Best Gluten Free Mac and Cheese [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese is creamy and delicious and the perfect comfort food for busy weekdays. This is an easy recipe to prepare, and it only takes under one hour to make from start to finish.

This creamy homemade dish is what we regularly make for a last-minute dinner. You don’t need anything planned to quickly put this together, and enjoy one of the best comfort food. You can pair it with oven barbecue ribs, corned beef, or crockpot meatloaf.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese is super rich and creamy that you will not be able to have just one bowl of! I absolutely love this dish, because it is loaded with flavor. The recipe uses 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 the 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.

GLUTEN FREE MAC AND CHEESE 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!

Creamy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Recipe

Can I make Mac and Cheese 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. 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!

Do you Cover Baked it with Foil?

Usually, I do not. If covered with foil, the dish will not get the 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, 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.

Can you 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.

Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Casserole

Can you store it?

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.

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 it properly. 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:

  • You can 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.

Watch recipe video:

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5 from 5 reviews
Best Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hr

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil or with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. 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:

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

Buttery Cracker Topping (Optional):

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

Toppings:

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

Bake:

  1. Bake the casserole uncovered in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  2. Remove from oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Calories: 732 Carbohydrates: 63 Protein: 39 Fat: 46 Saturated Fat: 24 Cholesterol: 106 Sodium: 1159 Potassium: 471 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 11 Vitamin A: 1620 Vitamin C: 0.2 Calcium: 962 Iron: 2.1
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Best Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Comments

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Jade

My perfect Mid week dinner right there!

Reply

Amanda

All the fun with none of the guilt! I can’t wait to try this !!

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Erin Dee

This is a comfort food dinner for the win! The whole family will love this!

Reply

Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

Looks so perfect! Definitely a must try!

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Taylor

This looks AMAZING! Love that butter cracker topping!

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.

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