This easy one-pot gluten-free macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food without the hassle. Made with just a few simple ingredients like milk, cheese, and rice pasta, this stovetop mac and cheese comes together in under 15 minutes.
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If you have fond memories of Kraft mac and cheese, then this recipe is for you. My homemade gluten-free mac and cheese recipe is comfort food at its best.
But this recipe improves on both flavor and texture, making it a slightly more adult version with a delectable creamy cheese sauce.
📖Why Why Make this Gluten-Free Mac N Cheese
Everyone will tell you that they have the best gluten-free mac and cheese. And while I love a cheesy baked mac and cheese, this is the one mac and cheese I make most often.
Just like with my stovetop tuna casserole, the ease makes it a winner.
Easy Preparation- Putting away the baking dish, just one pot and a handful of ingredients, you'll have creamy macaroni and cheese ready in 10 to 15 minutes.
Less than the amount of time it takes to make a box of gluten-free free mac and cheese!
Creamy Sauce- I love a good homemade cheese sauce, but here we are melting the cheese right into the pasta.
🧾Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
Because this recipe is made in one pot without draining the pasta it is important to use the correct ingredients.
Gluten-Free Pasta- Specifically you need to use gluten-free macaroni and one made with all-purpose gluten-free flour. Different shapes will soak a different amount of liquid.
For the best results, use a pasta roughly that size and shape. I used Barilla gluten-free elbow and Jovial brand for my testing. macaroni in my testing.
Chickpea, lentil, and other types of GF pasta will not work in this recipe.
Whole Milk- The base of the cheese sauce is made of whole milk and water. Do not use skim milk or it won't be rich enough.
Cheese- This recipe uses two different cheeses; American cheese and sharp cheddar. The combination of cheddar and American gives you both flavor and amazing texture.
You need to use a chunk of American cheese from the deli counter NOT American cheese slices. This cheese is what makes the sauce creamy. While the sharp cheddar gives you extra flavor.
You can use yellow or white cheddar. Use block cheese not pre-shredded cheese for the creamiest sauce.
Leftover cheese can be saved to make cheesy eggs!
Seasoning- Dijon and hot sauce are all you need.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
Some of my favorite add-ins to this homemade mac and cheese are:
- 1 cup of steamed broccoli florets
- ½ cup of crispy, crumbled bacon
- 1 cup cooked diced ham
- Minced jalapenos
- Toasted gluten-free breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
In a large pot bring the water and milk to a gentle boil. Reduce to medium-low heat. Lower if needed to keep it at a simmer.
Add in your gluten-free noodles. Stir frequently. The noodles should begin to absorb the moisture. Cook until just before it is al dente.
Stir in the American cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted.
Add in the cheddar cheese. Stir to incorporate, turn off the heat and cover. Rest for 5 minutes. When you open the lid the cheese should be fully melted.
🥗What to Serve with Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
For extra creaminess, stir in a dollop of cream cheese during the final stages of cooking.
To avoid pasta sticking together, stir frequently while cooking.
Don't overcook the pasta, start adding the cheese when it is al dente.
Add warm milk to thin out the sauce if needed.
Store any leftover GF mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk to restore the creamy texture.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Heat up extra milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add to the pot ⅓ cup at a time.
Add additional shredded cheese or cream cheese to thicken.
Sadly, this GF mac and cheese can't be made dairy-free because of the cooking process
Yes, this recipe works with regular pasta.
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Creamy Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese (Stovetop)
- In a saucepan over high heat, combine water, milk, a pinch of salt, Dijon mustard, and a dash of hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the gluten-free macaroni, then reduce the heat to medium-low.2 cups water, 1 ¾ cups milk, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- Allow the macaroni to cook for 4 to 6 minutes, making sure to stir frequently. This will help the macaroni reach an "al dente" texture, where it is cooked but still slightly firm to the bite.12 ounces gluten-free elbow macaroni
- Stir in the American cheese. Gently stir the mixture until the cheese has melted. Add the cheddar cheese and stir to incorporate, note that it will not fully melt. Cover and turn off the heat. Let rest for 5 minutes. Give a final stir and serve.6 ounces American cheese, 6 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese