Gluten-Free Mac And Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and cheese is one of the nation's most popular comfort foods, but in recent years, it's transcended its blue box origins and gone upscale, popping up in fancy versions with lobster and truffle, appearing atop pizzas and in sandwiches, and even being used to flavor ice cream.

One of the biggest problems with mac and cheese, though, is that it isn't very inclusive, is it? Well, okay, it's a food product and therefore can't be blamed for its ingredients, but still, it seems kind of unfair that in a world seemingly obsessed with mac and cheese, there are two groups of people who never get to see what all the hype is about: vegans and those who eat gluten-free.

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka wanted to do something about that. As she tells us, "We are experimenting with gluten-free [foods] with my son due to his eczema." She adds, "I find that some people who are vegan do tend to avoid gluten and use alternatives," so she wanted to come up with a mac and cheese version that would fit into both categories. "The fact that it's both vegan and gluten-free," she says, "feels like it's a win and not [a] cheat!"

You'll need a few special ingredients to make this pasta

To make this gluten-free vegan pasta, you will need to shop for gluten-free, dairy-free ingredients. Look for gluten-free elbow macaroni and gluten-free bread or breadcrumbs. You'll also need plant-based cheese, cream, and butter, although if you only want a gluten-free version of this dish and don't need it to be vegan, you can substitute with the dairy versions of these products.

If you want to make a fancied-up version of this gluten-free mac and cheese, you can do that as well. Olayinka says, "As it's vegan, I would experiment with some of the vegan meats: For example, some vegan bacon or some vegan chicken strips or even adding some additional vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower [would make this dish delicious]." Again, if you don't need it to be vegan, you can always add real bacon, chicken, or even lobster if you really want to take it to the next level.

The prep work depends on the ingredients

If you've purchased pre-shredded cheese and gluten-free breadcrumbs, then these ingredients should be good to go. If your cheese is in block form, you'll have to shred it yourself. You may even need to crumble your own breadcrumbs, too, if the only gluten-free bread you can find is in loaf form, but your food processor or blender can make short work of this.

One thing you will need to do is to preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, cook the pasta per the package directions, then drain it. Once that's done, you can proceed to turn that elbow macaroni into mac and cheese.

Mix the ingredients and transfer to a baking pan

Mix the still-warm pasta with two cups of the shredded cheese, then add the cream and the butter along with a teaspoon of salt to the pot in which you cooked the macaroni. Make sure all of the ingredients are well combined, then scoop the mac and cheese mixture into a square baking pan measuring about eight by eight inches. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top, then finish the dish off by topping it with the breadcrumbs that will make for a nice, crunchy crust.

This mac and cheese takes less than half an hour to cook

Check and see if the oven is preheated yet. It probably will be if you remembered to turn it on at the same time you began cooking the pasta. If not, you might have to wait a few more minutes. Once the oven is hot enough, put the mac and cheese inside and bake it for 25 minutes. When the time is up, it should be hot and bubbly with the cheese all nice and melty.

Olayinka says she likes to serve this mac and cheese as "a main dish with the addition of a light salad," but you can also use it as a side dish alongside the meat or plant-based protein of your choice.

Gluten-Free Mac And Cheese Recipe
5 from 30 ratings
Macaroni and cheese is one of the nation's most popular comfort foods, but in recent years, it's transcended its blue box origins and gone upscale.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mac and cheese on plate
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 2 cups dry gluten-free elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups vegan cheese, grated, divided
  • 2 cups non-dairy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions, then drain.
  3. Stir 2 cups of cheese into the cooked pasta along with the cream, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking pan.
  5. Top the mac and cheese with the remaining shredded cheese and the breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake the mac and cheese for 25 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 689
Total Fat 61.2 g
Saturated Fat 20.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 108.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
Total Sugars 2.3 g
Sodium 823.3 mg
Protein 7.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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