Creamy + delicious gluten free cacio e pepe is ready in just 30 minutes and is the perfect weeknight low FODMAP pasta dish to whip up in a flash!
Years ago, I worked in a well known Italian restaurant owned by a celebrity chef in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Working alongside some seriously talented chefs for a few years, I picked up some great pasta recipes that I keep in my back pocket, like this gluten free cacio e pepe recipe.
Cacio e pepe is one of those recipes that I made twice, committed to memory and now make whenever we’re in the mood for a quick, easy, comforting bowl of low FODMAP pasta.
I’ve been making homemade gluten free pasta a lot lately and cacio e pepe is my all time favorite sauce to make. All you need to make this low FODMAP recipe is a little grass fed butter, fresh black peppercorns, salt, olive oil, and parmesan cheese and you’ll be in cheesy, peppery heaven in just minutes!
When I first learned to make gluten free cacio e pepe, the “recipe” was more of just suggested measurements, so as I’ve been making cacio e pepe over the years I’ve been writing down measurements, tweaking, and adjusting to my personal preference. I love the heat of black pepper, so I personally stick with the 40 cracks of black pepper chef taught me to make cacio e pepe with, but if you’re not so into the heat, I find that dropping that down to 30 cracks of fresh black pepper still gives you that peppery flavor without being too “hot”.
As someone who healed SIBO through the low FODMAP diet, when I was in the elimination phase, I avoided gluten free pasta, but still enjoyed low FODMAP pasta dishes using alternative noodles like zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles while I was determining how my body tolerates grains.
Low FODMAP Tip: Most gluten free pastas are made using grains like corn or rice, which are both low FODMAP friendly grains. If you are avoiding grains, try this grain free fresh pasta, zucchini noodles, or shirataki noodles instead!
Low FODMAP Friendly Ingredients
Using these simple ingredients helps to keep this gluten free cacio e pepe recipe a low FODMAP pasta dish:
- Gluten Free Pasta: Traditionally, cacio e pepe is made using tonnarelli pasta, but spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguine are more easily accessible, especially for gluten free cacio e pepe.
- Parmesan Cheese: I like to grate mine fresh, especially because you avoid any fillers that can typically be found in pre-grated parmesan cheese. This makes for a much more low FODMAP pasta recipe, but if you don’t have the patience to grate yourself, look for the freshest possible pre-grated parmesan.
- Fresh Black Peppercorns: Arguably the most important ingredient in gluten free cacio e pepe are the fresh black peppercorns. You’ll also need a pepper grinder as you will grind the peppercorns fresh into the pan to toast them, which releases more of their flavors into the gluten free cacio e pepe. Just be careful you’re not leaning into the pan; the black peppercorns become very fragrant when toasting and can cause lots of coughing + sneezing if you get up too close!
- Grass Fed Butter: I always choose grass fed butter for all of my low FODMAP pasta recipes. Butter has a very low lactose level and is low FODMAP friendly, but if you are sensitive to even a little bit of lactose then you can absolutely sub in your alternative butter of choice.
Gluten Free Cacio e Pepe Tested Tips + Tricks
- Use fresh ground black pepper. Using a pepper grinder allows you to control the level of spice in this dish. If you aren’t a fan of extra heat, scale it back to about 20 cracks + taste test until you are comfortable with the pepper flavor.
- Vegan butter can be used, but avoid vegan parmesan. I find that the best cacio e pepe is made when the parmesan melts + emulsifies with the butter and pasta water, creating a creamy, delicious sauce. Vegan parmesan does not melt like dairy parmesan does, however if it’s all you have available you can use it just make note that it will not be quite as creamy.
- Don’t forget to reserve the pasta water! This is an important step in ensuring your cacio e pepe is smooth and creamy.
Low FODMAP Tip: Parmesan cheese is lower in lactose and therefore has been found to be a low FODMAP friendly cheese at 0g of lactose for every 100g serving. Read more about low FODMAP cheeses here!
Why You Should Make This Low FODMAP Pasta
- It is simple. Using only 6 ingredients, including the pasta, that you likely already have on hand at home, this low FODMAP pasta dish could not be any simpler to make.
- It is fast. In addition to simple ingredients, this dish comes together in just 30 minutes, making it perfect for a last minute weeknight meal.
- It is a crowd pleaser! Whether you’re making this for yourself or a whole crowd, everyone is sure to love this gluten free cacio e pepe and will never know it’s a low FODMAP pasta dish!
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Did you have a chance to make this recipe? If so, please leave me a rating and review below. I always love and appreciate hearing from you!
Gluten Free Cacio E Pepe
- 1 lb Gluten Free or Grain Free pasta
- Fresh black peppercorns
- Pinch Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Parsley for garnish optional
- Fill a large pot with well salted water + bring to a boil.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, toast approx. 40 cracks of black pepper (less if you don’t like a little heat) and a generous pinch of sea salt.
- Add pasta to water + cook until just past al dente.
- Add 1 ladle full of pasta water to the toasted pepper along with 1 tbsp of butter and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Turn off heat and add parmesan cheese to saucepan 1/4 cup at a time.
- Rather than draining the pasta, add it to the sauce using a slotted spoon to reserve pasta water. This helps create more of a sauce and prohibits parmesan from clumping together.
- Garnish with more parmesan and optional parsley and serve immediately.