Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

If you ask 10 people their favorite comfort food, and 9 of them will undoubtedly say “mac & cheese.” I’m not talking about that blue box with the neon-orange chemical pouch either (although even I will admit, that’s a comfort food in its own right.) But we all know that a casserole dish brimming with bubbling homemade cheese sauce over your favorite pasta is an entirely different animal, and nothing short of divine.

Macaroni and cheese is definitely a favorite in our house, and when I went gluten-free, it was one of the hardest things for me to watch my family eat without me. For the first few months, I simply abstained, and then I discovered Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta.

Honestly, rice pasta is NOT the same as the pasta you’re used to, don’t let anyone tell you differently, but Tinkyada is as good as it gets. My kids actually like it, which is great. I find that I feel best when I’m off grains altogether so I try not to make this very often, but sometimes (like when I make ham or pork chops) nothing but mac & cheese will do.

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Like any mac & cheese, start with a roux. Melt your butter in a saucepan. To keep it G-free, I use brown rice flour or gluten-free All Purpose Flour.

I mix that into the melted butter. This recipe was for Easter so I doubled it, but normally I use 2 cups milk.

Whisk the flour/butter mixture and the milk together in a saucepan over medium heat and slowly heat to boiling.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. I usually cook it a few minutes less than suggested because it will cook more in the oven and it already tends to be a bit mushy (despite the package claims to the contrary.)

After the roux is boiling for a minute or so, remove it from the heat and add more salt and pepper, some dry mustard, and your shredded cheese — about 2 cups. I usually just use cheddar, but if you have some fontina or gruyere, you can replace some of the cheddar with that for an extra punch of flavor. I also add more salt at this point.

Cover it to keep it warm, and when the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the cheese sauce. Pour the whole mess into a buttered casserole dish and pop it in the oven at 400. Bake it for 20 minutes or until it’s bubbling and just starting to brown on top. The tomatoes are entirely optional. I just like them for the color.

Try to save some for the rest of ‘em.

Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade mac & cheese is the best comfort food, and you won't even miss the gluten.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish, Pasta
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ stick (4 TBSP) butter
  • ¼ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz gluten-free elbow pasta, such as Tinkyada
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 cups (8 oz) grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low medium-low heat. Add the flour, whisk to combine, then add the cold milk all at once. Cook until thick, stirring frequently.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, but take it off the heat just shy of al dente.
  4. When milk and flour mixture is thick and bubbly, remove from heat and add remaining salt, pepper, dry mustard and grated cheese.Keep warm while pasta finishes cooking.
  5. Drain pasta and add it to cheese sauce.Mix well and pour into greased casserole.
  6. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until starting to brown on top.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Yum, yum, yum!

    We’re going to try gluten free for a few weeks to see if it helps any with my daughter’s, um, elimination issues. Today we went to Trader Joe’s and I felt so bad having to say no to so many different things b/c of the gluten. Hum, I just realized that I don’t know how long it might take to notice a difference, I’ll have to look into that.

    Oh, and I LOVE the print plug in!

    • CarolDe says

      I have been gluten free for about 8 months now. I am not a celiac, but I too have GI problems.
      I started to notice a difference within a couple weeks. And when I stray in moments of weakness I know immediately.
      The hardest thing for me is bread.
      Store bought bread is expensive and not very tasty ( unless its toasted). I go to the local gluten-free bakery. The bread is still spendy, but taste much better. There are more varieties of gluten free flours and at a much more reasonable price available at gluten free specialty stores.
      It really does get easier!! Good luck to your daughter!

  2. Emily says

    RE plugin: great idea for a blogger who posts a lot of recipes!
    RE brown rice pasta: I wasn’t thrilled with it when I bought it once, but I’m glad you found one that even your kids like.

  3. Amanda says

    I’ve never made Mac and Cheese with flour! We still use my great-great-grandma’s recipe, and it’s just butter, milk, cheese, and noodles. You’ve now made me hungry!

  4. says

    Looks good! Personally, we prefer the corn pastas with quinoa a close second over the rice pastas. Better texture and flavor and holds together better. (I was diagnosed with celiac more than two years ago and my two younger children last year.) Bob’s all-purpose gluten free flour is pretty decent (and we buy a lot of Bob’s products) but both King Arthur’s gluten free flour and Jules gluten free flour are, at least in our opinion, better. Unfortunately, as I’ve healed I’ve developed an intolerance to dairy — which is irritating, so no mac and cheese for me. But the kids love it.

  5. Angie Halten says

    A trick if you’re trying to pass homemade mac & cheese off on kids, is add some tumeric (about 1/2 tsp should do it). Aside from the great health benefits of the spice, it gives the dish a vibrant orange color – which most kids look for thanks to all the “Gotta Be KD!” ads.

  6. Kelly says

    I am gluten intolerant and finding recipes that are tasty and not difficult to make is an extremely painful process. This recipe is fantastic! I share with my family who makes many acomodations for me and they can’t tell its gluten free, they just think it tastes great! Thank you for this recipe!

    • says

      Actually, when cheese is grated, 8 oz is 2 cups. I know, it defies logic, lol. But if you look at those shredded cheese bags at the grocery store, it says that 8 oz is a cup. So, for this, it is 8 oz cheese, grated. Or 2 cups grated cheese. And for the pasta, it is 2 cups dry pasta, boiled.

      Does that make sense?

      • Randi says

        Thanks for the recipe. I made this for a play group of kids and adults. Everyone loved it. I used corn pasta, brown rice flour and hold cheddar and half Colby jack. I tasted it and it was good but I have actually been avoiding rice and corn and other grains but had to give it a taste.

  7. Cassandra says

    I would just like to say thank you so much for this great recipe. It was delicious and the whole family loved it. No one could tell it was gluten free. I was just a little confused by your use of onces. I think it is off. 8 oz is only one cup, 16 oz would be 2 cups. I figured you meant 2 cups for the cheese and pasta. It worked out fine for me when I did that. Again, thanks for this delicous recipe!

    • says

      Nope, that is actually correct. If you ever check those bags of shredded cheese – 8 oz is 2 cups. I have no idea why b/c generally, yes, 8 oz = 1 cup, but with cheese, it’s different. Go figure, right?? I always buy a block of cheese (8 oz) and grate it when making this dish. It’s so much more flavorful!

  8. Sarah says

    It’s in the oven now and I can’t wait to try it! It’s been so long since I’ve had mac and cheese.

  9. Theresa C says

    This was a great recipe and it turns out great even if you add 2 times the amount of flour. OOPS! Lots of complements, I just added extra milk and spiced it up with onion powder, salt and pepper so it didn’t seem quite so grainy. I also used 1/2 Velveta and 1/2 clolby. Several ate it and were surprised that it was Gluten Free – that is my kinda dish.

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