Gluten free mac and cheese in a round bowl.
Gluten free, Pasta

Gluten free macaroni and cheese

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A blend of aged Beecher’s flagship cheese and creamy Neufchatel cheese makes this gluten free baked macaroni and cheese rich and delicious.

Rich and creamy macaroni and cheese
Rich and creamy macaroni and cheese

Home made macaroni and cheese is so creamy and delicious. Since I started eating gluten free, I thought I’d have to give up this family favorite. But gluten free pasta has come a long way in recent years. The texture and flavor of many brands of gluten free pasta is now much more like wheat pasta. I used quinoa elbow pasta from Ancient Harvest. I was quite impressed with the texture and flavor of this pasta and my family liked it too. My kids are pretty picky, so that says allot!

One of the keys to making great gluten free pasta is not to over cook it.

If you’re not concerned about being gluten free, you can substitute regular wheat elbow pasta instead.

A fantastic cheese trio.
A fantastic cheese trio.

I used a blend of Beecher’s Handmade Flagship cheese and creamy Neufchatel cheese. Beecher’s Flagship cheese is a wonderful aged cheddar cheese made from cow’s milk. You can purchase Beecher’s cheeses at most grocers in the Pacific Northwest, at their flagship store in Pike’s Place Market or online. If you can’t find Beecher’s, I recommend using a wholesome, natural sharp cheddar cheese. Not that orange stuff.

Neufchatel cheese is very similar to cream cheese, but contains a lower fat content and more water. It originated in France. You’ll find it in your grocery store right next to the regular Philadelphia cream cheese. The third cheese in the above photo is Parmesan cheese. I shred a small amount of this for the topping.

Warm and comforting mac n cheese
Warm and comforting mac n cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 8 oz package quinoa elbow pasta (Ancient Grains)
3 tbsp butter
2 – 3 tbsp onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard (optional)
2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup Beecher’s Handmade Flagship cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Neufchatel cheese
2 tbsp, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a casserole dish and set aside. Cook the macaroni per the package instructions, strain and place into a bowl. Remember – don’t over cook the pasta. It’s best to remove it from the water a little under done or el dente. In a large skillet, on medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook the onion until translucent and soft (a few minutes). Add the salt and mustard and stir. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with about 2 – 3 tablespoons of milk and stir until the lumps of the cornstarch are gone. Next add this cornstarch/milk mixture to the skillet and add in the rest of the remaining milk. Next add the cheese (except Parmesan cheese) gradually and stir until it is all melted and begins to thicken. Add the cooked macaroni to the skillet and stir to coat it thoroughly.

Adding the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce.
Adding the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce.

Pour the macaroni and cheese sauce into the prepared casserole dish. Top with the shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes. Serve hot.

If you like a crispier crust, you can add a sprinkling of gluten free bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to the top just before baking it in the oven. It adds a nice texture.

Baked with a mix of bread crumbs and Parmesan on top.
Baked with a mix of bread crumbs and Parmesan on top.

Gluten free macaroni and cheese

A blend of aged Beecher’s flagship cheese and creamy Neufchatel cheese makes this gluten free macaroni and cheese rich and delicious.

  • 1 8 oz package quinoa elbow pasta (like Ancient Grains pasta)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 tbsp onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard (optional)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup Beecher’s flagship cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (finely shredded (for topping))
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook the macaroni per the package instructions, strain and place into a bowl.
  3. In a large skillet, on medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook the onion until translucent and soft (a few minutes). Add the salt and mustard and stir.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with about 2 – 3 tablespoons of milk and stir until the lumps of the cornstarch are gone. Next add this cornstarch/milk mixture to the skillet and add in the rest of the remaining milk.
  5. Next add the cheese (except Parmesan cheese) gradually and stir until it is all melted and begins to thicken. Add the cooked macaroni to the skillet and stir to coat it thoroughly.
  6. Pour the macaroni and cheese sauce into the prepared casserole dish. Top with the shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes.
Remember – don’t over cook the pasta. It’s best to remove it from the water a little under done or el dente.

 

Ancient Grains Quinoa Pasta
Ancient Grains Quinoa Pasta

 

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