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Gluten Free "Spaghetti O’s"

In my pursuit of easing Sam’s transition into the GF lifestyle, I have, as an occasional treat; tried to make replications of some of his favorites like the boxed macaroni and cheese, pizza, Happy Meals and now Spaghetti O’s.

The mac and cheese, pizza and Happy Meals have been relatively simple to recreate.  Spaghetti O’s on the other hand, have been more of a challenge.  I had to ponder that one for a while.  Even though I have been GF for 4 years, it has probably been 25 years since I had Spaghetti O’s!  I have been straining to remember the “unique” (to be kind) flavor of what my sisters and I referred to as “canned stuff.”  I remember as a child during summer breaks from school asking mom, “Can I have some canned stuff for lunch?”  Canned stuff meant either Franco American’s Spaghetti O’s or Chef Boyardee’s assorted varieties of pretty much the same thing, just different shaped noodles.

Canned Stuff was like Filet Mignon to a 6 year old. :-D

After a Google search, I found several recipes for homemade Spaghetti O’s, printed one up and with a few GF modifications, here it is (please see my notes after each entry in the original recipe):

GF Spaghetti O’s

3 cans Tomato Soup (I used 2 aseptic cartons of Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup)
1 can Water (I omitted the water since the TJ’s tomato soup is not condensed)
1 cup Milk (I omitted this too)
1 lb. Small Pasta Rings, Alphabets or Stars (I used Felicia’s GF Ditalini Pasta, which is 100% Rice Pasta)
6 oz. Velveeta Cheese (go slowly, I added 2 oz. at a time and tasted along the way. If you add too much, the tomato soup sauce will thicken as it stands…  A LOT, trust me!).
Salt

  • Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.  Mix all ingredients together, heat through until cheese is melted.
Pretty darn close…Sam was so excited, he “faux” fainted!

I am going to try a different pasta next time; a corn based pasta, La Veneziane Anellini. The circle shape on this pasta is more like the O shaped pasta from Spaghetti O’s, just smaller.  The Felicia brand Ditalini looks more like the tip of a ridged penne pasta that had been cut off.  The rice pasta also ended up more chewy/gummy than I like, but I may have overcooked them.  The directions didn’t specify a cooking time so I just used the Tinkyada pasta cooking time (16 minutes).  If I use this pasta again, I would taste test it after 10 minutes of boiling to check the texture.

A friend of mine who can eat gluten said she thought the taste was pretty spot on, but thought Spaghetti O’s were sweeter than the homemade GF version.  I will add something to the recipe next time, maybe some corn syrup (but NOT high fructose!)

As you can see in the photo, I made an attempt at mini meatballs.  I followed a recipe that I already have and cut the seasonings in half.  The “canned stuff” meatballs that I remember pretty much had zero taste.  While the homemade meatballs were good, I wouldn’t call them a GF replica of Spaghetti O’s meatballs so back to the drawing board I go.  In the meantime, you can always slice up some hot dogs to throw in!!

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Comments

  1. melinda taylor says:

    Hi there. That recipe looks just like the original! Sounds like you know what you're doing in the kitchen so i was wondering if you have ever tried to replicate Campbells condensed chicken noodle soup. My daughter really misses it as well as those spaghetti o's. Melinda

  2. Cyndi says:

    This looks good, but I did not think Velveeta was Gluten Free. Is it?

  3. Tracy says:

    What sizes are the cartons? I have one, just wondering if I could use the one and just half the recipe?? I'm going to give this a try. I'm also going to use Daiya cheese as my son can't have dairy either.

    This looks great.

    • Hi Tracy,

      The soup was in the quart size carton, 32 ounces I believe (it's been a long time since I posted this recipe and I haven't made it since then, not sure why I wasn't more specific!) but yes, you could definitely halve the recipe. :-)

  4. Michelle Olejar says:

    I used to make faux spagettio's prior to dairy free as well. Carrot puree and velvetta were the key and we used the corn based pasta you mentioned~ I love that brand! Do you still make this since dairy free and if yes, what do you use as a velvetta replacement?

  5. Came across your lovely blog on Google and love it! New follower!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I am new at this diet since my daughter haves celiac disease and I don’t know where to buy the gluten free pasta to make this recipe, please help!

    • Kati Rosi says:

      Publix, Walmart, Ingles, Kroger, Trader Joes – all sell these items. As of 2012 all items that are gluten free have to have the GF seal. Ingles and Publix make it SO easy to shop because their GF items are labeled! I really hope this helped.

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