I think Mac n' Cheese is a favorite among almost all kids and I was no exception. My mom made a fabulous microwave recipe when I was growing up and it was a frequently requested entree in our home. It is one of the first recipes I requested to have when I moved out on my own. The original recipe has you prepare a basic roux (white sauce) in the microwave, which is then added to cooked macaroni (or other small pasta), one package of shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 to 2.5 cups) and then topped off with a seasoned bread crumb topping. After this is all prepared in a microwave-safe dish, you heat it on high for another 5 to 6 minutes and it's done! Since going wheat/gluten-free, a traditional roux, which calls for wheat flour, is off limits. Additionally, it is rather challenging to find a wide variety of Kosher cheeses where I live and I've yet to find anything pre-shredded! No worries, a few substitutions and some creativity combined yield what I like to call Microwave Mac n'Cheese for Grown-ups. It's still quick, it's still easy, and it's even more delicious than ever in my humble opinion.
Recipe for Microwave Mac n'Cheese for Grown-ups
- 1 package/box of gluten free macaroni or other small pasta (I find corn pasta works quite well)
- about 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- about 1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese*
- 3 TBSP butter
- 3 TBSP rice flour
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs, seasoned with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Strain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave safe dish (I use a 2-Cup Pyrex glass measuring cup for this part), heat butter over medium heat setting in the microwave until almost completely melted. Add rice flour, pepper, mustard and milk and combine with a whisk or fork. Microwave on high for 1 to 1.5 minute intervals, mixing in between until roux thickens about to the consistency of pancake batter. Even if it seems a bit thin, it will thicken once you add it to the pasta & cheese and finish cooking it, but do try to get any lumps mixed in as well as possible.
- In a large microwave safe bowl (Pyrex glassware works well for this), combine the pasta, your white sauce, and your grated cheese. Mix to combine ingredients. Top with seasoned "bread" crumbs and microwave on high heat for about 5-6 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and casserole begins to bubble. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!