Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

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Delicious gluten free mac and cheese is a classic comfort food everyone will love! Made with affordable pantry ingredients, this gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe is quick and easy to make at home.

Suitable for gluten free and vegetarian diets.

top down view of a serving dish and individual portion of gluten free mac and cheese

Good news, foodie friends! With this recipe, it’s easy to make homemade gluten free mac and cheese. Thanks to the increased availability of gluten free ingredients, it’s a breeze to make gluten free versions of all of your favorite recipes, like macaroni and cheese. 

This gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe is not overly complicated and combines basic ingredients like milk, freshly ground cheese and seasonings with gluten free pasta.

It’s cooked on the stovetop, so it’s ready in a flash and can be customized by adding protein, veggies, or your favorite mix-ins. 

The outcome is a rich and flavorful macaroni and cheese that is entirely gluten free. My family loves this gluten free mac n cheese, so I plan on making it again soon!

Want even more great mac and cheese recipes? Then check out this White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, or my Baked Mac and Cheese.

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You can also try this easy Stovetop Mac and Cheese and my really easy Instant Pot Chicken Mac and Cheese. These recipes can be easily made using gluten free ingredients too.

top down view of the completed gluten free mac and cheese in a bowl with a fork

Why Make This Recipe

  • Creamy and Comforting – Warm, chewy noodles and gooey melty cheese is like a warm hug for your belly.  
  • Diet Friendly – Being gluten free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite comfort foods. This recipe is safe and delicious for the whole family. 
  • Customizable – This cheesy mac is entirely customizable to fit your tastes and preferences.  Swap the noodle shape, use your favorite cheeses, and add our favorite mixins. 

Ingredient Notes

  • Macaroni –Be sure to use gluten-free pasta. Elbow macaroni is the most common and most readily available for gluten free mac n cheese, but you can substitute cavatappi, shells, penne, farfalle, and more if gluten free versions are available. 
  • Butter – Use unsalted butter so you have better control over the dish’s saltiness.
  • Flour – Use a one-to-one gluten free flour.
  • Milk – Whole milk will give you a creamier sauce, but you can use 2% or skim milk if desired. If you prefer, you can also use plain, unsweetened plant based milk. 
  • Cheese – Shredded sharp cheddar cheese combines with freshly grated parmesan cheese for a nutty and salty flavor.  
  • Salt and Pepper – Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Nutmeg – A pinch of nutmeg enhances the flavor of creamy dishes. 
the ingredients for making gluten free mac and cheese

Ready to learn how to make this creamy Gluten Free Mac n Cheese? Gather your ingredients, and I will show you…

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Make Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Cook the macaroni until al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Then whisk in the flour until the mixture turns slightly golden.
  3. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Season with the salt, black pepper, and nutmeg, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the cheese to the saucepan, and stir until melted. A smooth, creamy sauce will form.
  5. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce using a spoon or silicone spatula. 
  6. Serve and enjoy!
image collage showing the steps for making gluten free macaroni and cheese

Pro Tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Gluten-free pasta can become mushy quickly, so make sure to cook it al dente and drain it immediately to prevent it from becoming too soft.
  • Let the flour and butter mixture cook until it begins to brown. This takes away the raw flavor. 
  • Slowly add the milk and constantly stir so you don’t have any lumps. 
  • If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little more milk to thin it out.
  • Grate the cheese yourself. It will melt much better than pre-shredded cheese. 
  • Use a box grater or the grater attachment on a food processor to quickly grate the cheese. 
  • Whole milk will have the best flavor and creaminess but use your favorite milk. 
  • Mix in your favorite protein, vegetables, or seasonings to customize this recipe
  • Don’t skip the nutmeg. It enhances the flavor of the milk and cheese. 
  • Here are some of my favorite things to use to make this delicious dish.
close up view of a bite being taken out of a bowl of gluten free mac and cheese

Delicious Variations

  • Add A Topping – You can sprinkle some gluten free bread crumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers. Crushed potato chips also make a nice crunchy topping. 
  • Add Veggies – Mix in steamed veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower or add chopped spinach for a more balanced meal. 
  • Add Protein – Add cooked, chopped bacon or ham, shrimp, or lobster meat to bump up the protein and add more flavor. 
  • Swap The Cheese – Use any cheese or combination of cheeses. 
  • Add Other Seasonings – Add seasonings to taste, such as garlic powder, mustard powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes.
top down view of the completed gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – For easy prep, cook the pasta up to 24 hours in advance and toss it with a tablespoon or two of oil to prevent it from sticking.  
  • Store – Place the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Use these brilliant containers.
  • Freeze – Cool completely, then freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. 
  • Reheat – Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until warmed through. If the cheese is thick, add a small amount of milk or water to loosen the sauce. 
a white bowl filled with gliuten free mac and cheese

FAQs

What Types Of Pasta Can I Use For Gluten Free Mac and Cheese?

Various gluten-free pasta options are available, such as those made from rice, corn, quinoa, or a combination of gluten-free flour. You can find these options in most grocery stores.

What Cheeses Are Gluten Free?

Most cheeses are gluten free, but it’s important always to check the packaging to be sure. 

Can I Bake Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese?

Yes, you can bake gluten free mac and cheese to achieve a crispy top layer. Simply transfer the prepared mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with gluten-free breadcrumbs or cheese, and bake in the oven until golden and bubbly.

side view of the gluten free mac and cheese in a white serving dish

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Serving Suggestions

gluten free mac and cheese in a bowl

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top down view of a serving dish and individual portion of gluten free mac and cheese
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

It's easy to make gluten free mac and cheese at home!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Western
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 5
Calories: 667kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces (340g) gluten-free elbow macaroni or other pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (709ml) milk dairy or non-dairy
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook the macaroni until al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Then whisk in the flour until the mixture turns slightly golden.
  • Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Season with the salt, black pepper, and nutmeg, and continue to cook, occasionally stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the cheese to the saucepan, and stir until melted. A smooth, creamy sauce will form.
  • Stir the cooked noodles into the cheese sauce using a spoon or silicone spatula.
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Notes

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Gluten-free pasta can become mushy quickly, so make sure to cook it al dente and drain it immediately to prevent it from becoming too soft.
  • Let the flour and butter mixture cook until it begins to brown. This takes away the raw flavor. 
  • Slowly add the milk and constantly stir so you don’t have any lumps. 
  • If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little more milk to thin it out.
  • Grate the cheese yourself. It will melt much better than pre-shredded cheese. 
  • Use a box grater or the grater attachment on a food processor to quickly grate the cheese. 
  • Whole milk will have the best flavor and creaminess but use your favorite milk. 
  • Mix in your favorite protein, vegetables, or seasonings to customize this recipe. 
  • Don’t skip the nutmeg. It enhances the flavor of the milk and cheese.
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 764mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1057IU | Vitamin C: 0.002mg | Calcium: 610mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this dish but sometimes feel afraid of gaining weight because of its high nutritional content, I only cook this helix jump a few times a month.