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 the whole family will love.
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

It’s so easy to make your own gluten free mac and cheese at home with a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand!

The below steps and matching photos are meant to show you the recipe at different stages of the process. Pay close attention to the color of the gluten-free roux and the consistency of the cheese sauce.

For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.

A stainless steel pot of water cooking gluten free macaroni noodles on a hot plate.
Cook the gluten-free macaroni noodles according to the package’s directions. For best results, decrease the time by 2 minutes to cook your gluten-free noodles al dente.
A white braising pan with melted butter, gluten-free flour, ground mustard powder and black pepper before mixing together to make a roux.
In a skillet or braising pan, melt the butter and then add the gluten-free flour, ground mustard, black pepper and salt to make a gluten-free roux.
A gluten free roux in a white pan that is bubbling up and golden brown.
Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens into a paste, bubbles up and is a light golden brown. Do not burn.
A white braising pan with a milk and gluten free roux to make a creamy sauce.
Add the milk to the roux. Whisk continually and cook over medium-low for 3-5 minutes, until you have a creamy sauce.
A white braising pan with a white creamy sauce topped with shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese before mixing together.
Add the shredded parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese to the cream sauce.
A white braising pan with a gluten-free cheese sauce in it.
Stir until the cheese has melted completely.
An overhead view of a skillet of gluten free macaroni pasta on top of a gluten-free cheese sauce before mixing together.
Add the cooked gluten free macaroni noodles to the sauce.
A closeup of a skillet of gluten free mac and cheese with a spoon.
Fold the noodles into the sauce and top with more seasonings if you desire. Enjoy!

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 the whole family will love.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
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 teaspoon 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
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about megan

I’m Megan

A gluten-free food blogger from Chicago and lover of all things food, showing you gluten-free can be easy and delicious, too. Let’s make gluten-free stress free together! Read more…

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