Easy Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
Updated:
Published:
5 from 8 reviews

Casseroles Main Dishes Pasta Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 30 minutes

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese is creamy, delicious and the perfect comfort food for busy weekdays. This is an easy recipe to prepare with minimal ingredients, and ready in 30 minutes from start to finish.

Homemade Casseroles are my favorite dish when it comes to feeding a large family with minimal work and time. Also, you don’t need anything planned to quickly put this together, and enjoy one of the best comfort food. This dish pairs well with oven barbecue ribs, corned beef, or crockpot meatloaf.

Are you looking for a quick and delicious cheese recipe that requires minimal prep work and is also gluten-free? Then, this Creamy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Casserole is the ideal dish.

There’s no reason to miss out on it just because you’re skipping gluten. Trust me, you would not even feel the difference between the classic macaroni and cheese version and this one. 

For once, this casserole is super rich and creamy. Therefore, there is no reason not to incorporate it into your daily diet. On top of that, you will not be able to have just one bowl of! So prepare to make some extra, because leftovers are equally delicious!

I absolutely love this dish, because it is loaded with flavor. I use both Cheddar and Colby cheese, as the Cheddar brings the classic flavor of macaroni and cheese while the Colby makes it creamy and gooey.

If you prefer all Cheddar or other cheese, feel free to substitute to suit your tastes. We also like to add some Parmesan into the mix.

One of the most important ingredients to a successful gluten-free macaroni and cheese dish is noodles. Therefore, it is important to go with the best option possible. Usually, I go with Barilla Gluten Free Elbow Pasta and totally love it. Similarly, you could use rice or brown rice pasta.

How to make Creamy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese?

For exact steps, follow the recipe card below. But here are the general steps: 

  1. Boil the pasta: Follow the package instruction to boil the pasta. I keep it al dente because it will be cooked in the oven later on. 
  2. Make the cheese sauce: In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. While stirring constantly, add the flour, milk, and seasoning. 
  3. Add the spices and cheese: Next, add the garlic powder, onion powder, along with the rest of the seasoning. Then, add the shredded cheese on top, and gently whisk the mixture. 
  4. Bake: Transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Then, pour the cheese mixture on top and bake it at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. 
  5. Serve: Enjoy it warm with your favorite side dish. 

Recipe Variations:

  • Pasta: When cooking the pasta, it is important not to overcook it as it becomes bloated and mushy in the casserole. Therefore, try to keep it al dente. The pasta should be firm but yielding. However, if it is too crunchy when you bite into it, then cook for a little longer.
  • Cheese: Use the combination of that you love. I combine cheddar, Colby, and Parmesan because it provides great flavor and creaminess. If you prefer to use all cheddar or all Colby, go ahead. Similarly, you can use sharp cheddar with parmesan.
  • Topping: To add some crunchiness to this dish, you can top it with some gluten-free breadcrumbs prior to baking. Also, you could top it with some bacon, it works really well here!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I make this recipe dairy-free?

Even though it might sound odd, but you could definitely enjoy this recipe as both gluten-free and dairy-free. First, use vegan cheese, instead of the regular version.

Replace milk with almond or soy milk. 

Also, use Earth Balance butter sticks, and unsweetened almond milk. I think it is worth a try, and the flavors will still be pretty delicious!

How to make Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot?

Making this dish in the Instant Pot is very easy and fast. If I have had a busy day at work, coming home and throwing everything in the Instant Pot for a quick dinner makes cooking stress-free!

Also, when cooked under pressure this meal will be cooked faster, and also will blend the cheeses with pasta well, giving it a nice buttery texture. I have a delicious Instant Pot version of this dish, which can be accessed here. Just make sure to replace the pasta with the gluten-free version.

Do you Cover Baked it with Foil?

Usually, I do not. If covered with foil, the dish will not get a nice brown and crunchy top. It will cause the steam to be kept inside it, which will not give this dish the nicely baked color.

What Goes With Gluten Free Mac and Cheese?

This is such a creamy and rich homemade meal, that it goes well with a lot of dishes. I like serving it with a fresh side salad even roasted veggies, such as asparagus.

Similarly, it goes well with any meats, such as oven-baked chicken, classic meatloaf, or pork loin.

In addition, it is a great potluck food too, so if you decide to indulge in at a potluck, feel free to do so.

What are the best cheeses to use?

There is not a right or wrong one to use, as it’s based on preference. However, for a deeper flavor, you can use cheddar, sharp cheddar, gouda, jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, mozzarella, or Velveeta.

Parmesan might be used for topping. Any combination used will work great in this recipe and will result in a rich and delicious dinner.

Best Gluten free pasta to use: 

You can find plenty of them at the local grocery store. I usually go with Barilla Gluten Free Elbow Pasta. Alternatively, feel free to use these:

  • Jovial Gluten Free Elbows, Penne, or Shells Pasta. 
  • Pamela’s Elbows and Penne
  • Rice pasta is another great option

Can you store leftovers?

Absolutely. Transfer the dish to an airtight container, and then store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to close the container tightly, because it can absorb the smell of other food in the fridge.

More delicious pasta recipes:

How to Reheat this dish?

This meal is truly best enjoyed when it’s freshly made and warm. However, if you end up with refrigerated leftovers, it is best to reheat mac n cheese properly.

Therefore, remember to always add a splash of milk or cream while heating, as it will make it creamier.

In reheating it in the microwave, just add it to the bowl and remember to stir everything together halfway through the reheating process.

Recipe tips:

  • Adjust the salt and pepper per your discretion. 
  • To make it extra creamy, feel free to add extra cheese on top. 
  • Also, use your hands or a food processor to turn toast into crumbs for the topping.
  • When boiling pasta, place a wooden spoon over the pot to keep it from over boiling.
  • Similarly, rinse the pasta with cold water after draining it to keep it from cooking longer and getting mushy.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Casserole

Best Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese is creamy, delicious and the perfect comfort food for busy weekdays.
5 from 8 votes
Save Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 732kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet

Ingredients

  • 1 pound gluten-free elbows macaroni (or cavatappi pasta - cooked per box directions, aim for al dente)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
  • 1 cup white Colby cheese (freshly grated - or use mozzarella)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Buttery Cracker Topping (Optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

Toppings:

  • 1 cup white Colby cheese (freshly grated - or use mozzarella)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil or with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta per box directions, aim for al dente. Drain and run it under hot water. Add to a large bowl, mix with olive oil, and set aside.

Cheese Sauce:

  • Place a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat and once it's hot add the butter. Melt it.
  • Add the flour and whisk until fully combined.
  • Still whisking, gradually add the milk, do not rush, and whisk continuously until fully combined.
  • Add onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, mustard powder, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  • Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • If desired, stir in sour cream until fully combined. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low and add cheddar cheese, Colby, and Parmesan. Stir to combine, until the cheese is fully melted.
  • Add to the cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.

Buttery Cracker Topping (Optional):

  • In a medium bowl combine cracker crumbs with melted butter and stir using a fork until fully combined.

Toppings:

  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese (check the Toppings section) evenly over the top.
  • Sprinkle the Buttery Cracker Topping (if using) evenly over the surface.

Bake:

  • Bake the casserole uncovered in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1620IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 962mg | Iron: 2.1mg
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Comments

Leave a reply

Deseree

I can't believe how much I am in love with this mac & cheese! I know that I am going to have to make this over and over again for my family and I.

Reply

Chloe Teasley

Hello! Could I use cut up toasted gluten free bread in place of the gluten free cracker crumbs?

Reply

Yes, but it should be like croutons in texture.

Reply

Faithe

Looks tasty. I love the addition of the garlic, onion, mustard powder. Sometimes it can get boring and I think this will help a ton

Reply

Yes! These add so much flavor!

Reply

Beverley Parkin

I have been trying to make decent Mac n Cheese all my 62 years (my mom made dynamite Mac n Cheese). Mine was always dry, or tasteless and this recipe knocked it out of the park! Even my hubby, who has put up with all my disasters loved it! I put GF Veggie hotdogs in it too (cut up) - it was awesome and made SO much, that I'm able to give some to my kids too! Something so easy should be easy to make - NOT!! Thanks very much!!

Reply

MaryJane C

Can this be frozen? I want to make this for a friend who just had a loved one pass away - I want to try to make something that doesn’t have to be eaten right away just in case they have been bombarded with other dishes. Would I freeze before or after baking if possible? Thanks!!

Reply

Yes, for best results please assemble it and freeze it, after that it can be simply baked.

Reply

Rhonda Michael

This was ahhhmazing!!! My family (who’s not GF) loved it. This is a dish that can easily be taken to events/dinners and no one would know it’s gluten free. THANK YOU!!

Reply

Danielle

I never comment on these things but this recipe is fantastic. I halved the amount of milk because I just like a thicker sauce but followed everything else to a T. Best mac and cheese I've ever made, -- including when I used to make it with gluten ingredients

Reply

Thank you for your review Danielle! Glad you liked this recipe!

Reply

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