This recipe for Gluten-Free Grilled Chicken Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce utilizes a grill– you can even cook the pasta on the grill if you’ve got the right kind of pot!
The Right Gluten-Free Pasta for Grilled Chicken Pasta
I love pasta. I could eat it every single day. But it’s often hard to find a good gluten-free substitute, especially one that my whole family with enjoy with me. I like using gluten-free pasta that includes legumes and rice; they have the best texture and hold up nicely in the sauce.
For a little while, Pamela’s Products carried pasta in their product line. It really tasted great and really held up–even for leftovers. I’ve used a plethora of different gluten-free pasta over the years. My top favorite is Banza, which is made from chickpeas. Trader Joe’s also has two great options–one made with red lentils and another from quinoa and brown rice. Barilla has GF pasta made from corn and rice that I really like as well. I think it’s a great sub for wheat-based pasta in flavor. Use what you have access to and that falls within your budget. GF pasta can be pricey!
Let’s Talk Grilled Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Simple is the name of the sauce game. The ingredients are simple, the prep is simple. This meal comes together very easily and tastes like a million bucks.
Marinating the Chicken
When using chicken breasts, I like to marinate them, particularly for grilling. The marinade for the chicken is also…you guessed it! Simple. A little lemon juice, paprika, olive oil, and S&P are all you need here.
The chicken can marinate for a few minutes to several hours, or overnight. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip the marinating step. Side note–this is also good with chicken thighs, which can handle a longer time on the grill and are a bit juicier too.
Roasting the Veggies
Roasting or grilling peppers and onions (or any veggie, really) help bring out their natural sweetness. It concentrates the flavor too. Really let those peppers get black and the onions soften up on the grill.
I think I could drink this sauce. It is luscious and creamy. The sauce does have a little cream and parmesan cheese, but I’ve included notes for swapping out ingredients to make this meal according to your dietary needs.
More gluten-free dinner recipes to check out:
- Quinoa Buckwheat Salad with Veggies and Fresh Mozzarella
- Spanish-Style Baked Barramundi
- Coconut Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Broccoli and Lemon Tahini Sauce
- For chicken:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1.5 lbs.)
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For pasta and sauce:
- Two 8-ounce packages gluten-free rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 red bell peppers, left whole
- 1 small onion, halved
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for top
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Prepare chicken 30-60 minutes before grilling. Place chicken breasts into a small casserole dish or resealable plastic bag. Combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken and turn chicken over a few times until it is coated. Let marinate in fridge for 30-60 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse to remove excess starch. Toss with a little of the olive oil and place in a serving bowl. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- While water is boiling, preheat a charcoal or gas BBQ grill, or grill pan if cooking indoors. When grill is hot, oil the grates. Place the chicken on the grill over direct heat. Place the whole bell peppers and onion halves on the grill near the chicken, but keeping it separate. (Food safety!) Allow the chicken to cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, then turn over. (Chicken will need to cook another 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness and how hot the grill is.)
- Allow the bell peppers and onion to blacken a bit, then turn over. Repeat so that all sides of the bell peppers are blistered and blackened. Transfer to a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for about 10 minutes. This will help in removing the blackened peel.
- While chicken finishes cooking, use your hands and paper towels to rub away the bell pepper skin. Remove the stems and seeds and place peppers into a blender jar along with the grilled onion halves, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, garlic, dried or fresh basil, paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Puree until smooth. Heat the sauce gently in a saucepan until hot, but not boiling. If you have a high speed blender, keep blending on the soup function until the sauce is warmed through.
- When chicken has finished cooking (and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F), let it rest for a few minutes on a cutting board before slicing. Slice thinly against the grain and set aside, keeping the chicken warm.
- Place warm pasta in a wide, shallow serving bowl. Pour the warm sauce over the top. Toss gently to coat. Place the grilled chicken over the top and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
-To make this dairy-free, simply omit the cheese (or substitute with a non-dairy, vegan cheese), and use 1/2 cup cashew cream plus a little water to thin the sauce.
-To make this vegetarian, substitute grilled veggies (such as broccoli or cauliflower “steaks,” zucchini, or eggplant), or use your favorite vegetarian sausage.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: main dish, pasta