When my son asked why he can't have the macaroni that his friends at daycare got to eat, I knew it was time to come up with a version that he could enjoy. I sometimes forget how difficult it must be for such a little boy to be left out of eating the same things as his friends since he handles it so well most of the time. The excitement on his face when he said it looked just like his friends' macaroni and cheese reminded me of how important it for him to feel included as much as possible.
My son doesn't tolerate cow's milk well, so I used goat milk and goat milk cheddar in this recipe, as well as Becel vegan buttery spread, but for the recipe below I just noted the plain dairy ingredients. If you prepare the sauce while the water is boiling for the pasta, it's honestly ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
20 minute Gluten Free Mac 'n ' Cheese
1 bag (340g) gluten free elbow macaroni
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. gluten free flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup gluten free vegetable broth
2 cups grated medium or strong cheddar
Salt & Pepper
1- In a large pot, put water on to boil for the for pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add a pinch of nutmeg. You don't need much, and you can always add more later. Once butter has melted, add flour and stir to combine. This is what will thicken your sauce.
3- Add milk and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, stirring while you add to avoid clumps. Have more vegetable broth on hand later in case you need to thin out the sauce a little. Cook over medium low, keeping it hot, but not boiling.
4- Add grated cheese one handful at a time. This step is important because otherwise you will get gross clumps of cheese that won't melt and your sauce will be ruined. Put in a handful, stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Repeat until all the cheese is incorporated. Taste sauce and season with salt & pepper, and more nutmeg if desired. Turn heat to low, and stir occasionally.
5- When pasta is ready, drain and place in a large bowl or back in the pot. Pour sauce over pasta, mixing to combine. Serve immediately.
This pasta was seriously easy to make, and it was gone in no time. If you want to get fancy you could add some toasted gluten free breadcrumbs on top, or you could stir in some cooked broccoli and ham, or anything else that you like.