I love a good mac and cheese. The real cheese, rich, flavorful ones. Unfortunately, not many places make gluten-free mac and cheese, so if I get a craving for it I have to make it at home. No worries though, I’ve been using this recipe for a couple years and love it!
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free)
adapted from this recipe, here.
-1 box (at least 12 oz) penne or other shaped pasta (I like this GF kind)
-6 Tbsp butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-4 Tbsp flour (I use my GF all purpose flour)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 1/2 cups milk
-2 1/2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (or you can use a mixture of cheeses if you prefer – I usually use at least one 8 oz block of white cheddar, then add a bit of Gruyere, Parmesan, or whatever else I have in the fridge)
-salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste
1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions (I like my pasta al dente).
2. In large skillet, melt butter (over medium/high heat). Stir in garlic, mustard, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in flour, stirring and cooking another minute or so until golden.
4. Whisk in broth and milk and stir constantly for 10 minutes or so, until sauce bubbles and thickens slightly (turning heat down to medium if needed).
5. Stir in cheeses until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. (I sometimes sprinkle in a little Italian seasoning as well). Stir in cooked pasta.
6. Either enjoy as is, or if you have extra time, place in glass baking dish, sprinkle with toasted GF breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for another 30 minutes or so until it is nice and bubbly!
P.S. This recipe works great to add in chicken and broccoli or other vegetables for a main dish. If you do decide to bake afterwards, I would suggest only cooking the pasta on the stove until it begins to soften, but is still slightly crunchy. Otherwise baking it might overcook the pasta and get too soft/mushy. As it is baking, the pasta absorbs more of the sauce and it is delicious! But, let’s be real, I’m usually in a hurry to get dinner done after work and don’t have time for that!
Happy Mardi Gras!
This is a very special recipe. It was my family’s favorite food growing up, one that was often requested for birthdays or served on special occasions like Christmas Eve (I mentioned it here). I hadn’t had it in several years (since going gluten-free), so a few weeks ago I tried working on a gluten-free version. It is just as delicious gluten-free and surprisingly simple to make for such a special recipe. Spaetzle is a type of German dumpling, if you’ve never had or heard of it before. This dish is similar to chicken and dumplings, except that these dumplings are a little more firm than your standard American dumplings.
makes about 6 servings
-3 cups flour (I use my GF All-Purpose Flour mix)
-1 tsp salt
-6 Tbsp melted butter
-4 Tbsp water
-8 cups chicken stock/broth
-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
-1-2 cups frozen peas
-salt, pepper, herbs/Italian seasoning, to taste
1. In large stockpot, bring 8 cups chicken broth to a boil.
2. In medium bowl, mix together flour and salt.
3. In small bowl, beat together melted butter, water, and eggs.
4. Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
5. Turn chicken broth down to a low simmer.
6. Press spaetzle dough through spaetzle maker or potato ricer into broth, cutting off every inch or so.
7. Stir gently so spaetzles do not stick. Spaetzle is done when it floats.
8. Scoop floating spaetzles out into a bowl. Continue process until all spaetzles are cooked.
9. Once all spaetzles are cooked, add back into chicken broth.
10. Add chicken and peas.
11. Add salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (or herbs/spices of your choice) as desired.
12. Serve when peas are cooked and chicken is heated through.
A few notes:
If the spaetzles absorb too much broth while cooking, feel free to add in more before serving. You can also thicken the broth with cornstarch or add in a can of cream of chicken soup (not gluten-free), if you want thicker broth. The first time I made this gluten-free, I also added 1/8 tsp xanthan gum, but forgot to add it the second time I made it and didn’t notice a difference between the two. If you are making this gluten-free, feel free to add it or not.
The original recipe calls for half of this one [1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp water, 2 eggs], but I wouldn’t recommend making that little, unless there is only one person eating. If you want to make it for more than 6 people, you might triple this recipe, instead of doubling the one above. Up to you. At family gatherings we’ve been known to quadruple this recipe. :)
I’ve been eating a gluten-free diet for almost two years now and this month is the first time I’d tried making my own gluten-free all-purpose flour. I’m not sure why I resisted so long! When I first went gluten-free, I resisted having to buy a million different gluten-free flours, so I stuck to recipes I could make with simply brown rice flour or a combination of just a few other flours. However, over the past few years for various recipes I’ve ended up with a pantry full of different GF flours anyway. It was about time I mixed some together and came up with a simple substitute for my old gluten flour recipes!
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
makes about 9 cups
-4 cups finely or stone-ground white rice flour
-2 cups stone-ground brown rice flour
-2 cups tapioca flour or tapioca starch
-1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
1. In an extra-large bowl or container, combine flours. Whisk together until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Use a large spoon to bring flour up from the bottom of the bowl to the top and whisk again. Repeat a few times to make sure the flours are evenly distributed throughout the entire mixture.
2. Store the flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for longer use. (I store mine in a half-gallon mason jar in the fridge.) Allow the flour to come to room temperature before using.
3. Lightly stir the flour before measuring. Spoon the flour into measuring cup and level off with a straight edge (the back of a butter knife works perfectly).
Note: Depending on the recipe, you might have to add a little bit of xanthan gum to your regular recipe to get the best gluten-free result (it acts as a binder similar to gluten).
I’ve already used this GF flour mix several times in the last week or two to make family recipes I hadn’t had in years! It has worked wonderfully for me so far. I actually had to mix up a second batch of it yesterday to make some biscuits. More gluten-free recipes using this flour mix will be coming soon!
This yummy dessert was my favorite pie growing up, and was one that was often served at Thanksgiving. I hadn’t had it in a few years (since going gluten-free), so I decided to finally make a gluten-free version. It is delicious warm, served with whipped cream and banana slices.
-9 inch unbaked pie shell/crust (I use my homemade gluten-free version, here)
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I use these GF ones from my local grocery store)
-1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
-1 1/2 cups coconut
-7 egg whites, unbeaten
1. Prepare pie crust.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
3. Stir egg whites into dry ingredients.
4. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
5. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven until glossy and set (about 25-30 minutes). Center should be gooey. Do not overbake.
6. Serve warm with whipped cream and sliced bananas.
Drew loves lasagna, spaghetti, anything really with a tomato-based sauce. I recently came across this recipe and we tried it (tweaking it a little to be gluten-free) and fell in love. It really is delicious and much better, in my opinion, than regular lasagna.
Cheese Stuffed Lasagna Manicotti
makes about 6 servings, original recipe from here.
-2 cups (16 oz) ricotta cheese
-4 cups shredded cheese (I use around 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, and 1 cup white cheddar)
-2 large eggs
-2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
-2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (optional, if I don’t have this on hand, I usually just add a little dried basil or Italian seasoning)
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
-12 lasagna noodles (I use gluten-free ones, of course)
-3 cups (24 oz) garlic and herb pasta/marinara sauce
1. Boil several cups of water on the stove or in a teapot.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Lay lasagna noodles out flat in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour boiling water on top of them, and let them soak until pliable, 5-10 minutes. (You might have to separate with a knife or fork every so often to prevent sticking).
4. In medium-sized bowl, shred cheeses (mozzarella, Parmesan, white cheddar, etc.) and mix together. Even though it takes longer, I try to always freshly shred any cheeses I’m going to bake with. Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping and can result in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted (not to mention that it isn’t always gluten-free!).
5. Remove 1 cup of cheese, reserving for later.
6. In the bowl with the rest of the cheeses, mix in ricotta, eggs, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
7. Remove noodles from water and place in a single layer on clean dish towels with the short ends facing you.
8. Discard water from 9×13 inch baking dish, then spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly.
9. Spread cheese mixture over the bottom three-quarters of each noodle. Roll the noodles up around the filling and place in rows on top of the pasta sauce in baking dish.
10. Once all noodles are in baking dish, spread the rest of the pasta sauce over the tops of the noodles.
11. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.
12. Remove foil, top noodles with the remaining cup of shredded cheeses and bake for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
P.S. These are delicious and make a great meatless meal! You could also add in chopped spinach to this recipe (add it into the cheese mixture) or if you must have meat, add cooked ground beef or sausage into the pasta sauce. You can also freeze the stuffed noodles to cook later, just place filled noodles seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced out so they aren’t touching. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or other airtight container. When ready to bake, follow the rest of the assembly instructions above, but increase the baking time (while covered with foil) to about 40 minutes.