Italian Casserole

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I really look forward to Fiesta Friday every week! Don’t you?! I love getting to celebrate with you and enjoy all the wonderful things you all bring!

Yay for Fiesta Friday! And yay for Angie and this week’s co-hosts (Selma from Selma’s Table and Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook) who make this party happen each week!

So, what am I bringing to the party? Well I hope this isn’t too disappointing to all my fellow sweet toothers (a new word I made up 😉 ), but I am actually not bringing a dessert this week! I know, I am shocked too! So unlike me! In fact, it almost seems wrong somehow. 🙂

That said, I think you all will be pleasantly surprised with how delicious this gluten free, low-glycemic Italian casserole is! Dig in, and if you are like me, you will have to come back for seconds!

It was my first time at making a homemade red sauce. It was quite fun actually. I just kept experimenting with it…putting in a little bit of this and a lot a bit of that. My hubby and I both absolutely loved it! Honestly, I am already thinking about how I could use this sauce next! “More please, more!” is what my tummy is saying. 😀

I was so excited to use the basil off of my basil plant for the first time! So fun!

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I mixed fresh basil and Parmesan cheese in with the quinoa flour to make the crust.

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Here is the dough, the first layer of the casserole, all spread out evenly.

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This is the homemade sauce I made…sweet with a spicy kick to it.

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Layered on top of the crust, I put chicken and then Parmesan cheese.

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And then to complete the dish, homemade sauce and more Parmesan cheese.

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Italian Casserole

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 3 cups quinoa flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 really large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Lots of fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper
  • 5 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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  • In a large saucepan, combine the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, basil, honey, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Let cook on medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute the onions and garlic with some olive oil. When they are finished, add them into your red sauce and let it continue to cook. If medium starts to get too high, then turn the temperature down some.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the softened butter. Mix until it forms clumps. Add in the Parmesan cheese, along with some chopped up basil. Slowly add in the cup of water. At this point, I just started using my hands to mix it well and make it into a nice dough texture.
  • Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish and spread the dough out in it.
  • Put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • As your sauce and crust are cooking, cut the chicken into small chunks. Next, cook them in a skillet until cooked through and slightly browned.
  • When the crust is ready, take it out of the oven and layer the chicken over it.
  • Take your shredded cheese and sprinkle it over the chicken.
  • Add the sauce (by this point my sauce had cooked for more than an hour, letting all the flavors soak in.
  • Sprinkle more shredded Parmesan cheese over the top.
  • Put it back in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Okay, now to the really impressive part….I cleaned as I went! 🙂 The kitchen (including the floor) is just as clean as before I cooked this meal….woohoo! 😀

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54 thoughts on “Italian Casserole

  1. Yihee!! Congratulations on cleaning as you go, Lori! 😀 May I ask, is this the time we have seen tomatoes on the floor? Or not?

    This casserole looks just delicious, Lori! I assure you that we will enjoy this dish here at FF15. 🙂

    PS: You are beautiful! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lori, you didn’t bring a dessert, but you still managed to work in coconut milk! I love it! Your recipes are really unique because I always find unexpected ingredients in them like coconut milk in red sauce. The casserole looks delicious and I bet it will be a huge hit at the party. I try to clean as I go too, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ngan! I like making unique things! 🙂 I think that is because I love to experiment and see if I can make some random ingredients turn into something really, really good…thus the name of the blog, “Creating Beauty in the Kitchen.” 🙂
      Cleaning as I go has never happened for me…until this week! Now that I have spring cleaned the kitchen, I have made a commitment to not go to bed without the kitchen being totally clean every night. 🙂

      Like

      • That is a great commitment! I love to have a cleaned kitchen before I “relax” for the evening and go to bed. I can’t stand seeing even one dish in the sink the next morning (we don’t use a dishwasher), so cleaning before bed is the only way I can relax. Create more, Lori! I love seeing your creations!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll let you get away with not bringing dessert when you bring a delicious dish like this one! It sounds fabulous, Lori. Homemade red sauce? Impressive!
    What is the texture of the crust…bread like…crispy? Just curious…I can “taste” it better that way, hehe!
    Applause, applause for a still clean kitchen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Nancy! I am so glad you like the sound of this dish…hubby and I really loved it. I am definitely enjoying using quinoa flour for my casseroles. It has a strong flavor, but one I like. The texture is similar to if you used like bisquick for the crust….that’s the best I can give you. I tried to figure out how I could explain it, but I am having problems figuring that out…lol!
      Oh, and thanks about the clean kitchen! I am on a role this week…just cooked dinner and the kitchen is clean again! 😀

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      • I “get” the comparison to bisquick…thanks! Sorry to be a pest, sometimes I just need a description of what the final product should be like, Hahhah, silly I know. 😉

        Congrat’s on the still clean kitchen…I’m impressed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You weren’t being a pest at all Nancy! Ask away! I know I always do! 🙂 I am with you….I like to know a description when it is something I have never had before.

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  5. Okay Lori, you can be excused from not bringing dessert …you brought Italian Food! One of my favorites! This looks so delish and I believe my little picker eater will even approve. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Happy FF15!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, this looks and sounds so yummy, Lori! always so hard to believe the amazing gluten free recipes you have! Ok, I am drooling here now…I better go wipe my face, I don’t want the other guests to see me in this state! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This looks delicious, I love italian food! My best friend is Italian, so I may have to make this for her family and see if I can get her mum’s approval! I might have to add about ten times as much garlic though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, and thank you for stopping by my blog! I just checked yours out…wow, lots of yummy baked goods over there! LOL about the 10 times as much garlic! Love it!

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  8. Hi Lori – so lovely to ‘meet’ you here at FF15 – don’t worry about not bringing a dessert as this dish more than makes up for it! A very interesting and intriguing combination of flavours – it looks absolutely delicious! My kitchen is really small so I HAVE to clean up as I go or there would be no room to prep! Thanks for bringing this to the party – enjoy FF15!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Selma! So nice to meet you as well! Thanks for stopping by, and for your encouraging words! And thanks for co-hosting this week! You and Jhuls are doing a great job!

      Like

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