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Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Gluten free mac and cheese at its easy best. This recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish, and it’s made entirely on the stovetop. So good!

Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

This super easy gluten free mac and cheese is just the recipe you need. I know this because I use it regularly for a last-minute dinner in my house when I basically have nothing planned and everyone is hungry hungry hungry. It’s made entirely on the stovetop, uses only basic gluten free pantry ingredients (yes, you really do need a basic gum-free gluten free flour blend but it’s only 3 simple flours and incredibly useful), has no eggs and is ready in minutes. So not only is it perfect for a weeknight (or a Friday night when you’re just.plain.tired), it’s also perfect for the holiday table since, well, it doesn’t use the oven!

Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

It’s creamy and dreamy and delicious. And you can even make the pasta hours and hours ahead of time, then just cover it and keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to throw together the cheese sauce and serve. It’s that easy!

Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese Step by Step

Okay so I did the step-by-steps, but mostly because my husband happened to be home for the day and he was willing to be my hand model. But also because you can see for yourself how easy it is.

Easy Stovetop Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

So creamy! I’ve even made the pasta at home, then brought the handful of cheese sauce ingredients and a medium-size pot, and made this at my brother’s house to serve a great gluten free meal away from home with ease. Boom!

Casserole-style GF Classic Mac and Cheese.
Slow Cooker GF Mac and Cheese.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 6 to 8 servings


16 to 20 ounces small dried gluten free pasta (I used Barilla gluten free pasta elbows)

1 to 2 tablespoons (14 to 28 g) extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped

1/3 cup (47 g) gluten free flour blend (31 grams superfine white rice flour + 10 grams potato starch + 6 grams tapioca starch/flour)

1 can (12 fluid ounces) lowfat evaporated milk

2 to 2 1/2 cups (16 to 20 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature (any kind, just not nonfat)

1 pound (16 ounces) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste


  • Boil the pasta in a large pasta pot to an al dente texture, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, return it to the pasta pot and toss it with olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Cover the pasta pot and set it aside.*

    *Make ahead option: You can place the cooked pasta in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it out at room temperature for up to 8 hours before proceeding with the recipe.

  • To make the cheese sauce, melt the chopped butter in a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour blend and stir to combine well. The mixture will clump at first, and then smooth. This is the roux that will thicken the cheese sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has just begun to turn a very light brown color (about 2 minutes). Add the evaporated milk to the roux very slowly, stirring constantly to break up any lumps that might form. Add 2 cups of milk, and whisk to combine well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about one-quarter (about 7 minutes). The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the grated cheese and mix to combine with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste, and the remaining milk a bit at a time if you like a thinner cheese sauce.

  • Pour the hot cheese sauce over the cooked pasta, and stir carefully to coat all of the pasta in the cheese sauce without breaking up the pasta at all. Serve immediately.



P.S. Do you have your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? If you bring a copy to Thanksgiving, maybe your family will bake you amazing gluten free bread for Christmas!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my new book!

Gluten-Free Small Bites

100 irresistible one-bite recipes—for everything from parties to portable meals

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  • Kathleen

    Hi Nicole,
    What is the topping that is sprinkled on? Grated cheese? Or bread crumbs?
    (Love all of your books!)

    • Donia Robinson

      Looks like crumbled cheese crackers to me (which sound good!) We will await her answer! My family would love this recipe!

      • youngbaker2002

        some sort of powdered cheese maybe?

    • Hi, Kathleen! Actually, it’s just ground cornflakes. I always have a whole container of those because I use them so often!

  • Donia Robinson

    Excellent work, Brian H!

    • Brian H

      Thank you. Hand modeling is no easy task. But at least you get to eat the props.

  • Mare Masterson

    OMG!!!! I saw gf Barilla elbows just yesterday and thought that I needed to check the blog for a mac n cheese recipe…and here it is today! I am convinced you have super powers! I hate the stuff in the box! I haven’t had this in a very long time! I love you! ♡♡♡♡♡♡

    • Lauren

      I’m totally convinced she does have super powers… besides cooking and baking, I mean.
      Because two days ago I tried to make a version of this on my own (my family has never made stovetop mac and cheese, so I knew it was risky), and it was one of the biggest, nastiest fails in recent cooking memory. It’s still sitting in my fridge waiting for me to decide if I really am just going to throw away my expensive ingredients in their big gloopy pile. Now, at least, I have a chance at redo redemption. :)

      • Oh no, Lauren! That sounds like you used a xanthan gum-containing flour blend. It can do that to you in a roux. :(

    • Aw, Mare, I love you, too. :)

  • Tina

    I am soo making this over the weekend

  • carole

    Since we found the Barilla pasta we use no other

  • Jennifer S.

    Classic. :-)

  • hal

    I’m not a cook.. can you just use Gluten free flour, or does it have to be a blend???

    • You must use the flours as specified, Hal. No one single GF flour will work.

  • kittywitty

    I may need to see if I have time to squeeze this one in today since it doesn’t require the oven! My husband and son love mac and cheese to be creamy–this looks perfect! I’m baking your apple pie in a bag (I made and froze it a week ago) and your green bean casserole today. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving, kitty!!

  • KLarimore

    I made this today and my very picky, only from the box, Mac n cheese eater, actually ate it! I also made your mashed potatoes (had to sub Greek yogurt for the sour cream), your gravy (subbed buttermilk for the evaporated milk), your green bean casserole, and your stuffing (used your cornbread recipe for the bread) — all delicious! Other than planning better for my grocery shopping (only bought one can of evaporated milk), I think it went pretty well. We ordered a smoked turkey from a local barbecue restaurant, so I didn’t have to worry about the turkey. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • That all sounds perfect, KLarimore! I think your Thanksgiving table looked a whole lot like mine. Except for that smoked turkey—I’d have loved some of that!!

  • GraceFaithGlitter

    Oh my goodness!! Those pictures are making me salivate & I just had my 4th helpings of Thanksgiving dinner!! Consider this pinned, & when I have more room in my stomach, know that I will be making this because I’m a sucker for Mac & Cheese!

    • Stomach space is at a premium this time of year, indeed, GraceFaith!!

  • AmandaM

    This looks amazeballs! I wish I could have dairy still. Maybe, I’ll just make it for my husband and live vicariously through him

  • Noni

    I tried this today. Everything went well, but the cheese has a bitter flavor to it. Do you have any advice on how to combat that so I don’t waste the whole pot of mac and cheese?

    • Noni, I’m afraid I don’t know why your cheese would taste bitter. Perhaps it was spoiled? This is such a simple recipe that the taste of the cheese will really shine through.

    • kittywitty

      Noni–I tried making this tonight and I burned the bottom of the roux, so it caused a bitter taste. I turned up the heat to get the roux/milk mixture to come to a simmer quicker and all of a sudden I noticed a burnt smell. I tasted the sauce and it was bitter. Do you think that might have happened to you, too?

  • Lucy

    I have been out of power here for over 48 hours, I could have used this recipe!
    I was cooking on our woodstove, we heat with wood so we had a lot of beef stew….lol :)
    Next time I’ll have mac and cheese too :)

    • Oh no, Lucy! I hope you’re back in business really fast!!

      • Lucy

        Yes we are back online, just in time too, temp at -12 C = 10.4 F.
        Burrrr it’s cold! With the wind it feels more like -20 C = -4 F.

  • Sherry

    I tried making the gf Hawaiian bread rolls and failed horribly. but i’m determined to make this work.
    is the a gf pasta that will work well in cold salads?

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