. Put lemon juice, sugar and lemon zest in 4 cup (1 ltr) jug and microwave until sugar is melted.

5. Remove from microwave, add butter or coconut oil and stir until butter/coconut oil melts in hot liquid. This also cools liquid so eggs don’t scramble.

6. Using an immersion blender, add eggs one at a time with blender running. This mixes eggs in really well, no white bits of egg white showing and chops lemon zest even further so no need to strain the mix at all.

7. Pour lemon mix onto baked shortbread base. Cook in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. There should still be a wobble in the custard and slightly wet in the center. Don’t cook it until it’s set all over, then it tastes rubbery and looks scrambled.  This is an egg custard. It might be risen slightly around edges, popped air bubbles showing.

8. Cool totally then dust heavily with powdered sugar to hide any air bubbles. I don’t find the powdered sugar dissolves into top. The base might have some crumbs, but it’s a shortbread. Keeps well covered in the fridge. I cut it up and transfer to covered container.

My Gluten-Free Mix

I use for one cup of gluten-free mix:

  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill. 
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Tags: Dessert, For Kids, Holiday

Slowcooker Hashbrown Soup

This gluten-free soup is the ultimate comfort meal that cooks itself in a few short hours. Just dump the ingredients into the slowcooker and wait!

From Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma

Who doesn't love an easy meal? This comfort meal is perfect served up on a cold day! But honestly, any time of the year will be just right!

You're taking some pretty basic ingredients, then dumping them into your slowcooker. Then once you give it a stir to mix it, set the timer and forget it!

While this isn’t a breakfast recipe, it does come from my love of breakfast.  You know that I love lazy weekend breakfasts.

Most of those breakfasts include potatoes of some sort and typically hashbrowns. I was trying to come up with ways to incorporate more hashbrowns into my life! YUM!

Such an easy recipe! I am telling you, this is such a creamy and delicious comfort food meal. You’ll be begging for seconds!

Ingredients:
  • 1 (20 oz) bag of frozen gluten-free hashbrowns (the shredded kind)
  • 32 oz of gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • A dash of salt and pepper, to season
  • ½ c white onion, diced
  • 2 T All-purpose gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c gluten-free shredded cheese (I used a blend)
  • Garnish: green onion (diced) and Parsley

GET THE FULL GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE ON VEGETARIAN MAMMA

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Tags: Appetizers/Snacks, Soups/Stews, Vegetarian

Spinach and Sundried Tomato Quiche or Frittata

Great for vegetarians and anyone who enjoys a savory breakfast treat!

Spinach Quiche

Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

For this gluten-free quiche recipe, the spinach mix can be poured into a partially cooked gluten-free pie crust or cooked on its own in a pie plate without a pie crust to be served as a frittata, or even a vegetable side dish. I tend to bake it without a crust in an 8 x 8” Pyrex dish. Also, you can cook the mix in regular muffin pans for a portable breakfast or lunch, or in mini muffin pans for parties. I've mixed up the recipe with cooked broccoli and feta cheese.

Make sure to point out the tomatoes aren’t bacon. Some people won’t believe you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe of partially baked, gluten-free pie crust.-optional
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil (or butter if you want)
  • 10 oz. (300g) container/block of frozen chopped spinach (not leaf spinach), thawed and squeezed dry. Or roughly half of 16 oz. bag of frozen chopped loose spinach
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz, 56 g) sundried tomatoes in oil, cut into small pieces
  • 3 extra large eggs or 4 large eggs. Or 2 eggs and 1/2 cup gluten-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz, 250 ml) half and half or cream (I really notice the difference between half and half and cream in the finished quiche. But, I found that if you mix in 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) gluten-free cornstarch/corn flour to cooked vegetables and add just half and half or even fat-free half and half, it cooked to the creamy texture of heavy cream but with significantly less calories.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (2 oz, 50 g) shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup (2 oz, 50 g) shredded smoked Gouda or use 1 cup total of Swiss cheese or strong cheddar (Please use a strong cheese, mild cheddar doesn't add any flavor.)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put onion in an 8 cup non-stick pan and add olive oil or 2 Tbsp. oil from the sundried tomato container. Cook onions for about 10 minutes until they are very soft and starting to turn gold but not burning. 
  2. Add garlic, spinach and sundried tomatoes and cook gently, covered, for about 10 minutes.  I found it was important to have plenty of onion and to cook spinach for enough time before putting in quiche, otherwise the quiche had a raw flavor.
  3. Lightly beat eggs, pour cream into spinach mix to cool slightly, add eggs and cheese mix with salt and pepper, and herbs if desired.
  4. Pour into partially baked pie crust, place on metal baking sheet and bake in preheated 350* oven for 30-45 minutes until the custard is set and the quiche is browning around the edges.  There is no need to cook the quiche until it rises like a cake and is brown all over.  Think of it as a custard that just needs sufficient cooking to set the eggs and remain creamy.  Cooked at a higher temperature it will have consistency of overcooked scrambled eggs.  Cooked until it rises like a cake produces a dry quiche.
  5. Remove from oven, allow to cool for about 10 minutes (it will deflate) and serve warm or at room temperature, not cold from fridge.

Options: You can leave out sundried tomatoes. I didn’t find adding roasted red pepper added significantly to the flavor. Cooked spinach works just as much on your body as spinach salad.

 

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Tags: Breakfast, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, Holiday

Lithuanian Garlicky Farmer's Cheese with Walnuts

A cheesy, gluten-free Lithuanian delight!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

For many years I gave Lithuanian cooking demos at our local ethnic library after attending summer school at the University of Vilnius in Lithuania. I still give talks on Lithuania featuring many photos and a gluten-free buffet with Lithuanian dishes. March 11th is the anniversary of the 1990 Restoration of Independent State of Lithuania, after years of Russian occupation, so it's a good time to try this special snack!

To make this Lithuanian dish, I always use fresh garlic chopped in a food processor and frozen. I never use jars of garlic, garlic powder or garlic salt for this recipe. Also, I recommend using fresh herbs, chopped and not dried.

Gluten-Free Lithuanian Garlicky Farmer's Cheese with Walnuts

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb Friendship brand Farmer’s cheese  ($3.99/lb in my market's specialty cheese section). This Farmer's cheese is like a dry ricotta, but still soft. Andrulis brand is a sliceable brick.
  • ½ c sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • ¼ c light or heavy cream (the mix was too heavy to puree without added liquid)
  • 1 tbsp honey – the cheese is quite tangy so I like little bit of honey
  • 1/2 c finely chopped toasted walnuts – divided in 2
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and finely crushed
  • 1/4 c parsley
  • 2 tbsp dill. Chop leftover dill and freeze flat in ziploc bag.
  • Green of half a bunch of green onions
  • Pepper, no salt for me as I cook naturally low sodium

Directions:

1. Process farmer’s cheese, sour cream/yogurt, cream, garlic in a food processor until smooth.

2. Add honey and half the walnuts, pulse, add fresh herbs and pulse until slightly chopped. If you run food processor for too long you end up with green colored cheese.

3. Line a round bowl with plastic wrap and fill with cheese mix. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to allow flavors to mellow and blend.

4. Line a small serving plate with lettuce leaves and unmold cheese ball onto lettuce leaves.

5. Press extra coarsely chopped walnuts into the ball until they almost cover it. Serve with gluten-free crackers.

Sometimes walnuts (even when fresh) taste too strong for me, so I leave them out. Make it without nuts and see what you think. 

If desired, the cheese mix can be mixed by hand so that the nuts remain whatever size you choose to chop them and you chop herbs with scissors or knife. Or place cheese mix in pretty serving bowl with small knife.

You can also sprinkle walnuts on a flat piece of plastic wrap, form cheese mix into a log, place on top of nuts and fold saran wrap around cheese to form a nut encrusted log. Refrigerate.

 

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Tags: Appetizers/Snacks, Side Dishes

Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

This gluten-free and vegetarian lasagna is a simple and delicious comfort food dish. It's a snap to prep and you'll be begging for seconds!

gluten free spinach and mushroom vegetarian lasagneFrom Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma

To me lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. I have so many memories of eating lasagna growing up. That robust smell of tomato sauce, blending together with spices, gooey cheese and noodles. YUM!

For this recipe, we used some earthy mushrooms and spinach to add flavor, depth and texture to this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • ½ c fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
  • ½ c fresh parsley
  • 1 t garlic salt
  • 1 t Italian Seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 c fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 c fresh spinach
  • 8 oz of uncooked lasagna from Explore Cuisine
  • 32 oz of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups (or more) of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Garnish: additional basil cut into ribbons

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE ON VEGETARIAN MAMMA

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Tags: Dinner, Vegetarian

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tart

The perfect sweet for your sweet this Valentine's Day!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Everything’s better with chocolate isn’t it?  Except for my one girlfriend who doesn’t like chocolate, I call her (to her face) a genetic mutation as a female. But she loves my other desserts, particularly those with liqueurs. This is based on my original wheat flour almond tart, one of the first recipes I adapted to gluten-free since it’s a favorite with our son. Then I added melted chocolate to the cake part; my husband thinks it’s like a lava cake. To me it’s a ooey, gooey brownie truffle cake. 

This cake is easy to make for Valentine's Day, even for just two of you. Dad can make it with the kids, treat them for Super Bowl – I have to say 'Go Pats,' living in New Hampshire and with a son who was a student football manager at university.

You can watch me make this on New Hampshire's ABC WMUR on Friday, February 16, airing during noon news, then posted on Facebook and my website.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Almond Raspberry Tart

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2/3 c my gluten-free mix (3 oz, 84 g) (see below)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) cocoa
  • ¼c (1 oz, 28 g)  powdered (icing) sugar
  • ¾ stick (3oz, 84 g) butter, hard and cold from fridge
  • ½ tsp ( 3ml) xanthan gum

-

  • 2-4 tbsp (30-60 ml) raspberry jam
  • small 6 oz(168g) fresh raspberries, optional, if available and not over-priced.

Filling

  • 1 c (6oz) gluten-free semi sweet chocolate chips, I use Nestle Tollhouse
  • ¾ stick (3oz, 84 g) butter
  • 1/2 c (3+1/2 oz, 100g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (4oz, 112g) ground almonds (also known as almond flour or meal) or else grind 1 cup skinless almonds with the sugar in food processor). This month Costco, certified gluten-free, under $12 /3 lb
  • 1 tsp gf almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼-1/2 cup sliced almonds for topping/garnish.
  • (No xanthan gum or baking powder in filling)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*/180*C.

2. Put crust ingredients in food processor and run until processed into fine breadcrumbs.  It’s much easier to do this with hard butter in processor rather than soft butter by hand - crust is sprinkled rather than spread like a paste. Sprinkle into greased 9 inch pie plate and press half way up sides of plate. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, until almost cooked.  You won’t really see any change in color due to the cocoa. Undercooked, crust stays more like a paste. Crust is very ‘short’, like good shortbread.

3. Remove from oven and spoon jam on top.  Leave for 1-2 minutes to soften jam so it is easier to spread.  Do be careful, some jams don’t want to spread and just pull at the crust.  It still works but is messier. Arrange raspberries on top if using.

4. While crust is cooking.  Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave in 4 cup microwave safe bowl.

5. Stir in sugar, salt, extract and ground almonds to cool mix.

6. Beat in eggs until smooth.

7. Spread chocolate almond mix on top of jam and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

8. Baked in preheated 350* oven for about 25-30 minutes.  Mix will have risen, you won’t really see a change in color and middle should still ‘wobble’ slightly. Knife inserted in middle will definitely be wet.  Only one inch of the edge should look more cake like and be cracked.  Don’t overcook.  You are planning on a moist brownie consistency throughout the tart.

9.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Tart will deflate a bit and stiffen up on standing. You can dust tart with powdered sugar.

10. Serve with real whipped cream of 1 cup liquid heavy or whipping cream, 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar and either 1-2 tbsp chocolate or raspberry liqueur beaten together until stiff.

My Gluten-Free Mix

I use for one cup of gluten-free mix:

  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca starch from Asian market or Goya or Yoki brand in supermarkets.
  • 2 tbsp amaranth or millet flour: Bob’s Red Mill (millet is roughly one third the price of amaranth, is not so nutritious, but is more readily available.)
  • 2 tbsp sorghum flour: Bob’s Red Mill. 

Larger quantity:

  • 1 x 14 oz bag potato starch, which is 3+1/2 cups - that's the size I can buy.
  • 1+3/4 c of Tapioca Starch is 7 oz
  • Just under 1 cup of Amaranth or Millet (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)
  • Just under 1 cup of Sorghum (actually ¾ c plus 2 Tbsps is 4 oz)

 

Making about 7 cups total of mix.

 

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Tags: Dessert

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Have yourself a delicious Soup-er Bowl party!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

This is a great comfort soup recipe for the wintertime. It's also quite low in fat, so good for watching your waistline, and also suitable for Friday Night Football or the Super Bowl. Add more blue cheese as desired and use cream instead of milk and half and half for an amazing creamy taste, but also huge increase in calories. Do this for parties, but stay with low fat for family meal.

I saw a two-line description in an online menu of this soup "chicken breast in a creamy sauce with hot wings sauce, cheese and topped with blue cheese." So I took the idea and created my own version.  It only has a slight bite from the peppers and a mild blue cheese taste.  I don’t like the raw taste of most buffalo chicken dishes, just raw heat with no depth of flavor makes no sense to me. Adjust the amount of heat to suit yourself and use whatever bottle, ground chili, hot sauce you are used to using that is also gluten free. Just remember the hotter you make soup, the more people will drink at a party to cool down their mouths, and you could be liable for any car accidents. I have a girlfriend who lived in San Antonio, Texas for several years and I always have to remind her that not everyone likes or can tolerate 10-alarm dishes. Make this 1-2 days in advance of party and reheat and serve in slow cooker.

Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Soup

Makes about 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 slices of bacon, finely scissored 
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil not extra virgin
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dice.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 1+1/2 -2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.(750 g -1000g) Take off excess fat, then cut chicken in half lengthwise and then cut into thin strips - I do this all with scissors. Chicken breast becomes too dry and chewy.
  • 2 tsp (10ml) Penzey's smoked paprika - don’t bother to substitute Szego brand.(Penzeys.com or Arlington, Ma store for New Englanders. Penzey’s have other stores in different States.)
  • ¼ tsp of Penzeys ground chipotle or about 1 tsp (5 ml) pureéd canned chipotle or to taste or other hot sauce you like.
  • 4 c (880ml, 1+1/2 pts) gluten-free chicken broth, fresh black pepper
  • 1/4c (60 ml) gluten-free cornstarch - I use Argo brand that is labeled gluten-free. Corn is very easily contaminated in processing.
  • 1 c (8 oz, 220ml) 1% milk
  • 1/2 c (4 oz, 110 ml) half and half.  For less calories either substitute fat free half and half or use whole milk. Heavy Cream is wonderful. Or even Asian style coconut milk.
  • ¼ c (60ml) blue cheese crumbles. You can buy small plastic packets of crumbled blue or Gorgonzola cheese at about $2 for 4 oz/125 g. There are many varieties of blue cheese out there and they will all give a different flavor and strength.  This amount of blue cheese is very mild since I am not a blue cheese lover, but you do know it is blue cheese. You can also serve additional blue cheese in a bowl for people to help themselves. Please don’t get over enthusiastic adding the blue cheese. I had about 1 extra tablespoon left in packet and added it. Then, even my husband wouldn’t eat the soup and he loves blue cheese.

Directions:

1. Put onion, bacon and oil in large pan, and gently cook until onion is soft and turning golden.

2. Add carrots and cook gently for about 5 more minutes.

3. Stir in chicken strips, smoked paprika and chipotle, stir well so chicken is covered in spice mix and let cook for about 5 minutes until chicken is seared on all sides.

4. Stir in garlic, chicken broth and freshly ground black pepper, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes until carrots and chicken thighs are tender.

5. Blend cornstarch with 1% milk, and add this mix to pan.  Cook stirring occasionally until soup thickens and then let cook for about 3 more minutes to ensure cornstarch is cooked out with no raw flour taste left. Add fat free half and half at this stage, it has a tendency to break up if it is cooked too long.

6. Taste soup and see if you want more pepper or hot pepper. You probably won’t need salt since the blue cheese will add salt.

7. Add blue cheese, turn off heat and allow soup to stand for a few minutes. Then stir well to mix blue cheese throughout the soup.

8. Serve and enjoy.

Note: the mold for blue cheese was traditionally grown on wheat bread, so you have to check that the blue cheese available to you is gluten-free. I telephoned ‘President’ brand of cheeses in December 2010 to check that their cheeses were still gluten-free. They won’t clearly state that their cheeses are gluten-free, but they said that no wheat, rye or barley is used, there is no gluten in the plant and they use white distilled corn based vinegar. They also do not test for gluten. So your choice. However, January 2013 their website stated:“Many of the cheeses we manufacture are from ingredients considered to be gluten-free, but since we do not confirm this with testing, we refrain from making any such claims. We understand how important this subject is to many of our customers. Please check back with us from time to time. This is something that we are presently working on. (I haven’t checked, and FDA guidelines changed many companies labeling policies.)

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Tags: Soups/Stews

Eggplant Parmesan

Gluten-free eggplant parmesan is easy to make! This dish is baked, not fried! Dairy-free and vegan options too!

From Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mamma

Eggplant is actually one of my husband’s favorite food items. It is not something that I often use in my cooking. I need to get better about that.

But with this Gluten-free eggplant parmesan dish, I think I’ll be using it a whole lot more!

It is recipe time! I can’t wait to give you this SUPER easy recipe! It is literally one of the BEST things we’ve made and eaten in this house!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (8 oz) of Explore Cuisine, Organic Chickpea Spaghetti
  • 2 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free panko crumbs
  • ⅓ c parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 T Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil and cilantro

GET THE FULL GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE ON VEGETARIAN MAMMA

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Tags: Dinner, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free

Easy Sweet and Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

Perfect for your next party!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I know this recipe has been around for years, mainly cooked with Bisquick, I believe. I've only used Bisquick on a few occasions, so decided to try other add ins. FYI, most recipes quote 3 cups Bisquick (wheat, gluten-free Bisquick version had very small amount of sausage), 1 lb sausage meat and 1 lb of cheese.

I used my favorite Jones Dairy Farm sausage meat, always labeled gluten-free. Remember that meat comes under USDA and DOES NOT have to follow FDA gluten-free labeling guidelines, but quality sausage meat should be naturally gluten-free. The quality of the sausage meat is really important. (Years ago I bought an unknown brand of maple sausage thinking it would be tasty and it was mainly melted fat, a total waste of money.) Some people have used hot sausage, plus pepper jack.

I like to make a recipe to as small a quantity as possible first time, so less chance of waste. I tried this with a larger quantity of corn chex and felt the flavor of the corn chex was too strong. I then tried soft gluten-free breadcrumbs, but that was mushy and horrible to me... We liked this version best, it keeps well in the fridge and is moist, not dry.

Gluten-Free Sausage Cheese Balls

makes about 36 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 12 oz (375 g) Jones Dairy Farm raw sausage meat, thawed, labeled gluten-free. Remove from fridge about half an hour before mixing. Cut open plastic wrapping and peel bag away from sausage meat like a banana.
  • 2 oz (56g) soft cream cheese, I buy lite.
  • 1/4 c (60ml) hot pepper jelly, gives a nice slightly sweet bite. 
  • 1/4 c (60ml) my tomato relish
  • 1 c (240 ml) corn chex crushed to 1/2 c (120 ml). Rice chex if you can't have corn chex, but corn does add a bit of flavor.
  • 1 c (4 oz, 112g) Shredded Swiss Cheese or Strong Cheddar.  MiId cheddar has very little flavor.
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) gluten-free baking powder
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • No added salt or pepper, it really doesn't need it, and think twice about recipes that add teaspoons of salt to a recipe already containing a lot of salt

 Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F/175C.

2. I find it easiest to put all ingredients except for sausage meat in bowl of mixer, mix together until well blended. Or mix with scrupulously clean hands - I use the disposable latex gloves.

3. Mix in sausage meat.

4. I use a #60, one tablespoon (15 ml) scoop (number is engraved inside bowl of scoop), available at Kitchen stores, Home Goods, on line etc. Scoop meat against side of bowl, squish meat around outside of scoop back onto the bottom. I've never been one that likes to spend forever forming meat into really tidy balls, but I do try to make sure there isn't an excess of meat on outside of scoop. Plop ball onto a lined jelly roll pan, broiler pan, pam sprayed cooling rack sitting on lined pan with edges, skillet with ridges.  It does help fat to drain away if balls are raised above surface of cooking pan. A flat cookie sheet means fat dripping on floor of stove and smoking.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until softly firm, cut one open to check it's fully cooked. Some recipes talk about them being crispy, perhaps if you broil them or cook for longer.

6. I've used Maries Italian, Chipotle Ranch dip/dressing, Rothschilds Pineapple Coconut Tequila sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce.  Others say bbq sauce.  

Alternatives:

Instead of my tomato relish, perhaps salsa for moistness and even more heat, some pesto, cilantro and chili peppers, sage and maple syrup, Stonewall Kitchen Curried Mango grill sauce in sausage and to serve. Crush some cornbread instead of chex. Get creative. I've tried them with chopped water chestnuts for crunch, chopped bread and butter pickles.

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Tags: Appetizers/Snacks, Side Dishes, Holiday
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