Gluten Free Mac n Cheese – Rick Stein stylin

In an attempt to involve our kidlets in the cooking and ‘not just eating process’, a decree has been passed in our household (royally of course) that ‘each child shall take turn-a-bout choosing and cooking Sunday’s dinner with their Mum’. We took a respite from this over the Christmas and school break but once those holiday shenanigans ended we began again. This mother of two boys is determined to ensure that our lads eventually leave home (albeit in their early thirties) with the ability to cook a decent repetoire of dishes.

Kid 1, on the cusp of turning 14, decided that after watching Rick Stein cook up a decadent version of Mac n Cheese (Macaroni and Cheese for those that may not know), that this would be the dish for him. We have since renamed it ‘Heart Attack on a Plate.’ But my, how very delicious it was. To save precious energy (I am old and he is, well, an adolescent), we decided that the dish had to be entirely gluten free and vegetarian. Frankly, we couldn’t be arsed bothered making two different versions. And guess what, none of us cared.

Well, The Yak actually cared a great deal as he truly loved this old school classic. I mean, really, dangerously, intimately loved it. Hence, we cannot make it again for a very long time. Our parental ageing bodies cannot take this amount of saturated fat too often, even if the youngsters can. However, if you are looking for a moreish, autumnal or winters, tasty, zingy, creamy, monstrously wonderful comfort dish, this is it. Don’t baulk at the amount of cheese, keep grating. Its a veritable mountain but it is required. (The next Mac n Cheese I make will be a healthier version, you will hear the complaints globally but that’s the way the cheese grates, or well, doesn’t.)


100g butter
100 g gluten free flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1.2 litres milk (I used low fat but the orignal recipe calls for full fat)
75 ml double cream
1 bay leaf
400g mature cheddar grated
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (or dried if you don’t have fresh)
500g of your favourite gluten free dried macaroni
60g gluten free breadcrumbs
50g Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200C (or 180C fan-forced) and grease a 35x20cm ovenproof dish.
Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan then stir in the flour and cook for two to three minute until the mixture (roux) starts to bubble.
Add the mustard and remove the pan from the heat, add the milk, cream and bay leaf and quickly whisk together.
Return the pan to a medium heat and continue to stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken and boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, remove the bay leaf and add the cheddar. Stir until the cheese has melted then season well with black pepper and nutmeg.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni until al dente as per the packet instructions, usually around 8-10 minutes. Drain and add the pasta to the sauce.
Pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling and serve immediately.

Cooking Notes: Choosing a decent gluten free pasta is a veritable minefield, to avoid too many white starchy carbohydrates I will often use a buckwheat pasta for The Yak. For this recipe we used a generic supermarket brand corn and rice pasta which was actually OK but that was only because the people in my life cannot follow a simple shopping instruction. Thus far, the best ‘most like wheat based pasta’ gluten free pasta I have ever purchased, is the fairly new gluten free Barilla pasta range. I am not paid to say this, nobody pays me to say anything, although I wish they would. I would also happily be paid not to say anything at all. I am open to all offers.

A slight adaptation of a Rick Stein recipe. Go here for the original non-gluten free and non-vegetarian recipe for those of you who don’t have to care.

Rick Steins Mac n Cheese

I never usually comment on my photos but I had to state that this photo cracks me up. Our lad is standing in exactly the same way that I often do. It is also the same way that my physio has told me off for as it is not good for your spine alignment. It seems to be that very little in this post is actually ‘good for you’ but frankly, cest la vie!

23 thoughts on “Gluten Free Mac n Cheese – Rick Stein stylin

  1. OMG! Healthy shmealthy. If it’s not fat, it’s carbs. Carpé diem, I say. Seize the cheese! 😉 Love the photo of kid 1 naturally doing a yoga pose I can’t quite manage. He is well on his way to becoming a chip off the old Cheergem!

    • I know… always something right? I have found myself a tad lactose intolerant as of late but I refuse to give up my first true love….cheese and continue to indulge (every now and again). Love the ‘chip off the old Cheergerm’ Mel. 😘

  2. Frankly, if there isn’t a humungous amount of decently gooey and flavoursome cheese, it’s just a large amount of stodgy and moderately bland whiteness, isn’t it? Add the cheese and it’s transformed. I understand the need for a vegie option, but I simply have to have diced crispy fried bacon and thinly sliced mushroom in mine…. Oh, and sage. This looks wonderful, and the boys will grown up big and strong as well as skilled in the culinary arts 🙂 PS: tell yourself that fat is vital in the diet for good functioning of the nervous system. Works for me…

    • I hear you and sadly, I have found myself lactose intolerant as of late but I battle on as cheese and I must still meet, if not quite as often! Rick Steins original recipe contained bacon as well, love the addition of sage Kate, yum! …rest assured…my fat intake isn’t suffering…. 😂😘

      • Lactose intolerant here too, but hard cheeses barely register on the lactose scale, so I indulge. Sage is a must, I feel, and actually, if you can find smoked cheese that is also epic. Enjoy…

  3. Anne Marie

    Gosh we made the same for dinner tonight not free of gluten tho and added some bacon and onion very yummy autumnal dish ….get the boys cooking I’m sure they’ll be good wee cooks with you as mama guide they are lucky xx

    • Mac n cheese is in the air for sure! Love the bacon and onion addition as well…sounds delicious. Well, I will keep trying and hopefully we will get there. Lovely to see your comment, love to you guys. Xx

  4. First of all, WELCOME BACK! I applaud you for starting in early with the cooking lessons. This is something they will never forget and think of every time they make this fabulous meal. What a yummy legacy! I’m more than a little lactose intolerant and alas, Mac ‘n cheese would destroy me though if someone made this in my house I’d risk a spoonful.

    • Thanks Susanne. I finally got my act together and pressed the Publish button. Yes, I hope it creates some lasting memories and skills. Bummer for you on the lactose issue, I just get terrible reflux from too much dairy. This recipe would really do a number on you but oh my, it did taste good.

  5. C’est la vie all right, Lisa. This dish brings back youth hostel memories of me and the granddaughters whipping interesting things up in the communal kitchen. Cheese and Mac at the end of an exhausting day was an easy favourite. Glad you’re back.

    • I think it should be renamed Cheese n Mac cause there is certainly more cheese than Mac! Thanks Mary, food certainly does bring us all together hey, lovely memories of you and your grandchildren. Glad to be back. 😁

    • So true Mrs R, just wish I hadn’t discovered that cheese makes my reflux worse, but then, first world problems!! It’s still a lovely dish and I will continue to risk eating it every now and then. X

  6. I wish I could stand like a stork on one leg and stir the white sauce at the same time. It think it’s a very fine tradition to teach one boy at a time to cook each Sunday. My two lads ( hardly lads now) do most of the cooking in their families, not because they are sharing the household chores, but because they love it. Tons of cheese is definitely the go with mac and cheese, or heart attack on a plate. ( I have a soup we call cholesterol soup- cheese and lots of cream…Love it.)

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