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I love a good mac and cheese. The real cheese, rich, flavorful ones. Unfortunately, not many places make gluten-free mac and cheese, so if I get a craving for it I have to make it at home. No worries though, I’ve been using this recipe for a couple years and love it!

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free)
adapted from this recipe, here.

Ingredients:
-1 box (at least 12 oz) penne or other shaped pasta (I like this GF kind)
-6 Tbsp butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-4 Tbsp flour (I use my GF all purpose flour)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 1/2 cups milk
-2 1/2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (or you can use a mixture of cheeses if you prefer – I usually use at least one 8 oz block of white cheddar, then add a bit of Gruyere, Parmesan, or whatever else I have in the fridge)
-salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

Directions:
1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions (I like my pasta al dente).
2. In large skillet, melt butter (over medium/high heat). Stir in garlic, mustard, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in flour, stirring and cooking another minute or so until golden.
4. Whisk in broth and milk and stir constantly for 10 minutes or so, until sauce bubbles and thickens slightly (turning heat down to medium if needed).
5. Stir in cheeses until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. (I sometimes sprinkle in a little Italian seasoning as well). Stir in cooked pasta.
6. Either enjoy as is, or if you have extra time, place in glass baking dish, sprinkle with toasted GF breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for another 30 minutes or so until it is nice and bubbly!

Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe works great to add in chicken and broccoli or other vegetables for a main dish. If you do decide to bake afterwards, I would suggest only cooking the pasta on the stove until it begins to soften, but is still slightly crunchy. Otherwise baking it might overcook the pasta and get too soft/mushy. As it is baking, the pasta absorbs more of the sauce and it is delicious! But, let’s be real, I’m usually in a hurry to get dinner done after work and don’t have time for that!

Happy Mardi Gras!

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