Dairy Free Gluten Free Baked Mac & Cheese

Using Kinnickinick bread crumbs
Using Glutino bread crumbs


I know what you’re thinking. “Gluten Free Dairy Free Baked Mac & Cheese – Ugh! How could that be good?” But let me reassure you that this isn’t that horrible soy “cheese product” at the grocery store that makes you gag right before you take a bite. Yeah, it’s horrible. Who eats that stuff???

This isn’t that stuff at all. It’s super creamy, high in protein, totally comforting, and tastes like a mild Velveeta cheese. You can even double the cheese sauce to give it stronger, cheesier flavor if that sorta thing makes you happy.

And I know there are a lot of steps, but it’s really not that hard to make and I promise, it’s worth it!!!
Dairy Free Gluten Free Baked Mac & Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 4 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter, divided
  • ½ C gluten free bread crumbs (Glutino or Kinnikinnick work well)
  • 1 lb. Tinkyada elbow macaroni
  • ¼ tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1¾ C SO Delicious coconut milk, or preferred milk alternative
  • ¾ C chicken broth, gluten and dairy free
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour or cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cheese Sauce
  • 1 C raw cashews (at least salt free if you can't find raw), soaked in very hot water 1+ hours to overnight
  • 1½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped red pepper (tomato paste can be substituted, but it's not as good. You could probably achieve a similar flavor with about ½ tsp. chili powder or smoked paprika but I have not tested this yet.)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil or allowed butter
  • ½ - 1 tsp. tahini (looks like peanut butter, made from ground sesame seeds. Gives it a cultured taste. Start with ½ tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-2 pinches turmeric (spice, adds flavor and color)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast (found on the spice aisle of your local health food store. Gives it a "cheesy" taste)
  • ⅓ C water, as needed to help facilitate blending *UPDATE* I now use about 1 C of water
  • ½ Tbsp. Arrowroot Flour (or any starch)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, and set aside. I've used the Glutino brand (pictured above) and the Kinnikinnick panko bread crumbs and I think the Kinnikinnick is just a little bit better and not such a bright yellow!
  3. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  4. While pasta is cooking: In a high speed blender, blend all of the cheese sauce ingredients until smooth only adding as much water as needed to achieve right texture. Taste and adjust seasonings. Should taste and have the consistency of melted Velveeta cheese.
  5. When pasta is finished cooking, drain and leave macaroni in the strainer. Set aside.
  6. Use the same large pot, and wipe it dry. At this point, gather the rest of your ingredients, because it starts to go fast. Turn heat down to medium and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter to melt. Stir in the garlic and ground mustard. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
  7. Add the milk and ½ C of the chicken broth. Bring to boil. While it's coming to a boil, combine the arrowroot flour and the remaining chicken broth in a small bowl and mix together well.
  8. Once it reaches a boil, add the arrowroot mixture and stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Stir until cheese is completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the macaroni until well combined.
  10. Pour into a greased 7 x 11 in or 8 x 8 in baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Here are some of my pictures 🙂

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6 responses to “Dairy Free Gluten Free Baked Mac & Cheese

  1. This was absolutely delicious!! I really would not have known it was gluten free. It was better than my regular mac and cheese. I happened to be there and had a big bowl. I am not prejudice either. Its the truth!

  2. This looks amazing!

    Have you tried the Daiya cheese varieties yet?

    I was wondering what you thought of them and why you might not include them in your diet?

    I just added your blog to my reader as I cannot eat any dairy or gluten. I actually found your blog when my daughter and I were looking for a yummy gluten-dairy free Macaroon recipe. Yours was one of the few that looked good:)

    Thank you for all the work you do on this blog.

  3. Michelle-
    I could have used Daiya cheese in this recipe, but I personally don’t really like it. Maybe I need to try it again because I’ve only tried it one time and it was about a year ago. But if you like the Daiya cheese, you could certainly use that instead of my cheese sauce recipe.

    Let me know how you like the macaroons if you try them 🙂


  4. Jen

    Made this tonight for my newly GF/DF family. Husband has been GF/DF for 2 yrs, and thought he’d never again taste mc and cheese. He loved it! Me too. Girls were a bit skeptical bacause they saw a few red flecks from the red pepper thus it had too many vegetables?! They didn’t complain as much as usual, though! Definitely will be a staple for our home. Thank you!

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