Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese.

I’m not talking your classic kraft in a box, powdered cheese nonsense (though, there’s a time and place for that too). Today I’m going to share with you my recipe for that Southern, cheesy, delicious baked masterpiece that Is (my) gluten free macaroni and cheese!

This recipe has been derived and augmented over time to get it just right, but ultimately, this amazing dish is inspired by the baked mac & cheese my mom would make each year at Thanksgiving and Christmas (and some special occasions in between!)

Let’s keep this short and savory! {see what I did there?}

Here’s what you’ll need:

~ One 12oz box of Gluten Free Noodles 
  (corn/rice blends have the most balanced flavor)
~ 1lb grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
~ 8oz grated Colby Jack Cheese 
  (I buy these by the block and shred myself)
~ 1 1/2 Cups Half & Half
~ 1 Large Egg
~ 1 Tbs Ground Mustard
~ 1 tsp pepper
~ 1 tsp salt

You’ll also need a 9×13 baking dish. 

Set the oven to 350 F.

Boil your gluten free pasta. I love to use brands like Barilla or Ronzoni (Now called Skinner) rotini or macaroni noodles. Both are great blends of corn and rice so the flavor is very similar to Non gluten free noodles. Also, both Skinner and Barilla are inexpensive compared to other GF brands! You can find them at Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Bi-lo, and many other grocery chains.20180802_110743

When I boil gluten free noodles, I set a timer. These babies can get gooey and gummy if you aren’t watching and stirring closely so here’s my trick:

Once the water starts boiling, drop your noodles into the pot.

Set the Timer for 2 minutes. Stir it.

Set the timer for another 2 minutes. Stir it again.

Keep doing this every 2 minutes until the noodles have been boiling for 8 minutes.

Do a little taste-test and be careful not to burn yourself! 8-9 minutes is the perfect cooking time for these brands of gluten free noodles. You want them just a little al-dente.  If you like the tenderness of the noodles, go ahead and drain them. Run cold water over them until they are cool to the touch. (if you skip this step, the noodles will keep cooking and get over-tender and begin to fall apart and get gummy). When the cooled noodles are drained, set them to the side in the 9×13 pan.

In a small bowl, use a fork or a whisk to beat the half & half with the egg.

Add in the ground mustard, salt and pepper. Stir it well!

Add the noodles to the 9×13 pan and pour the milk/egg mixture over it. Stir the noodles well so that they become evenly covered in that mixture.

Take 1 cup of the shredded cheddar and set it to the side.

Pour the rest of the cheese (cheddar and colby jack) and pour it into the noodle mixture.

Use your hands to spread the cheese around evenly. The rotini shaped (twirly) pasta is great because the cheese gets into all the little cracks! 20151126_122137 (2)

When the cheese is even (under around and through) the noodles, it’s time to top it off!

Use the remaining cup of cheddar and sprinkle it over the top!

Bake the dish for 25 minutes. The top cheeses should be a bubbly golden brown when it’s done!

20171123_141030 (3)

It’s best when you serve it right away! If you reheat it, I recommend reheating it in the oven.

Let’s recap:

Boil your noodles and cool them down with cold water. Drain the noodles!
Combine 1.5 cups of half n half with 1 egg. Mix it well. 
Stir in 1 TBS Ground mustard, and 1tsp each of salt and pepper. 
Add the noodles to the pan and pour the milk mixture all over it. 
Stir till the noodles are coated. 
Add the cheese (but keep 1 cup of cheddar off to the side). 
Mix it thoroughly!
Top the dish with the remaining cheese. 
Bake for 25 minutes at 350.

That’s it! Easy right?

I hope you enjoyed this gluten free recipe. Always remember to check your labels to make sure each ingredient is gluten free!

Happy Baking!

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