This is the ultimate macaroni and cheese. Creamy, thick and rich, this mac and cheese delights kids of all ages. While perfect on its own, feel free to add a slice or two of crumbled bacon, some cooked broccoli, or a dash or two of gluten-free hot sauce.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound gluten-free elbow macaroni
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
- 6 tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 2½ cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium, store-bought broth, warmed, divided
- 2 cups whole milk, warmed, divided
- 1 pound cheddar or Colby cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
- 1/3 cup gluten-free dried breadcrumbs, optional
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Generously salt boiling water and add the macaroni. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, then stir occasionally while the macaroni cooks.
While the macaroni cooks, start the sauce. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is translucent, about 1 minute.
Switch to a wire whisk. Add the sweet rice flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and light brown, about 3 minutes.
In a slow and steady stream, add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Whisk until mixture thickens. Repeat, stopping after each addition of chicken stock, until all stock is incorporated. Add the milk, 1 cup at a time, until mixture is thick and bubbling. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese, one handful at a time. Stir gently to melt the cheese.
Check if the macaroni is done. Cook until almost tender. It will finish cooking in the oven.
Drain macaroni and return to the cooking pot. Pour the sauce over macaroni. Stir to combine. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, if using, evenly over the top. Bake until the edges start to turn golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. This recipe does not freeze well. Leftovers reheat well in either the oven or microwave.
Nutrition Analysis: 810 cal, 43 g fat, 115 mg chol, 610 mg sodium, 76 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g protein.
Elizabeth Barbone, author of the cookbooks Easy Gluten-Free Baking and How to Cook Gluten-Free, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs at glutenfreebaking.com.