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This Gluten Free Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe is so quick and easy, with only a handful of ingredients! Everything comes together as soon as the pasta is finished boiling, for a creamy and cheesy, family-friendly dinner.
A Quick & Easy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Recipe
Good old-fashioned mac and cheese is one of my family’s favorite comfort foods. It’s such an easy stovetop recipe to cook up on a busy weeknight. And I especially love this gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe, since it only requires 6 ingredients and less than 25 minutes!
Like any mac and cheese recipe, creamy and cheesy is the name of the game. I pop the gluten-free pasta on the stove in one pot, get the sauce going in a pan, and by the time the pasta is finished boiling, I have the deliciously flavorful cheese sauce ready to go! Everything comes together super quickly and you can store leftovers for kid-friendly lunches.
When it comes to family dinners, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this stovetop mac and cheese!
What You’ll Need
The most epic gluten free mac and cheese you’ll ever make is just 6 ingredients away! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten Free Elbow Macaroni: Or another short pasta. Barilla is my go-to brand when it comes to this gluten-free recipe!
- Milk: 2% or whole milk is recommended.
- Cornstarch: For thickening.
- Dry Mustard: For flavor.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: I love the bold flavor of a mature sharp cheddar!
What Kind of Pasta Should I Use?
For a classic mac and cheese recipe, you can’t beat macaroni noodles or elbow pasta. Gluten free penne, rigatoni, and shells are also great runners-up! Barilla has a great range of pastas that are also conveniently gluten free.
How to Make Gluten Free Mac and Cheese
You have your handful of ingredients, now here’s how to make this delicious and creamy stovetop mac and cheese in under 25 minutes!
Cook the Pasta: First, boil the macaroni al dente according to the package instructions.
Make the Cheese Sauce: This sauce takes so little time to prepare, I usually have it ready before the noodles cook! To make the sauce, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, dry mustard, and salt, and simmer the mixture in a saucepan. Lower the heat and add in the cheddar a little at a time. Make sure to give it a good stir!
Assemble the Mac & Cheese: Drain the macaroni noodles and then combine them in the pot with the cheese sauce. Stir everything well and then serve right away.
Tips for Success
- Make Sure to Salt the Pasta Water: Generously salt the pasta water before you boil it for the best, well seasoned pasta noodles.
- Rinse the Pasta: After the pasta is cooked al dente, I often give it a rinse with cold water to stop it from overcooking. Combine it with the hot cheese sauce right afterwards for best results.
- Keep Stirring: Make sure you’re stirring continuously throughout this recipe, both while preparing the sauce and once it’s added to the pasta!
Oh, the places this simple stovetop mac and cheese recipe will take you! Every time I make this macaroni and cheese, I think of all the ways it can be dressed up with other ingredients. Of course, this cheesy pasta is delicious all on its own. However, if you’re looking for add-ins, there are easy and delicious options:
- Cooked ground beef or shredded chicken, diced bacon or ham (try this easy Bacon and Chicken Mac and Cheese!)
- Sautéed mushrooms or spinach
- Chopped broccoli, carrots or other veggies
- Basil pesto or tapenade
- Fresh chilis or red chili flakes
- Caramelized onions
- Fresh herbs
Make it a Meal
I love making a meal of this easy pasta recipe by pairing it with one or more sides. Here are some suggestions on what to serve with mac and cheese:
- Round out this kid-friendly meal with easy gluten free Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets and a healthy side of steamed or Roasted Broccoli.
- Go with full-on Southern comfort when you make Air Fryer Gluten Free Fried Chicken and some Gluten-Free Cornbread
- Accompany your gluten-free mac and cheese dinner with BBQ Turkey Meatballs and Gluten Free Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls.
- This mac and cheese is delicious with more veggie sides like Honey Dijon Peas and Carrots or crispy Air Fryer Green Beans, or a grown-up Easy Greek Salad.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Store any leftover mac and cheese airtight in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Portions can be reheated on the stovetop again or in the microwave with a spoonful of milk added to help revive the cheese sauce.
Can I Freeze Macaroni and Cheese?
Gluten free pasta does tend to become a little mushy after freezing and thawing. It’s still super tasty! This is just the nature of gluten free noodles.
This stovetop mac and cheese can be frozen altogether or in individual portions for quick thawing and reheating. Allow the macaroni and cheese to cool completely, and then store it tightly wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge and then reheat as usual.
More Gluten Free Pasta Dishes to Try
- Fettuccine Pumpkin Cauliflower Alfredo
- Bolognese Sauce with Pasta
- Italian Noodle Casserole
- Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Chicken
- Cold Sesame Peanut Zucchini Noodles
- Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce
Gluten Free Stove Top Mac and Cheese
- 12 oz gluten free elbow macaroni (Barilla recommended), or another short pasta
- 3 cups milk (2% or whole milk is recommended)
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese (12 oz), shredded
- Cook the macaroni according to the package directions, being sure to leave it al dente.
- While the noodles cook, in a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, dry mustard, and salt.
- Turn on the stove to medium-low and bring to a simmer. Let it gently bubble for 4-6 minutes until thickened.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the cheese a little bit at a time, stirring in completely after each addition.
- Drain the noodles well, return to the pot and add the cheese sauce. Stir everything together and serve hot.