By Wendy Stoltz / Last Modified On March 22, 2023
Easy Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese that's ready as soon as the gluten free pasta is done cooking.
This gluten free mac and cheese recipe uses minimal ingredients and only requires a few simple steps.
This gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and egg-free.
Looking for more comfort foods? You'll want to make my Gluten Free Pizza Recipe. My Gluten Free Chicken and Biscuits are also simple to make and delicious.
Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
Gluten free mac and cheese is a staple in our house. I have two kids, and if they could eat mac and cheese every day they would.
This recipe is also great for adults who love pasta and cheese. I don't have a dairy-free version as this recipe uses cheese as a main ingredient.
Tips for making gluten free macaroni and cheese
Follow the manufacturer's directions for boiling the gluten free pasta.
After you drain the water from your pasta, rinse it with cold water. This will help prevent it from continuing to cook.
Add the cheese sauce immediately after rinsing the pasta with cold water.
The gluten free mac and cheese sauce is pretty fail-proof as long as you keep stirring it while it cooks.
How to make gluten free macaroni and cheese sauce
You can make gluten free mac and cheese sauce in a few simple steps. Most people have the ingredients on hand.
- While your pasta is boiling, add the half and half to a small saucepan. Bring the half and half to a boil.
- Add in the spices and salt, and mix until combined.
- Add in the sharp cheddar and stir.
- Continue to stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are combined and smooth.
These steps match the numbered photos above to give you a visual on how to make gluten free macaroni and cheese sauce. For the full list of ingredients and the recipe, please see below.
How to make white cheddar mac and cheese
If you prefer white cheddar gluten free mac and cheese, simple swap out the sharp cheddar for a white cheddar or mozzarella, and follow the rest of the gluten free mac and cheese recipe instructions as written. You could also make a gluten-free bechamel sauce to make it extra creamy and fancy. For a spicier mac and cheese, use Colby jack or add more spices.
Gluten Free Pasta
While I have many gluten free pasta brands, here are a few of my favorite gluten free pastas to use when making gluten free mac and cheese.
- Jovial Gluten Free Elbows
- Jovial Gluten Free Penne
- Jovial Gluten Free Shells
- Barilla Gluten Free Elbows
- Rummo Gluten Free Penne
We have many more favorite gluten free pasta brands but those are the ones we stick to when making gluten free macaroni and cheese.
Gluten Free Kraft Mac and Cheese
Kraft now makes a gluten free Kraft mac and cheese and they are receiving mixed reviews. Some people feel that it's the equivalent of traditional kraft boxed mac and cheese, while others disagree.
More and more stores are now carrying gluten free Kraft mac and cheese, making it a quick and easy option.
We prefer our homemade gluten free mac and cheese and feel it's just as quick to make as the gluten free Kraft mac and cheese.
Please always check labels before you purchase.
I personally like making homemade gluten free mac and cheese but that doesn't mean I never buy the boxed kind.
I find homemade macaroni and cheese to be creamier, and cheesier and I can make it exactly the way I like it.
It also tends to be less expensive to make from scratch gluten free macaroni and cheese vs. buying the boxed kind.
If you're looking for a dairy-free version you might like this Dairy-Free Macaroni and Cheese from Allergy Free Alaska.
Looking for a dessert? Try this Gluten Free Cheesecake. Black Raspberry Ice Cream is also a fun and delicious dessert that goes well with mac and cheese.
Did you make this gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe? Please leave me a comment below letting me know what you thought and what type of pasta you used!
Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese
Easy Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese that's ready as soon as the gluten free pasta is done cooking.
- 16 oz. gluten-free elbows macaroni
- 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
- 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (or more for more spice)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook pasta per the instruction on the packaging. Rinse cooked pasta in cold water; set aside.
- Add the half and half to a small cooking pot and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat. Add in the cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and mustard powder and stir until combined.
- Add in the sharp cheddar cheese and stir until combined and the cheese is melted.
- Add cheese sauce to the pasta and toss to combine.
- Serve hot.
- Follow the manufacturer directions for boiling the gluten free pasta
- After you drain the water from your pasta, rinse it with cold water. This will help prevent it from continuing to cook.
- Add the cheese sauce immediately after rinsing the pasta with cold water.
Serving Size:1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 567mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.
My son is a teenager with T1D and celiac! Making diabetic/ gluten free foods that teenagers like is a challenge. You are truly a lifesaver. Thank you for all you do!
Awe, I'm so glad I was able to create a recipe that works for him. I hope he loves it.
robin j dopson
I know he loves mac and cheese too, my boys did. who doesn't love it?
Destiny M Ramsey
Ugggg- I hear you, momma!! My 16 yr old daughter was first told she has Celiacs and now they have changed it to non-celiac gluten sensitivity and Gastritis. She lives with abdominal pain. Most sites have such odd GF recipes for adults, we've struggled to find 'teenager food.' This site has been such a breath of fresh air. Blessings to you and your son!
Made this & added broccoli delicious!
Hello I was wondering if we have a cayenne allergy what other pepper or seasoning can be used in place of it. Thank you so much. You have changed gluten free cooking for my whole family!
Hi! You can use paprika, or leave it out.
So can I make this recipe a couple days ahead and keep in refrigerator and then reheat in oven to serve? I do this with my regular Mac n cheese but it is suppose to cook in oven so I just hold that step off until the day of.
Because this recipe uses cheese, it's best served day of. The sauce pulls together pretty quick so if you want to make the pasta ahead, and the sauce day-of, that will work.
Looking forward to making this! Do you think I can make the sauce in the morning and then warm it up when I cook the pasta later that day? Thank you!
Yes, you can.
I made this in a half batch with one box of Jovial cassava flour elbows, which I cook on the Instant Pot. I used canned coconut milk in place of the milk, and omitted the mustard powder and cayenne. We enjoyed it…thank you for the recipe!
Thanks, Dorothy, I appreciate your comment.
The first ingredient is 16oz of gluten-free pasta, but I have never found a single brand - even the one you link in the recipe - which is more than 12oz. I'm assuming this is just copied from a gluten-based recipe and given no consideration to the difference. Is this recipe acceptable for a 12oz box of pasta? Or is this a multi-box'er?
I totally get it. I feel like every brand is different, with some boxes being 8oz., some 10 oz. and some 12. This is a multi-box recipe. You can always use 8 oz. or 10 oz. etc, and have more cheese sauce, or freeze the extra cheese sauce (for up to 3 months). You can also halve the cheese sauce recipe, if you want to make less. I hope that helps.
I found a 16oz bag of gluten free elbow noodles. The brand is called Tinkyada.
Thank you for sharing! I sometimes use the 16oz. bags of gluten free pasta from Trader Joe's.
Jeanne Marie Hoffman
The Aldi GF pasta is also 16oz!
I get Tinkada brand 16 ounce bags at our local health food store.
Tinkyada sells their GF pasta in 16 oz. bags. And it's very good too.
Can I make this and have has leftover? Does it freeze well?
I haven't tried freezing it yet, but it's great as leftovers. You can also cut the recipe in half if needed.
I bake it until top gets browned a bit i use Jovial pasta which holds up for 3 days. I also freeze in individual serving sizes in foil And freezer zip lock. thanks for the recipe
You are welcome. Thank you for sharing.
If you're going to freeze I would make a batch just for freezing. The key to freezing pasta is to have it under cooked so it won't be a messy mush when you thaw. I have tried multiple GF pasta's, and believe it or not, Walmart brand GF pastas are our favorite.
Thank you for sharing, Lucie.
My favorite too.
Thank you. I’m going to make this for dinner. I was wondering if this can be baked with some Panko crumbs.
Sure! You can add them to the top for a little crunch.
Hi, New to the GF world. Wondering how this reheats as GF noodles seem to get mushy..... want to do ahead for a Christmas buffet! Thoughts please?
I think it depends on the noodle you use. My trick is to watch it carefully and to drain the water just before I would consider them done.
I am allergic to all types of mustard. can we leave it out or will it affect the recipe?
You can leave it out.
Can’t wait to try. Looks like a good one for kids on Easter as a side to the ham! If we are traveling do you suggest putting it in the oven once you arrive to heat up again before serving? Thank you!
Yes, you can re[heat the mac and cheese in the oven or a microwave.
If I make this a couple hours before we are going to eat, should I put it in the fridge and then just put it in the oven to heat it through when we are ready to eat?
Hi Joni, Yes, that should work just fine. Enjoy!
Barilla and Ronzoni make a good gluten free pasta.
Can I use Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour with Xanthan Gum?
For Recipe #1 you indicate to use 16oz. of pasta but in instruction step #6, you state pour over 4 ounces of pasta. Please clarify.
I don't use flour in this recipe, so I'm not sure what the AP gluten free flour would be for. For the pasta, you mix the cheese sauce with a box worth of pasta. Most boxes are 12-16oz. I hope that helps.
Could you make this a couple hours before a party and leave it to warm in a crockpot?
Hi Jane, That should work well. The only worry I might have is that the macaroni could overcook, but a couple of hours shouldn't hurt. Enjoy!
I made this recipe tonight even though science was telling me there is nothing in the recipe to keep the sauce from separating. Usually when you make mac and cheese you make a roux and the roux keeps the sauce creamy. But I went with your directions because there were lots of positive comments. Well, science proved me suspicions correct. The result was nothing like the creamy sauce you have in your picture. As soon as I introduced the noodles to the sauce it began to separate because there was nothing to bind the cream and cheese together. Fail. And I had to double the cheese "sauce" to make it even remotely cheesy for just 12 oz of pasta. Fail again.
Hi Sharlene, Thank you for commenting. The recipe is tried and tested by many readers. If you prefer a roux, you can definitely make one.
This did not work at all. As others commented, the sauce separated into chunks and the cheese/milk ratio is way off.
Hi Abigail, Thank you for commenting. The recipe is tried and tested by many readers. If the sauce separated, I would suggest you cook it for less time. Overcooking may result in splitting.
Has anyone ever tried to make a baked version of this one and also add additional types of cheese? This recipe seems amazing, but I was hoping to add additional cheese and make it baked with GF breadcrumbs. Please let me know if this could be modified. Thank you 🙂
I have not tried it, give it a try and let us know.
Please tell me if I can add two or three different cheeses? And, could I bake it a while to make the cheese toasty?
Yes, you can but just use a cheese type that melts well. Yes you can bake it to your liking.