I’ve been hearing from a lot of you lately that you need some tasty, dairy and gluten free recipes for kids. This one has been a GodSend in our home for years. We use gluten free pasta, but if you’re not gluten free you can use whatever you like! The cheese sauce is also yummy served over rice with broccoli, drizzled over burritos or your favorite Mexican dish. Thin it out as needed. Cut back on the Daiya if it’s too thick for your taste. Easy. Yummy. Comforting for the little ones who are just looking for the taste of something familiar.
Freedom Mac and Cheese
4 servings, 15-30 minutes from start to finish.
- 8 ounces pasta, any shape and gluten free if necessary
- 1 package Daiya cheddar style Shreds (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
- 2 cups unsweetened milk product of your choice (rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but definitely helps cheesy flavor and boosts B12)
If you are baking the mac and cheese, here is a topper/crust idea:
- 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil or melted Earth Balance (to moisten and bind)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ tsp ground pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, optional
If you’re going to be baking the mac and cheese, preheat oven to 350°F.
Get your water boiling and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking: Prepare the cheese sauce by warming the alternative milk, Earth Balance and Daiya. Over medium low heat, stir or whisk until cheese melts, then add the nutritional yeast and whisk to combine. If sauce is too thick for your liking just stream in a bit more of your milk choice and whisk to loosen the sauce. My kids like a thicker, creamier sauce… but we’ve gone up to 3 cups of liquid and gotten a nice, thinner consistency that is more like Kraft mac and cheese from the box mixes. Toss the cooked pasta with the creamy sauce and either transfer it to serving bowls or to a casserole dish (if you’re baking it).
For baked mac and cheese: Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.