Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

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This gluten-free mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food taking less than 30 minutes to make. Boasting a thick, rich cheese sauce, this homemade macaroni and cheese is an easy dinner that will have you dancing in your chair.
A close up shot of gluten-free mac and cheese.
A table set with a large pot of gluten-free mac and cheese, salt and pepper, and fresh parsley.

Why this recipe works

This gluten-free mac and cheese is the ultimate easy comfort food, taking less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish. This recipe uses two types of freshly grated cheese to create a thick, rich, creamy cheese sauce, and a pinch of ground mustard adds a little something extra. This homemade macaroni and cheese is an easy dinner or lunch that will have you dancing in your chair.

Ingredients

The ingredients for making gluten-free mac and cheese.

Ingredient notes

  • Cheese – I do not like to use pre-shredded cheese because it typically has an anti-caking coating on the cheese which doesn’t allow it to melt as smoothly. For best results, shred or grate a block of cheese yourself.
  • Gluten-free flours– I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag) in this recipe. You can use any gluten-free flour blend that is meant to be a 1-to-1 swap with all-purpose flour.
  • Gluten-free pasta – I used Jovial gluten-free elbow macaroni in this recipe and cooked the pasta until al dente, about 9-10 minutes total. If you do not have macaroni on hand, you can use any small pasta, such as rotini, for this recipe.

Step-by-Step instructions

  1. Cook the gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles according to the package directions. I personally like to take 2 minutes off of the cooking time so that my pasta is al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta with cool water to keep the pasta from cooking further. Set aside. 
  2. Place a large skillet or saucepan on the stove top over medium heat. Once heated, add the unsalted butter and melt. 
  3. Once the butter is melted, add the gluten-free all-purpose flour, salt, ground mustard, and black pepper. Whisk until a paste forms. This should take approximately 1-2 minutes. View the video below to see the consistency you are aiming for.
  4. Pour the whole milk into the skillet and whisk until the mixture has thickened. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Again, viewing the video below will help to see the thickness you are trying to obtain.
Steps 1-4 for making gluten-free mac and cheese.
  1. Sprinkle in the shredded cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese evenly distributing over the mixture. 
  2. Fold the shredded cheeses into the mixture until the cheese is completely melted and no lumps exist. Be sure to continuously stir to keep any of the mixture from burning.
  3. Add the cooked pasta back into the pan. 
  4. Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce until all of the pasta is coated. Top with fresh parsley or additional spices if desired. Serve immediately.
Steps 5-8 for making gluten-free mac and cheese.

Expert tips

  • The most important tip for this recipe is to use freshly grated cheese that you grate yourself. As I mentioned above, pre-shredded cheese from the bag typically contains a coating that will keep your cheese from melting properly. For best results, buy your cheeses in block form and shred or grate yourself.
  • Rinsing your pasta after cooking is important for two reasons. Gluten-free pasta tends to be pretty starchy, so rinsing will help clear off some of the starch that gathered during the cooking process. First, your pasta will simply have a better taste and texture. Secondly, rinsing your cooked pasta in cold water will ensure that your pasta doesn’t overcook and get mushy, which is a common occurrence with gluten-free pasta.

Recipe FAQs

Do I need to use parmesan cheese?

The beauty of mac and cheese is that it’s pretty versatile, allowing you to experiment with different cheeses. I like the little bite that parmesan cheese lends this mac and cheese. I find if you only use one cheese, the macaroni comes off as “one-note” so I prefer to mix my cheeses. Some other good options to try are gouda, white cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and monterey jack.

Can I use pre-shredded cheese?

In a pinch, you could, but I would not recommend it as the cheese sauce will not melt as smoothly and can be a bit grainy from the anti-caking agents that come with the shredded cheese. I recommend shredding a cheese block for this recipe. It only takes a few minutes and it is so worth the additional effort.

Can you reheat gluten-free mac and cheese?

Yes, you can reheat this mac and cheese in the microwave or on the stovetop. I recommend adding a tablespoon or two of milk to thin out the sauce as it reheats for the best consistency. If you cooked your noodles al dente, they should not become mushy when you reheat the macaroni and cheese.

A bowl of gluten-free mac and cheese topped with fresh parsley.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.

A close up shot of gluten-free mac and cheese.

Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

This gluten-free mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food taking less than 30 minutes to make. Boasting a thick, rich cheese sauce, this homemade macaroni and cheese is an easy dinner that will have you dancing in your chair.
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Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 497kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 12 oz gluten-free macaroni noodles
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour (27g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (226g)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (48g)

Instructions

  • Cook the gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles according to the package directions. I personally like to take 2 minutes off of the cooking time so that my pasta is al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta and set aside.
  • Place a large skillet or saucepan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the unsalted butter and melt.
  • Once the butter is melted, add the gluten-free all-purpose flour, salt, ground mustard, and black pepper. Whisk until a paste forms, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in the whole milk. Whisk until the mixture has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in the shredded cheddar cheese and grated parmesan cheese.
  • Mix until the cheese is completely melted.
  • Add the cooked pasta back into the pan.
  • Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce. Top with fresh parsley or additional spices if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • I do not like to use pre-shredded cheese because it typically has an anti-caking coating on the cheese which doesn’t allow it to melt as smoothly. Instead, shred a block of cheese yourself for best results.
  • I used Jovial gluten-free elbow macaroni in this recipe and cooked the pasta until al dente, about 9-10 minutes total.
  • I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag) in this recipe. You can use any gluten-free flour blend that is meant to be a 1-to-1 swap with all-purpose flour.
  • You can use other cheeses besides parmesan and sharp cheddar. Some other options to try are gouda, white cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and monterey jack. I personally like to use a mix of cheeses to give the mac and cheese some interest. 
  • To reheat, you can either use the microwave or the stovetop. I recommend adding a tablespoon or two of milk to thin out the sauce when reheating for the best consistency. If you cooked your gluten-free noodles just until al dente, you should not have any problems with them becoming mushy when reheating. 
  • I like to rinse gluten-free pasta after cooking because it is really starchy. It also prevents the pasta from becoming overcooked and mushy, which can happen with gluten-free pasta. Remember to cook the noodles until al dente. A good starting point is to knock 2-3 minutes off the cooking time on the box of pasta and check for doneness. 

Nutrition

Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 816mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 757IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 462mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!

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