3 Not-So-Common, Healthy, Delicious, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Spaghetti Recipes

Most cultures of the world have their noodle-like or dumpling-y type comfort food. Traditionally, at least in most Western world traditions, the dough-y strings or lumps had at least a little wheat, corn, oat, or barley flour included in the ingredients. These are all grains that are now often considered taboo for people with certain chronic health issues, such as coeliac disease, Crohn's, or even thyroid problems. A good spaghetti dinner has been a staple in many lives for years now-- what if you are eating gluten-free? Is there life after (regular, wheat) spaghetti?

Is there Life After Spaghetti? Can anything replace the lovely texture, flavour and fragrance of wheat pasta?
Is there Life After Spaghetti? Can anything replace the lovely texture, flavour and fragrance of wheat pasta? | Source

Spaghetti: How I Started Out

I'm not Italian, but spaghetti, or at least the canned Chef Boyardee* brand, was a big part of my growing up comfortably in -40 degree Canadian Prairie winters. I loved that stuff. There was a slightly undefine-able greasy aftertaste, but otherwise, it slid down the throat a treat and filled up a skinny kid like nothing else. That is how we made spaghetti in our house: open a couple of cans, pour them in a pan, heat, stir, serve.

Fast forward to Vancouver, BC, Summer of Love 1969. In between being a naïve and gawkie Prairie Chick and a really cool Hippie Chick (wannabe), I lived with my Aunt Joan in the West End of Vancouver. She took on the task of teaching me to cook. Off she went to her classy job as a dental hygienist every morning and I had the opportunity to do some light housekeeping, take the bus on the one route I felt confident in (to the Hudson Bay Store and back) and cook supper for the two of us from either "The Joy of Cooking" or "Fannie Farmer's Cookbook". The not-very-assertive part of me waited politely to be assigned a meal to cook. One day Joan said, "Why don't we have spaghetti? There is a recipe for sauce here" and she handed me whichever book had the sauce recipe in it.

So, I made the sauce-- with a pound of hamburger, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, Parmesan cheese I'm guessing. It was quite a bit more complicated than 'Chef Boyardee' but it smelled amazing and was worth the bother. Then I boiled up the dry spaghetti sticks (that I learned was called "pasta") and, about twenty minutes before my Aunt arrived home, poured the sauce over the noodles and flipped them around until they were nicely coated like my childhood favourite. The Spaghetti actually tasted quite a lot like the Chef's. Of course, my sophisticated career-woman aunt was not impressed with what I thought was a lovely meal and I got a terse instructions in never, ever combining spaghetti with sauce, except when I was dishing up my own, of course. To drive the lesson home I was taken out to a few Italian restaurants. We never said "It's all good" in those days, but it was.

The Chef himself... In 1924, Ettore "Hector" Boiardi opened Il Giardino d'Italia restaurant at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. Ohio.  By the 1960's he had  conquered the Canadian Prairies.
The Chef himself... In 1924, Ettore "Hector" Boiardi opened Il Giardino d'Italia restaurant at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. Ohio. By the 1960s he had conquered the Canadian Prairies. | Source

From Young Matron to Old Retiree: Spaghetti All The Way

I married and we functioned happily as part of the Spaghetti Dining Club back in the 70s and 80s. We young women traded hamburger-y recipes for spaghetti sauce, and gave each other demos while our husbands played cards, or whatever they did while we talked and hung out together in the kitchen of whose-ever house. (We also dished up a lot of Chili, but that falls outside the parameters of this hub-- lucky for you.) Gluten was a non-issue back then, and although we were vegetarian, from time to time, we lapsed back into hamburger recipes when it suited our social paradigm.

With the arrival of the Internet we went through a lot of trendy and health-related stages. For a while, all of our pasta was whole-wheat. Then wheat became the villain, and we switched to gluten-free brown rice pasta. We also tend mostly towards vegan nowadays, meaning no animal-sourced foods (goodbye ingredients like hamburger and Parmesan cheese, for example). Fortunately for you, the rest of the humanity's eating is still much more diverse than we are in our little household, and the world's your oyster-- search up 'spaghetti' or 'pasta sauce' on Pinterest if you don't believe me. However, if you are either exploring a rather rigid vegan-gluten-free way of eating, or if you are paleo, even, the three spaghetti recipes that follow will be of interest:

Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Cashew Alfredo Sauce - vegan, gluten-free - easy and delicious!
Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Cashew Alfredo Sauce - vegan, gluten-free - easy and delicious! | Source
Oiled, salted cut sides are down for the baking at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Oiled, salted cut sides are down for the baking at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. | Source
Pull a fork horizontally to achieve the best 'spaghetti' from your baked squash. Voila!
Pull a fork horizontally to achieve the best 'spaghetti' from your baked squash. Voila! | Source

Properly Cooking Spaghetti Squash

  • If you don't bake the spaghetti squash for the right amount of time (about 45 minutes in a preheated 400F oven) you will get a crunchy, starchy, not very satisfying "pasta".
  • Cut the Squash from stem to stern (end to end)and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and fibrous strands. The seeds can be dried and planted, if they are not sterile. They can also be toasted as a snack, similar to pumpkin seeds.
  • Coat the inside of the two halves of squash with 2 T. Olive Oil and rub in 1 T. Celtic Sea Salt
  • Turn halves with insides down, and bake for 45 minutes
  • Remove from oven and taking a fork, score the squash horizontally to achieve the longest 'spaghetti' strands
  • Arrange on plates while hot and scoop on sauce. Any sauce of your preference can be used. Link to the recipe for the Garlicky Cashew Alfredo Sauce is in the sidebar.

So, there you have the divine Spaghetti Squash recipe that will please the most discerning of spaghetti lovers.

I was really pleasantly surprised at what a difference it makes to the taste and texture to bake it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

Our dog also loves baked spaghetti squash.

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Pastariso Multi-Pack Sampler, 6.0-Pounds

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Organic Black Bean Spaghetti

Organic Black Bean Spaghetti from Explore-Asian Authentic Cuisine.  Certified Gluten-Free, Organic, Vegan and Kosher Parve
Organic Black Bean Spaghetti from Explore-Asian Authentic Cuisine. Certified Gluten-Free, Organic, Vegan and Kosher Parve | Source

Red Curry Sauce

  • 400g Coconut Cream
  • 30g Red Curry Paste
  • 25g Ginger, grated
  • 10g Fresh Coriander, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • Red and Yellow Peppers, sliced
  • Spring Onions, garnish

*Gently boil the first 5 ingredients together

*Fry up peppers and mix in. Garnish with onions.

This organic black bean spaghetti is grown organically in China. As you can see from the table, the organic bean pasta has a very high dietary fibre and protein content, as compared to regular wheat spaghetti.

It starts out black and cooks up in 6-8 minutes to a dark brownish-grey (the colour of wild rice) and has a mild nutty flavour. I used the same garlicky Alfredo sauce, but there is a great Asian flavour sauce recipe on the box that I have included on the sidebar-- it would also be tasty with regular Asian rice noodles.

Pasta
Fibre Content
Protein Content
Regular Wheat Spaghetti
2-3 g dietary fibre/serving
5-6 g protein/serving
Organic Black Bean Spaghetti
11 g dietary fibre/serving
23 g protein/serving

Rice and Quinoa Spaghetti with Primavera-type Sauce

This white rice and quinoa spaghetti is probably the most similar in flavour of the three spaghetti's to regular wheat spaghetti
This white rice and quinoa spaghetti is probably the most similar in flavour of the three spaghetti's to regular wheat spaghetti | Source

If you are looking for a GF spaghetti that most approximates the flavour of wheat spaghetti, of the three recipes here, the White Rice-Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) pasta would be the closest. It is somewhat higher in protein content (5%) than the regular spaghetti (3-4%) but does not have a higher fibre content.

Bring the package to a boil in 3-4 litres of water, and it should be ready to rinse and eat in 12 minutes. This Go-Go Quinoa brand is gluten-free, vegan and organic.

I have put together my own quick primavera-type sauce (apologies to the "real" primavera) using whatever veggies I have at hand. I sliced and chopped them up and cooked them in a veggie broth. For a thicker sauce you could add in some tapioca starch, but I was happy with the 'naked' veggies over the spaghetti. Use what ever sauce is appealing to you-- this pasta is very similar, as I said, to the usual spaghetti, and if you are longing for it, you might also be longing for your old standby sauce as well.

white rice and quinoa spaghetti by Go-Go Quinoa
white rice and quinoa spaghetti by Go-Go Quinoa | Source

GF Spaghetti- What Do You Think?

  • I have tried one or more of these spaghetti types. (Please comment below)
  • I haven't tried any of these yet, but would like to. (Which one(s)? Please comment)
  • Ick! I think I'll keep looking for a GF Spaghetti that meets my criteria for excellence
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Comments 17 comments

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is very useful, techygran. I especially like the idea of the black bean spaghetti. It sounds very nutritious! All of your recipes look great. I love the fact that gluten-free diets are becoming so interesting as more and more people are adopting them.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

thank you AliciaC for your lovely comments-- yes, when the market grows, products do tend to become more useful and interesting.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

I've had the spaghetti squash and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the recipe. I probably won't see the White Rice-Quinoa spaghetti in these parts, but the sauces look and sound delicious.


lifeandhealth profile image

lifeandhealth 2 years ago from Washington State

Looks delicious. I always thought Primavera Sauce was creamy, but I guess not. We can't find those fancy type of spaghettis in our little cow town, but they certainly look attractively healthy. Wish I lived next door and could sample your cooking. :-)


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

MsDora, thank you for dropping by and commenting! Spaghetti is pretty much an "apple pie" issue (chuckle)-- who doesn't love it? I'm happy that people with coeliac disease and gluten-intolerance have so many delicious options open to them as well. God bless, Cynthia

Clara Mae (lifeandhealth), thank you for your comments! I believe that Primavera actually refers to the fresh Spring greens and has been extended to include all veggies in a sauce. I prefer creamy myself! ~Cynthia


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I have tried the spaghetti squash and sauce recipe and it is a really good choice for this cooler fall weather. I will have to make the next step to going gluten free. Thanks for the recipe ideas.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hey, Dianna, good for you for trying my fave spaghetti recipe! Going gluten-free is really only necessary if you are suffering from some level of gluten-intolerance or have a health issue that you think might be related. Someone recently asked me if everyone is gluten-sensitive.. I don't think so! Hope you're not! All the best, Cynthia


Janice Horner 2 years ago

These recipes look really tasty! Will be trying some, thanks for a brilliant informative article.


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you, Janice Horner, for reading and for your lovely comments-- I hope you enjoy whichever recipes you try! Bon appetit! ~Cynthia


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for sharing these recipes. We often enjoy spaghetti squash but now I'm looking forward to trying the Go Go Quinoa. It will make for a comfort meal now that the weather has changed!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi Roberta! I am so happy you dropped by and have some plan to try the Quinoa pasta. Do you have a pasta-eating background? You can let me know if you think the quinoa pasta is worth the cost!

We are experiencing some very wet pre-winter West Coast weather here-- and that means that I am more apt to be indoors cooking, which has its advantages and its drawbacks. I wish for you a happy, fruitful day! ~Cynthia


Besarien profile image

Besarien 2 years ago

Hello techygran! I love this hub! I have never seen black bean spaghetti but have never looked for it yet either. It sounds like the kind of processed food I want to eat - at least once. I love the color too, sort of reminiscent of squid ink pasta. My son thinks gluten is pure evil and will not entertain it. He is also weird about carbs at the moment. I do think he would be more open to these fine pasta upgrades. If you ever decide to make your own quinoa or black bean pasta, please hub page it, because that would be just brilliant!


techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Besarien, thank you for your lovely comments-- I enjoyed the comparison to squid ink for the colour of the black bean pasta-- or have you actually eaten squid ink pasta (I live in a rural community on an island and am so out of the loop that it is quite possible such a thing exists)?

You sound like a sensitive, in-touch mother-- how old is your son? Our younger son went vegan when he was 16, about 25 years ago (yikes) and has never really looked back. He is also an organic farmer of fruits and vegs., so he walks the talk, and it all started as a child. If your son is health-conscious, you are very fortunate! With a little encouragement, that attitude can last him throughout his life.

I am pretty awfully at working with dough so it is unlikely I will ever make up any black bean pasta... but is that something you could see yourself doing a hub on? Sounds fascinating!

Thank you again for dropping by with all your kind words! ~Cynthia


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago

Hello Cynthia, I love this recipe, and have had spaghetti squash. You made your discovery very interesting. I have not had this is such a long time. I don't know if Hubby would notice the difference, if I served it to him without telling him.

Voted up, UABI and shared.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 21 months ago from sunny Florida

Great selection of choices...and they sound so full of flavor ....thank you for sharing Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


techygran profile image

techygran 21 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Shyron:

thank you for dropping in and checking out the different spaghetti possibilities... if you were to serve the quinoa pasta, he would not have a clue because it tastes very much like regular pasta. He might guess with the spaghetti squash though-- but he just might love it as well. The key is to cook it well-- no starchy, crunchy pieces will do! All the best, Cynthia


techygran profile image

techygran 21 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

pstraubie48 :

thank you for coming by and commenting! And for the angels! All the best, Cynthia

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