Gooey gluten free cheese sauce coats tender macaroni and becomes an epic gluten free baked macaroni and cheese meal. Perfect for your next side dish at a family Sunday dinner. (Updated 10/17/20)
Do you ever eat a bowl full of mac and cheese and it just doesn't live up to your salivary expectations? Like you get yourself all psyched up you are about to eat homemade mac and cheese and then whomp whomp whomp, total dissapointment?
I have. A lot of times. And I can't be the only one. So it is time for a gluten free baked mac and cheese intervention. It is time to stop the madness and end the just so so tasting mac and cheese.
It is time to go big or go home folks. So today I have for you a GO BIG kinda mac and cheese recipe.
A two cheese, super smooth and so creamy mac and cheese.
You guys. I mean it when I say this the most comforting bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese I have ever eaten. Hands down, beats regular mac and cheese and no one, and I mean NO ONE will know this is gluten free.
This baked mac and cheese could quite literally heal a broken heart. It has epic powers of comforting the soul and bringing you back to simpler times.
I mean you will have to fight the urge not to curl up on the couch in your most favorite pair of sweats to eat the entire casserole dish of homemade gluten free mac and cheese alone.
NOT. EVEN. JOKING.
What makes this mac and cheese so easy
Well it's easy because you don't need a roux.
Here's the thing. Sometimes homemade macaroni and cheese recipes call for making a roux to make the cheese sauce thick. And if you don't think making a roux is a pain the butt you are wrong.
Roux's require a lot of work and attention.
So I made this recipe possible without a roux. And I pinky promise you will get a super smooth, thick, creamy cheese sauce that sticks to every square inch of your macaroni.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Cheese- First I want to make it clear you should use a block of cheese and shred yourself. Please don't waste your time making homemade macaroni and cheese using bagged preshredded cheese. It is tasteless and nothing compared to cheese you shred yourself, fresh.
Second, feel free to use any cheese you would like! I have made with two types of cheddar, I love it with cheddar and gouda. It will all work just be sure to use the same amount in any flavor you choose.
- Gluten free pasta- I strongly recommend a rotini or macaroni shape, and I also recommend using a brand that is made from corn/ and rice. These tend to be a firmer gluten free pasta that doesn't turn to mush when you cook them. I love (Barilla Gluten Free pasta and Ronzini Gluten Free Pasta
- Milk- I recommend a 2% milk. You can use a combo of heavy cream and milk if you prefer.
- Potato Starch- This is super important folks! Do not sub this with anything else. I will NOT turn out the same. It is not the same as potato flour and gluten free flour will not thicken up like this does.
How to store and make ahead of time
You know when you are making dinner for a crowd and you have to decide what dishes get to be cold and what gets to be warm because there is just too dang much food? Well guess what...
Once this comfort in a casserole dish is baked you can leave it out during a family get together and it will still taste might tasty at room temperature.
You will want to obviously store in the fridge in an air tight container after you are finished devouring it. It will be safe in the fridge up to 3-5 days.
You can also reheat this in the oven if you make it ahead of time at 350°F.
This can be made ahead of time. Just wait to bake the top and final layer of cheese until you are ready to eat it.
Step by step photos
To help make this super easy, follow along if you get stuck!
More side dish recipesPrint
Gluten Free Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Quite possibly the best homemade gluten free baked mac and cheese recipe ever. Gooey gluten free cheese sauce coats tender macaroni and becomes an epic baked macaroni and cheese meal.
- 1 12 ounce box Gluten free macaroni pasta or rotini (see notes)
- 1 and ½ cups of shredded white cheddar cheese (see notes about cheese)
- 1 and ½ cups of shredded gouda cheese
- ¼ cup of Potato starch
- 3 cups of 2 % Milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 cup of shredded cheese for topping, your choice
- Preheat your oven to Broil setting and prepare a 9x12 inch casserole dish with butter lightly greasing the bottom and sides.
- Cook your pasta according to package directions following the "al dente" directions. This should be about 5 minutes for the entire box. You want the pasta to have some bite to it because it will be baked. Drain the pasta, place it back in the pot you boiled it in and set aside.
- Prepare your potato starch mixture. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, slowly add your potato starch to ½ cup of milk. Whisk until completely combined and no starch is left on the bottom. Set aside.
- Prepare the cheese sauce. Place 2 ½ cups of milk in a medium sauce pan with shredded cheese (excluding the reserved 1 cup of cheese for topping) and salt. Slowly heat on medium low heat, stirring often. Heat until the cheese has melted and is just beginning to lightly bubble.
- When your cheese and milk are bubbly, pour the potato starch/milk mixture into the cheese sauce. Stir continuously. If the sauce does not thicken immediately, heat on medium heat while stirring until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon very well.
- Pour the finished cheese sauce on top of cooked pasta and gently stir to coat the pasta.
- Place the mac and cheese into the prepared casserole dish and top with the reserved cheese. Broil for 5-7 minutes or until the top is bubbly and begging to brown. Be sure to keep an eye on this the entire time so your top does not burn.
- This gluten free baked mac and cheese is delicious at room temperature as well. Good to know if you are planning a big family dinner and are fighting for space in the oven.
- This mac and cheese does well being reheated from room temperature when placed in a 350F oven with foil covering.
- Do not sub the potato starch for any other ingredient!
- I recommend buying cheese bars and shredding the cheese yourself for the best flavor. You will need two bars of cheese if you go this route. Feel free to use any type of cheese you like! It will all taste amazing.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baked and Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gluten free baked mac and cheese, gluten free macaroni and cheese, homemade gluten free baked mac and cheese
I had high hopes for this dish, and it might have been an error on my part, but this dish was not good. Very bland and not cheesy at all despite following the exact directions. Would not recommend.
Thanks so much for the feedback. I am sorry the dish didn't live up to your expectations. Our family loves how cheesy the dish turns out. Not sure what went wrong but I appreciate you sharing!
I like the Barilla Chickpea Gluten Free rotini. Will that hold up being baked in this mac & cheese?
Hi Shelby! I have not used that pasta to answer that with certainty, but I will say that most pasta's should hold up to it! If it tends to be on the mushy side I would be sure not to cook past al'dente instructions and be super gentle when stirring! I hope this helps and I hope you love the recipe! Thank you so much for stopping by, I truly appreciate you 🙂
Hey, question...you don't mention in the instructions when to add the 1 1/2 tsp. of salt. Might be why one person said it was bland. I figured I should add it in the milk/cheese mixture? You might want to update your recipe to say what to do with the salt. I look forward to trying this today. I can't rate it yet, because I am in the process of making it right now 🙂
Debbie! What a lifesaver you are! Thanks so much for noticing and I will fix that right now! I hope you love it and come back and give it a rating. Yes you are absolutely right on when to add it. Again thank you for the catch and I hope you have a great Sunday meal 🙂 Loren
Hi...where do I find potato starch??
I find it at a local natural food store as well as online at places like Vitacost or even Amazon! Hope this helps. If your local grocer has it, it will be in the baking aisle with the other gluten free flours like tapioca flour etc.
This was so good!! I did tweak a little, I did a little less salt and added Dijon mustard to the cheese mix and added breadcrumbs to the top. But thank you for this recipe, definitely a keeper!!! Everyone went back for full size seconds. Such a good comfort food fix.
Ah! Thanks so much Courtney! Love tbe tweaks I bet that was fantastic! So appreciate you coming back to share !!
Ok I have a big bag of pasta how do I measure 12oz please help I am new my husband decided to go GF 4 days ago and I have decided to slowly go GF, IM SCARED!!
Hi Jamie! If you have a kitchen scale that would be amazing to weight the pasta with. It would be difficult to say another way...It won't turn out gross though if you pick the wrong guess..it might just be too cheesy (is there such a thing?! lol) or not cheese enough if you accidentally use to much. The bag of pasta should have a weight on it, maybe try dividing and figuring out how much might be 12 oz (340g) based on the total weight of the bag. Hope this helps and good luck going gluten free! If you have any questions and would like a faster response you can always email me @ [email protected]
This recipe was super easy and tasty. I use an extra sharp good quality block cheese as I do enjoy a strong cheese flavor.
Yay! I have been wanting to try it with extra sharp as well. I bet it was soooo good. Thanks for coming back and rating the recipe Adrienne!!
This recipe is perfect and amazing! Used the Tolerant brand organic lentil elbows which held up perfectly. Also I could have sworn I had potato starch but mid way thru making this I realized I’m out. I made the desperate swap of using arrowroot starch and didn’t have any problems.
Hi Jessie!! I am so glad to hear you loved this recipe and that arrowroot starch works! Thank you so much for the review and for sharing your swaps that worked. That is so helpful.
Soooooo good. We have 3 celiac grand kids and this was outstanding. I haven't ever made a Mac n cheese, nevermind a gluten free one. I did sprinkle ground lupin on top with the cheese for more of a crust on top....loved how cheesy it was though out.
Patti this makes me so happy to hear! I am so glad you were able to have a mac and cheese that made the grand kids happy! Thank you for making this recipe and for taking the time to rate it.
Hello, can I make this the night before and then do the baking part next day before serving?
Hi Katie, yes you can! The blog post explains a little more in detail but just wait to add the final layer of cheese and bake at 350 the next day!
Delicious! This reminds me of a mac and cheese dish (with chicken) my mom used to make when I was a kid (before any of us ate gluten-free). I had some turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, so I added that in. It was warm, gooey comfort food at its best! 🙂
Ah yay Kristen, we are so happy to hear how much you loved this. It doesn't get much better than having nostalgic comfort food and gluten free!