I have struggled to find a macaroni and cheese recipe that I like, even before I went gluten-free. Not being able to eat normal pasta made it worse, because rice macaroni tastes like glue to me. (I like thai rice noodles though, so figure.)
But I made some baked macaroni and cheese yesterday that was so good. The ultimate comfort food. Rich and warm and gooey and so, so delicious. Also, gluten-free. Your gluten eaters won’t miss the wheat flour at all.
The key, I think, is to buy quinoa pasta. I used shells. For some reason I have never had success making a baked pasta dish with rice pasta. Qunioa holds it’s texture and doesn’t get mushy. Also, it’s full of protein and really nutritious.
This is another dish that is just better if you don’t try to de-fat it. I’ve made mac and cheese with low-fat or non-fat cheese, skim milk and no butter before. It’s just not the same. I ended up just eating the whole pan trying to get the gooey comfort my brain and mouth wanted. With this, a serving is just enough.
The Best GF Mac and Cheese EVER
1/2 pound quinoa shell noodles
8 ounces shredded cheese (Cheddar, or a cheddar blend)
8 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 beaten egg
Spices: salt, pepper, mustard powder, dried parsley, dried red pepper flakes
1/2 cup crushed GF crackers (I used Crunchmaster Original and it worked perfectly)
2 T butter, melted
1 tomato, sliced
Boil the pasta in heavily salted water until it’s still slightly firm (for me, this was seven minutes after the water returned to a boil.) Drain the pasta and toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking.
Heat the oven to 350 and grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large bowl combine the cheeses, sour cream, egg and spices. I like to put in a few dashes of Tabasco, too. If you don’t like spicy, leave out the Tabasco and dried pepper flakes.
Stir the pasta into the cheese/egg mixture.
Put the pasta/cheese mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Top with slices of tomato.
Mix the crackers crumbs with parsley flakes and melted butter to make a topping. Sprinkle over the tomatoes.
Bake covered for 25 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes.