I’ll bet your mom made some version of this when you were a kid didn’t she? Well, welcome back to your childhood. Your kids will love this too and they won’t even know it’s gluten free!
If like my awesome (if I do say so myself) Gluten Free Mac and Cheese then you’ll love this. The creamy, cheesy sauce is perfectly accented with the pungent spicy Dijon and the mushrooms add that earthy umami flavor that pasta loves. Add the crispy potato chip topping and you have the ideal family meal.
This recipe works best with elbow macaroni or fusilli. These shapes hold together best while you stir in the cheese sauce and bake it in the oven. You could turn this into a tetrazzini by using spaghetti and switching out the ham for chicken or turkey.
Cook your gluten free pasta according to the package instructions with a little salt in the water, but reduce the cooking time by about 2 minutes. You’ve likely noticed that gluten free pasta has about a 5 second window between “al dente” and mush. For this recipe you want it a little undercooked because it will cook more in oven with the sauce.
This is a twist on a standard gluten free cheese sauce that you might pour over cauliflower or a baked chicken breast.
Cheese sauce is a bechamel which means a milk-based sauce thickened with flour, in our case gluten free flour, then flavored with cheese. For my gluten free macaroni casserole, I’ve amped up the flavor a little more with onion, garlic, oregano, and mushrooms. Don't worry about the type of gluten free flour. Unlike baking, sauces don't require special blends so any gluten free all purpose flour blend will do. I wouldn't go with plain rice flour though as it can be a bit grainy.
Want to try something fun? Double the milk and you’ll have a cheesy mushroom soup.
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This is your chance to clean out the fridge. Any cheese will work. I like a nice sharp cheddar so you get a deep cheesy flavor. If you add a little mozzarella, you’ll get that stringy affect when you take a bite. Parmesan adds a lovely cheesy aroma. You can even use cheese slices or my Mom’s kid friendly trick which was to throw in a big spoonful of Cheese Whiz. A couple of tablespoons of creamy goat cheese adds a tart earthy flavor.
If you have issues with dairy, you can still enjoy this gluten free macaroni casserole. Substitute the milk for any plant-based milk. I like to use canned coconut milk and top up it up with water to the 2 ½ cup mark. There are lots of vegan cheeses on the market. I’ve tried a few and they all work fine.
If you're casein intolerant, you may be okay with cheeses made with goat or sheep’s milk. I like to do a mixture of goat cheddar and pecorino Romano with a generous tablespoonful of creamy white goat cheese.