alex thomopoulos

Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, Pesto Freeform Gluten Free Lasagna

Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, Pesto Freeform Gluten Free Lasagna

One of my all time favorite pastas is orechiette with sausage and bitter greens. It’s garlicky, meaty and so comforting. Since I try to steer clear of as much pork and beef as possible, chicken sausage has become my new favorite go to substitute. I decided to spin this classic rustic Italian dish and make it into lasagna. I added pesto to offer a bit of extra flavor and brightness to the earthy flavors and it works perfectly.

Since going gluten free I have seen the gluten free pasta market change drastically over the last few years. There are a ton of great options out there it’s just a matter of experimenting with ones you like best.


I have found with most gluten free noodles they can be very temperamental, especially when it comes to cooking whole lasagna. Sometimes the noodles over cook and get mushy, or sticky. Stacking this lasagna individually using already cooked noodles to create almost like a “freeform” dish is the way to have the best, most consistent results.


Another option for my grain free peeps is to use zucchini ribbons as your noodles. The results are just as delicious and you are saving yourself all the carbs. Zucchinis have a ton of water in them, so the trick here is to blanch the ribbons of zucchini in some boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Strain them in a colander and then lay them out on paper towels to dry. I found that this method helps purge the zucchini of it’s water content, keeps your lasagna nice and firm, and prevents your sauce from being watered down.


The best way to make the zucchini ribbons is to use a mandolin. This will ensure nice, thin, even slices. You want each slice to be about 1/4″ thick. If you don’t have a mandolin, it’s okay you can do this by hand and practice your awesome knife skills.

I went with the regular pasta this time. It’s still winter and I am still in hibernation mode.

Print Recipe

Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, Pesto Freeform Gluten Free Lasagna

(serves 4)
  • 1 lb gluten free lasagna noodles, cooked according to package. (make sure if they are brown rice based to rinse them well under cold water after they are done cooking, it helps get rid of excess starch which makes it gummy)

    2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 spicy Italian chicken sausages, casing removed
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 4 cups shredded dino kale
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 (16 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup Italian parsely
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Pulse basil, parsley and garlic in a food processor. Once the herbs are broken down, turn the machine on and stream in the olive oil, turn the machine off as soon as the paste starts to come together. Season with salt, and set aside.
  1. Preheat the broiler on your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken sausage and break up the meat into tiny pieces with the back of a spoon. Cook the sausage until almost golden brown, about 5 minutes. Next add the smashed garlic and stir around for 30 seconds or so. Next add your kale in and a small pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes, or just until the kale is wilted but doesn’t lose it’s vibrancy. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl add the ricotta, salt, pepper and a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  4. Take your cooked lasagna noodles and cut each one into two pieces. Starting with the first layer, place the cut noodle on the parchment paper. Layer with a good spread of ricotta, sprinkle an even layer of sausage and kale, spoon a bit of pesto on top and then sprinkle with cheese, top with another noodle and press down gently to even it out. Repeat this method two more times. Ricotta, sausage and kale, pesto and cheese. When you have finished all 4 lasagnas, top with one more layer of noodle and top that layer with just pesto and parmesan cheese.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the oven, on the bottom shelf. The broiler will start to crispy the top while heating the rest of the ingredients through. Bake for 3-4 minutes, watching the oven carefully. If you want the top even crispier move to the top shelf for 30-40 seconds at the end.

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