Last updated on December 2nd, 2011
IF YOU’VE GIVEN UP ON TRADITIONAL BAKED MAC & CHEESE because of wheat-intolerance, by all means try my gluten-free version. Yes, it’s creamy. Yes, it’s comforting. And I promise its garlic, parsley and breadcrumb topping will make you swoon.
For the macaroni, I use quinoa pasta. Not only does quinoa (pr. “keen-wah”) have a delicious nutty flavor, it’s a complete source of protein, too (unlike bland and nutritionally-barren semolina pasta). You can find elbow-shaped quinoa in most grocery stores these days.
Gluten-Free Macaroni & Cheese
1 box (8 oz) elbow-shaped Quinoa Pasta
8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs cornstarch (non-GMO, please)
3 cups milk (plus 2 Tbs to blend with cornstarch)
1 cup breadcrumbs, made from gluten-free Tapioca bread
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh or frozen parsley, minced
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
Special Equipment: a 4-qt saucepan; a colander; a small skillet; a buttered (or vegetable-sprayed) baking dish, approx. 9 x 11 inches
The pasta – In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta. Return the water to a boil, and cook the pasta for exactly 6 minutes. Drain, then pour the pasta into the baking dish.
The cheese sauce – Add the milk to the pot which previously held the pasta, and set over high heat. Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch with 2 Tbs milk to make a thick paste. When the milk begins to bubble, lower the heat, add the cornstarch mixture, and stir until the milk has thickened. Then add the Dijon mustard, and finally the cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Pour over pasta, stirring to help settle the sauce.
The breadcrumb topping – In the skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the garlic, the parsley and the breadcrumbs. Stir about until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Spoon over pasta.
Baking – 30 minutes at 350F – Set the dish on the middle shelf of the preheated 350F oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling occurs at the edges of the baking dish.
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I don't have wheat-intolerance (thank goodness) but I may have to try this recipe anyway!!
I didn't know that quinoa came in an elbow shape. I haven't ever cooked with it before, but it's something that I have wanted to try. I don't have a problem with gluten, but this sounds like a healthy and delicious alternative to regular pasta.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Katreader – I don't have wheat-intolerance either (at least I don't think so!), but my partner does. That's why I created this alternative (and frankly, superior!) version of the king of comfort foods.
naturegirl – I hope you will give quinoa a try, in one form or another. It's very healthy (until you cloak it in milk and cheese)!
Kevin, this sounds amazing, never thought to do a provencal-type breadcrumb topping on M&C. Keep these recipes coming.