Gluten free mac and cheese recipe – those magic words! It’s cheesy, warming, with a crispy top and you’re never know it was gf, vegan, dairy free AND low FODMAP. Yep, this is a naturally meat-free recipe for everyone!
Gluten free mac and cheese recipe, anyone? I can assure you that this is a little nicer than a certain free from ready meal mac and cheese that everyone seems to collectively hate 😂 This is exactly how mac and cheese should be!
Well, how should gluten free mac and cheese be, then?!
For me, it’s gotta be insanely cheesy, impeccably seasoned and smoky (as it’s such a deliciously simple dish) with a lovely crispy breadcrumbed top.
The macaroni has gotta be lovely and slightly al-dente too after a little blast in the oven – then top with fresh chives and you’re onto a winner!
Sounds good right?! And yes – this recipe is totally vegan, yet it still ticks all of those boxes. You can use regular cheese if you want though and skip these next few paragraphs – I’ll leave that up to you.
(does anyone feel like that last bit was a Great Showman reference?)
And speaking of my gluten free mac and cheese recipe being vegan, I have a bit of a bone to pick with the usual ‘vegan way’ of making mac and cheese.
The usual way being soaking cashew nuts and blending them to make your ‘cheese sauce’ and then adding in nutritional yeast too. I’ve got so many bones to pick with this method that I’m gonna have to get out the bullet points…
- Firstly, it introduces cashew nuts which are not only high FODMAP, but also expensive.
- Also, now the recipe isn’t nut free.
- Secondly, that is so much effort!! And now I have get my blender out? This is not what I had in mind when I wanted to make mac and cheese.
- Nutritional yeast is also expensive and hard to find in supermarkets.
- Also, if someone happened to want to make this recipe using regular cheese (because they’re not vegan) then they wouldn’t have a hope in hell!
Or would you prefer a totally low FODMAP, low cost, nut free recipe that’s easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find? I know what I’d prefer! And if you’d prefer that too, then keep on reading!
So whats the secret to creating the perfect vegan AND gluten free mac and cheese recipe that is super simple?
It’s quite simply your choice of vegan cheese! Why? Because it needs to melt well and it needs tons of awesome cheesy flavour. After all, we’re not using nutritional yeast or anything like that to give it added cheesy flavour.
So I have one recommendation for you here… Applewood smoky vegan cheese. And that’s exactly what I’ve used in this recipe! You can easily find it in Asda’s chilled free from aisle.
It melts really well, it’s packed with tons of cheesy flavour AND it also has a lovely smoky flavour that works SO WELL in this recipe. It’s also gluten free, dairy free vegan and has no high FODMAP ingredients.
Ok so now you know the secret to creating this recipe, here’s your shopping list!
Like I said, if you don’t want to make this recipe vegan, feel free to use any kind of cheese you like. I’d recommend 150g of cheddar and 50g of parmesan.
You really should give my vegan version a go though, neither Mark or myself are vegan because of dietary restrictions, but we absolutely love this as a meat-free meal!
Ingredients for my gluten free mac and cheese recipe
For the macaroni
- 250g gluten free macaroni pasta
- fresh chives
For the cheese sauce
- 500ml milk (dairy free if necessary)
- 50g butter or margarine (dairy free if necessary)
- 50g gluten free flour
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 200g cheese, grated (I use the Applewood smoky vegan cheese but feel free to use regular dairy cheese)
- salt and pepper
For the breadcrumbs
- 50g gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 30g butter (dairy free if necessary)
And here’s a few answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as a few tips and product recommendations for this recipe.
Hopefully this will help you to make this recipe perfect, first time!.
Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.
Is your gluten free mac and cheese recipe dairy free?
Yep, this recipe is dairy free! Just make sure you use plant-based milk and dairy free margarine instead of butter.
Of course, for the cheese, simply use Applewood smoky vegan cheese which you can easily find in Asda.
Boom – totally dairy free and vegan.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
It is vegan! Just to reiterate…
Just make sure you use plant-based milk and dairy free margarine instead of butter.
For the cheese, simply use Applewood smoky vegan cheese which you can easily find in Asda.
Is your gluten free mac and cheese recipe low FODMAP?
Yes! If you’re not vegan, you can easily use low FODMAP forms of dairy for everything – so use lactose free milk, regular butter is low FODMAP and so is regular hard cheese like cheddar and parmesan.
If you’re low FODMAP AND vegan, this recipe can STILL be made low FODMAP. As far as I can see, the Applewood smoky vegan cheese doesn’t contain any high FODMAP ingredients, so that’s an amazing start.
According to Monash University, the following milk alternatives can be low FODMAP in certain portion sizes. So pick one of these to use instead of milk!
- Almond milk
- Coconut UHT milk
- Soy milk made from ‘hulled’ soy beans
- Hemp Milk (not available in Australia or NZ, but widely available in Europe and USA)
- Coconut UHT milk (small serves)
- Soy milk made from hulled soy beans (small serves)
A lot of gluten free breadcrumbs in packets can contain flavours that could potential be high FODMAP in larger serving sizes – like gram flour or chickpea flour. So sometimes, it might be better to make your own from low FODMAP bread if you’re in the important elimination phase of the diet!
It your gluten free mac and cheese recipe nut free?
Yep, this is a nut-free recipe as far as ingredients go, BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use to bake this cake just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first.
What vegan cheese should I use for this recipe?
As I’ve probably said a billion times already, I’d recommend always using Applewood smoky vegan cheese from Asda for this recipe.
Results may vary massively if using other vegan cheese (mainly in flavour) so please don’t use any old random vegan cheese and be disappointed!
The Applewood cheese has an AMAZING smoky flavour that this recipe really needs, so I wouldn’t overly recommend using any plain old block of vegan cheese. They aren’t as cheesy as you think sometimes leaving the meal a little bland.
Hey, can I make this recipe using regular cheese, not vegan cheese?
I would highly implore you to give my version a go with Applewood smoky vegan cheese first – trust me, it’s awesome!!
But if you wanted to make this with regular cheese, you can of course just use 150g of mature cheddar and 50g of parmesan.
Obviously it won’t be vegan then 😂 If you ditch the parmesan and just use 200g of ALL cheddar, this recipe will still be veggie though!
Where can I find gluten free macaroni? Can I use other pasta shapes?
Of course, you can use any kind of gluten free pasta you like (apart from maybe spaghetti and lasagna sheets 😂) but if you reeeeally want macaroni, then here’s what I used.
It was gluten free macaroni from Morrisons! And it’s only bloody 60p at the mo – what a bargain!
What gluten free breadcrumbs should I use for your gluten free mac and cheese recipe?
I generally use a packet of gluten free breadcrumbs because it’s easier, but lately Tesco seems to have zero options for gf breadcrumbs anymore.
Does anyone else find they have stopped stocking them in their local?!
If so, blitzing up old gluten free bread in a food processor is a great way to do this in seconds. If you don’t have a food processor, simply hand break a few slices of bread – it doesn’t matter if they’re a little chunky, they’ll be like nice chunky croutons!
Can I freeze this?
Yes! Once cooled, you can happily divide this up into portions, pop into an airtight container and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Try your best to keep the breadcrumbs on top when you put it in the airtight container. That way, when you reheat it, you’ll still get that lovely crispy top.
A single serving should take 4-5 hours to defrost at room temperature.
Can I store this in the fridge and reheat this in the microwave?
You can of course store this in the fridge for up to a week. Again, try your best to keep the breadcrumbs on top when you put it in the airtight container.
But when it comes to reheating, I would advise against reheating in the microwave as you’ll lose the nice crispy top. Instead, just pop it all into an oven-proof dish with the breadcrumb side on top.
Then, reheat in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 200C. You should still get a nice crispy top!
I don’t have an oven, can I just cook this on the hob?
Of course! I’d just recommend crisping up the breadcrumbs for a little longer until they start to turn a little golden brown as you won’t have extra cook-time in the oven.
Also, make sure your gluten free pasta is properly cooked as you won’t have that little extra cook time in the oven.
Can I add vegetables into your gluten free mac and cheese recipe?
Yes! Simply add your cooked veggies at the stage where you combine the cheesy sauce and pasta, but before you pop it into the oven to bake. I’d recommend broccoli or cauliflower… just think cauliflower cheese – it’s great!
Can I print your gluten free mac and cheese recipe?
Of course! Just hit the print button located on the recipe below 👇🏻 (otherwise you might end up printing this entire post which would probably make your printer go into early retirement)
For the macaroni
For the cheese sauce
For the breadcrumbs
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 609 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 103mg Sodium: 689mg Carbohydrates: 46g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 23g
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
Oh and don’t forget to pin this for later!