FEAST FOR FREEDOM
Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

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Categories: Side Dishes    

This macaroni and cheese side dish is loaded with creamy mozzarella and cheddar cheese and is baked to a golden brown. This is what mac and cheese is supposed to be! And it can be made using gluten free or grain free macaroni.

Baked macaroni and cheese on a plate garnished with parsley
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Makes: 4 side dish servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Grain free option Soy free

Cooking with gluten free pasta is a bit different than regular wheat pasta. One of the common challenges is that it sticks together. There are several tricks to getting it to not stick together - use oil in the water, sprinkle the pasta into the water over 10 to 15 seconds, and monitor it while cooking so you can separate it with a slotted spoon when it sticks toghether. The below instructions covers these tips in more detail.

This macaroni casserole turns out best when using a combination of mozzarella and medium cheddar cheese. Full fat cheese is recommended, as that's what makes the best melt-ability.

Use all organic ingredients. Use dried spices that are labeled certified gluten free.

How To Make Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese - Step By Step:

How to make baked mac and cheese how to steps 1 to 4
Image by: Thora Toft
  1. This dish is made with pasta, oil, butter, cheese, cream, spice and an egg (oops, forgot the egg in the photo). (image 1)
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg until foamy. (image 2)
  3. Add the heavy cream, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and mix. (image 3)
  4. Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheese, and combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixed cheese, and set aside, for sprinkling on top. Add the mixed cheese (not the 1/2 cup of reserved cheese) to the egg mixture and mix well. (image 4)
How to make baked mac and cheese how to steps 5 to 10
Image by: Thora Toft
  1. Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a full rolling boil. Add the sea salt and the 4 tablespoons of oil to the water. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook for the amount of time noted on the package. When done, drain the pasta in a collander. Run cold water over the pasta. This stops it from cooking any more. (image 5)
  2. Place pasta back in pot, and add 2 tablespoons butter. Ensure that all the pasta gets a coating of butter. This will help the pasta not stick together. Set aside. (image 6)
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Add the cheese mixture to the cooked macaroni and toss gently to mix. If the pasta is quite soft, be more careful, so it doesn't break apart. (image 7)
  4. Place macaroni mixture into a 8" x 8" square baking pan, or pan of similar size in any shape (round, oval, etc.). Spread out evenly. (image 8)
  5. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup of grated cheese. (image 9)
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is starting to turn brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving, to allow the sauce to set. (image 10)
Pro tips for perfect gluten free pasta:
  • Don't skip using the oil in the pasta water, as it prevents the pasta from sticking together, especially for gluten free and grain free pasta.
  • Another trick to prevent the pasta from sticking is to not dump the pasta in really fast. Sprinkle it in over about 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately check to see if it's clumped together. If it has, press the clumps against the side of the pan with the back of a slotted spoon to separate.
  • Gluten free and grain free pasta should be monitored and stirred while cooking, so you can unclump it as it cooks. Don't just set it and forget it.
  • While rinsing the pasta, and while the water is running, use your fingers to carefully separate the pasta if it's still sticking together at all.
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Pasta: This can be made with any type of macaroni you like, such as gluten free or grain free. You can even use different shapes such as bow-tie pasta, fusilli, or shell pasta. Follow the cooking times on the package for al dente (cooked but still with just a little bit of resistence when you bite into it).
  • Eggs: This recipe requires a real egg, as it's the main thing that allows the sauce to thicken and bind into a thick sauce when baked.
  • Cheese: Don't use preshredded cheese, as it won't melt properly, and contains additional additives to prevent it from clumping in the package. These additives will interfere with the quality of the finished dish. Also, preshredded cheese can often contain gluten or other grains that you don't want if you eat gluten or grain free.
  • You can use different types of cheese if you like. Though the different types will alter the way the dish will taste and the texture. You do want "melty" type cheese, to get the best results. A good way of adding a bit of different flavor without interfering too much with the texture is to use 1/2 cup grated alternate cheese to sprinkle on the dish instead of the mixed cheese.
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Baked Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Makes: 4 side dish servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Grain free option Soy free
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Dry macaroni noodles (gluten free or grain free)
4 tablespoons Coconut or olive oil
1 teaspoon Sea salt
2 tablespoons Butter
1 large Egg
Dash Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, or to taste
1 cup Heavy cream
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups Medium Cheddar cheese, grated
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Pasta: This can be made with any type of macaroni you like, such as gluten free or grain free. You can even use different shapes such as bow-tie pasta, fusilli, or shell pasta. Follow the cooking times on the package for al dente (cooked but still with just a little bit of resistence when you bite into it).
  • Eggs: This recipe requires a real egg, as it's the main thing that allows the sauce to thicken and bind into a thick sauce when baked.
  • Cheese: Don't use preshredded cheese, as it won't melt properly, and contains additional additives to prevent it from clumping in the package. These additives will interfere with the quality of the finished dish. Also, preshredded cheese can often contain gluten or other grains that you don't want if you eat gluten or grain free.
  • You can use different types of cheese if you like. Though the different types will alter the way the dish will taste and the texture. You do want "melty" type cheese, to get the best results. A good way of adding a bit of different flavor without interfering too much with the texture is to use 1/2 cup grated alternate cheese to sprinkle on the dish instead of the mixed cheese.
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a full rolling boil. Add the sea salt and the 4 tablespoons of oil to the water. Don't skip using the oil, as it will prevent the pasta from sticking together, especially for gluten free and grain free pasta.
  • Add pasta to boiling water. To help prevent the pasta from sticking, don't dump the pasta in really fast. Sprinkle it in over about 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately check to see if it has clumped together. If it has, press the clumps against the side of the pan with the back of a slotted spoon to separate.
  • Gluten free pasta should be monitored and stirred when it's cooking, so you can unclump the pasta as it cooks. Don't just set it and forget it. Cook for the amount of time noted on the package.
  • When done, drain the pasta in a collander. Run cold water over the pasta. This stops it from cooking any more. While the water is running, use your fingers to carefully separate the pasta if they are sticking together at all.
  • Place pasta back in pot, and add 2 tablespoons butter. Ensure that all the pasta gets a coating of butter. This will help the pasta not stick together. Set aside.
  • Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheese, and combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixed cheese, and set aside, for sprinkling on top.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg until foamy. Add the heavy cream, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and mix. Add the mixed cheese (not the 1/2 cup of reserved cheese) and mix well.
  • Add the cheese mixture to the cooked macaroni and toss gently to mix. If the pasta is quite soft, be more careful, so it doesn't break apart.
  • Place macaroni mixture into a 8" x 8" square baking pan, or pan of similar size in any shape (round, oval, etc.). Spread out evenly. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup of grated cheese.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is starting to turn brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving, to allow the sauce to set.

Serve and enjoy!

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Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.
Gluten free quick start booklet on top of meal preparation
10 Steps to Healthy
Gluten Free Eating
 
The free 10 Step Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes and regular member only tips to get you started on the road to healthy gluten free living.