Gluten Free Casserole: Beef Pesto Rice

In a rush to make a gluten free dinner? Try this easy gluten free casserole recipe using premade gluten-free basil pesto. Add veggies, if you desire, or serve with a salad. This recipe includes only 4 ingredients and can be made in about 15 minutes. Some rice brands may take longer to cook, however, I found one brand that cooks in under 20 minutes, less. You can speed up the cooking time by using instant rice, which is lower in carbs and only takes about 5 minutes to cook. My husband and I really enjoyed this simple, yet scrumptious gluten free casserole recipe, Italian style!

Gluten Free Casserole: Beef Pesto Rice


Yield: Serves 3-4

Gluten Free Casserole: Beef Pesto Rice

A delightful Italian beef casserole using store-bought gluten free pesto or homemade.


    For the Casserole
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • Water or 1 Tablespoon gluten-free low sodium chicken broth*, for cooking rice
  • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free low sodium chicken broth, for mixing
  • 1/3 cup Reduced Fat Buitoni Pesto with Basil (or homemade pesto below)
  • For Homemade Pesto
  • 30-40 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup soaked nuts (pine nuts or almonds)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 Tablespoon non-fat dried milk
  • 6 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan/Romano cheese (or Kraft brand)
  • 1/4 cup or more of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish


    To Make Casserole
  1. Boil rice as instructed on label, either using water or chicken broth.
  2. While rice is cooking, brown ground beef in a skillet.
  3. Add pesto sauce and chicken broth and stir.
  4. Add cooked rice and toss until rice is coated with pesto sauce.
  5. To Make Homemade Pesto
  6. Add all pesto ingredients to a small food processor or blender. Add enough olive oil to make it creamy. Add additional olive oil as needed.


*I use O Organics brand chicken broth. It's gluten free. Using broth instead of water adds additional flavor, but adds calories. It tastes great either way.

You may toss the chopped basil leaves into the casserole or use as a garnish.

**Reduced Fat Buitoni Pesto with Basil Ingredients: Basil, parmesan cheese (cultured milk, salt enzymes), reduced lactose whey, water, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, whey protein concentrate, ramano cheese (made from cow's milk, cultured milk, enzymes, salt), pine nuts, 2% or less of garlic puree, gum arabic, salt, sugar, spices.

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