I’ve got the creamiest gluten-free, dairy-free mac and cheese recipe for you. And no, we’re not going to use butternut squash. It does make a mean mac & cheese but I’m going to share a recipe that your family and friends will confuse for the ‘real deal,’ if you know what I’m talking about.
This recipe comes from Allergy Free & Easy Cooking by my friend Cybele Pascal. She’s a master at creating textures and flavors with foods that aren’t in the top 8.
I’ll be completely honest – I didn’t think Daiya could make a creamy mac and cheese. I love Daiya. It’s one of my go-tos but I’d never stretched myself far enough to think that it would make a creamy cheese sauce.
If you look at any traditional mac & cheese recipe you’ll see that the base of the cheese sauce is some kind of fat, flour and milk. This is called a roux. Basically, you cook the fat and the flour to help develop flavor and cook out some of the starch. Then you add the milk to make a the roux, which thickens the sauce.
The longer you cook the roux, the more flavor that you develop. For mac & cheese, you don’t need to cook the roux long.
Cybele’s recipe calls for a cup of rice milk – I ended up mixing in somewhere between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 cups rice milk. I know how my kids like their mac and cheese. This is something I’m always trying to teach y’all – a recipe is a guide. You can make small changes to accommodate the people you’re feeding. It’s something you get more comfortable with the more you cook. And, at some point you intuitively know what changes you need to make just by looking at the food. Note that I said small changes – big changes will likely end up disastrous.
I also added about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper to the top of my mac and cheese because we love that crunch! If you have an allergy-friendly bread you love, use that. If not, check out BFree Breads – that might work for you.
And – don’t stop at just mac & cheese with this dish. Add in bacon, cooked ground turkey, veggies, cubed ham. There is no limit to what you can do with this recipe.
You really can have this dish on the table in 30 minutes or less. Add this recipe to your ‘quick and easy meals’ list. It will be a favorite!