When you think of a casserole, do you imagine a heavy, calorie laden meal full of butter, cheese and cream of something-or-other? Not this one! Enjoy a lightened up, Gluten Free Seafood Casserole with all the flavor you crave and a fraction of the calories. The rice and orzo combination is reminiscent of the packaged rice pilaf mix, but it’s completely gluten free.
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I made this dish with ingredients from my pantry, so no extra trips to the store. For the fish, I used this Frozen Seafood Medley from Whole Foods (availability varies, see notes), which made the meal extra easy to prepare. For the pilaf, I used Delallo Gluten Free Orzo, which I always have on hand for soup, and for the crumb topping I used Schar Gluten Free Entertainment Crackers. Old Bay Seasoning is a natural for seafood dishes and it has always been a part of my spice collection.
- 1 lb. frozen mixed seafood
- 3/4 cup 1% milk
- 1/4 cup long grain white rice
- 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
- 1/2 cup gluten free chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. butter
- 1/4 cup gluten free orzo pasta
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 celery stalk cut into 1/4″ dice
- 1/2 medium zucchini, sliced thin
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 cup gluten free cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
- 1/4 cup milk
- dash of gluten free Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. butter
- parsley for garnish
I defrosted the fish in a bowl of milk, about 3/4 cup of 1% milk for 1 lb. of fish. The milk lends a milder taste and texture to many types of seafood, the squid rings especially will benefit from a short soak. Cover and let the fish defrost at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
To begin preparing the casserole, cook the rice in 1/2 cup chicken broth with seasoning of choice, 15 minutes. Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
Next, cook the orzo in 3/4 cup water with seasoning of choice, 10 minutes. If the pasta water looks gummy, drain and rinse the orzo under warm water before adding it to the rice.
Drain and rinse the seafood under cold water.
Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a braising pan or oven proof skillet. Add the celery and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
Add the fish to the pan and season with Old Bay. Cook for 2 minutes. The fish does not have to be cooked through at this point, it will finish in the oven.
Add the zucchini slices to the pan, along with the rice and orzo mixture. Sprinkle more Old Bay, then add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce and 1/4 cup 1% milk. Stir well to combine. Pulse gluten free crackers in a processer or electric chopper (or just crumble them with your hands). Spread the cracker crumbs over the casserole and dot with butter, about 2 tbsp.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350º.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
Notes ♪♫ I love the flavors in this casserole. You can change up the seafood to suit your taste. The seafood medley from Whole Foods was delicious, but you could make your own mixture of shrimp, scallops and squid. Add more shellfish, or a flaky white fish like cod or flounder. I had zucchini in the fridge so that is what I used, but you can sub other quick cooking veggies like asparagus or broccoli. Use your favorites and make it your own!