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Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Mac'N'Cheese

I have alluded to this dairy-free gluten-free experiment that my husband is conducting - and I will go into it in more depth soon - but this week, I made a dairy free gluten-free mac'n'cheese that received all thumbs up from my boys. So I decided to share the recipe immediately.

The key to this success: dairy-free cheese that actually melts. Don't laugh. The first few dairy-free cheeses that I brought home from the case at Whole Foods didn't melt. They shredded easily enough, but they never lost their shape. Ever. And, to be completely frank, they tasted strange. Dismayed, I emailed a blogging friend of mine who writes The Not So Cheesy Kitchen. "Bea," I wrote, "help!" She suggested Daiya's Cheddar-Style Shreds.

While I typically never buy pre-shredded cheese, I trusted her expertise and went for it. I laughed at the package. "Melts and Stretches" bragged the label. Okay. And...it did. The Daiya shreds melted just like actual cheese. I was thrilled. I did notice blocks of Daiya next to the shreds. So, I will probably try those next time.

Also, I used a gluten-free pasta from Bionaturae. Throughout the years I've tried many different kinds of gluten-free pasta and this brand is, by far, my favorite. It's made with rice, potato, and soy and it has the texture of regular pasta. I have included affiliate links at the end of this post for the gluten-free pasta and gluten-free flour that I use.

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Mac'n'Cheese
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 package gluten-free pasta (I used Bionaturae's organic gluten-free elbows)
  • 4 T butter (I used Earth Balance Original but will be experimenting with making my own dairy-free butter soon)
  • 1/4 C all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used Glutino all-purpose gluten-free flour)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 C milk (I used original flavor, unsweetened rice milk)
  • 2 C dairy-free cheese (I used Daiya's Cheddar-Style Shreds)
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 dashes smoked paprika

Procedure
In a large stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large, flat-bottom pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and has started to bubble, add in the garlic, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook milk mixture, whisking frequently, until it thickens and bubbles, about 8 minutes.

Remove pan from the heat and, by the handful, stir in the shredded cheese. Once all of the cheese is melted, season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Return the sauce pan to the heat and stir in the cooked pasta. Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through. To serve, spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle with more paprika to garnish.

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