Macaroni and cheese is by far one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s cheesy, warm and goes great with just about everything imaginable. Unfortunately, like many people I have an allergy to wheat, so that means normal noodles or the store-bought macaroni and cheese dinners are a no-go for me. Unless, of course, I want to spend three to four times as much for the wheat-free/gluten-free variety.
But there is hope. If you have to eat gluten free like I do, I’ve found a really fantastic recipe for macaroni and cheese, and it is so simple to make. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with the store brands at all.
Easy Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese Recipe
Makes Approximately 4 Servings
- 2 cups brown rice macaroni noodles
- 2 cups shredded cheese — I like a cheddar and mozzarella mix, but don’t be afraid to experiment
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- Toppings or add-ins — It’s your choice here. I like ham or bacon while my husband likes to add in peas.
- 4-quart saucepan
- Stirring utensil
- Serving vessel
Place the rice noodles in the 4-quart saucepan, along with the tablespoon of butter. Fill the pan with water until the noodles are just barely covered. Place them on the stove and bring the water to a boil, stirring on occasion.
Once the water is boiling, give it a good stir, and bring the heat down to a simmer. Allow the noodles to cook for approximately 7-10 minutes. When they are done, the water will take on a milky appearance. This is some of the rice flour from the noodles being dissolved into the water, and it is fine.
Once the water becomes milky, remove from heat and test the noodles for doneness. They should be slightly springy to the touch and not mushy at all. Do not drain the water. In the same pan, stir in your cheese a handful at a time until it is melted and the noodles and liquid have a uniform cheesy color to them. You may not use all the cheese, but I often do.
Once the cheese is incorporated, add a little bit of the sweet rice flour to thicken the sauce as much or as little as you want. You probably won’t need to use the entire 1/4 cup, but I’ve never had to use more than that. Simply stir it in a little at a time, and before you know it you’ll have some glorious macaroni and cheese that is just waiting for your add-ins and toppings!
Special note — It’s easy to make this recipe dairy-free as well if you want. Simply replace the butter with a little bit of vegetable oil, and the cheese with your favorite vegan cheese product, such as nut cheeses or tofu-based cheeses. I haven’t tried them in this particular recipe, but I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t work just as well.