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Gluten-Free “Boxed” Mac and Cheese

Posted Feb 25 2010 5:02pm

Okay, so it’s not really “Boxed” Mac and Cheese but “Bagged” Mac and Cheese just sounds weird! :-D

I have been making my own “Kraft-like” GF Mac and Cheese for a long time now, mostly because I do not care for the texture of the pasta in the GF store-bought Mac and Cheese (although, it’s been over a year since I’ve bought any of them, so they may be better now).  The other reasons I make my own are because I can change up the pasta shapes AND I save a lot of money (which I can then spend on things like Crave Bakery GF products!  Did you enter the giveaway yet ? I am picking the winner tomorrow)! ;-)

I have been buying my cheese powder in bulk on (Frontier Co-op Orange and White Cheddar Powders). You can see Frontier’s Allergen Statement here .  This is one of those moments when you have to use your judgment.  There is no wheat in the cheese powder and nothing on the label indicates an ingredient derived from barley, rye or commercial oats.  However, the cheese powder is not tested/certified gluten-free (at least it wasn’t a year ago).  I have an email into them for an update.  I will let you know what I hear back.

The good news though… I have heard on VERY GOOD authority that a cheddar cheese powder (that is sold in individual packets, no less!!  Perfect for my Homemade “Packaged” Mac and Cheese!) will soon be coming to market and it is TESTED to make sure it is under 20ppm of gluten (but has actually registered “undetectable” for gluten in preliminary testing!).  WOO-HOO!  That is all I can say for now, but I will update you as I can. :-)

For each package of Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese:

7 1/4-ounces of Gluten-Free Pasta ( Tinkyada is our favorite)

1 1/4-ounces of GF Cheddar Cheese Powder (White or Orange)

  • I put the cheddar cheese powder in its own separate “snack-size” Ziploc Bag and insert it into the larger “quart-size” Ziploc Bag that is holding the pasta.
  • I bought some large mailing labels and I just print the directions on the mailing label and affix to the front of the bag!

What I put on the label (this is just how we like to make it):

I rarely use real butter in anything I cook, I usually use Smart Balance (Original in the tub) or Earth Balance , which is Smart Balance’s Dairy-Free cousin. The 16 minute cook time you see on the label is specific to the Tinkyada Pasta I use. Make sure to follow the cooking directions on your specific brand… you know how temperamental GF pasta can be (well, except for Tinkyada, :-) I am very biased, I know)!

I make a bunch of these at a time and store in an airtight plastic container in my pantry. These are great for Mike to grab for a quick and easy meal for the boys (if I am gone during meal time) or I will send a package to Sam and Luke’s “Nana and Papa’s” when they go for a visit (Nana has her own separate Gluten-Free Pans to help prevent cross-contamination), love her! ;-)

This is the “Classic” kid version of Mac and Cheese with Orange Cheddar Cheese Powder. The orange color is annatto extract .

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Vegetable Spirals with White Cheddar Powder.

Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Little Dreams Pasta with White Cheddar Powder.

This is not necessary, I do it for my ADD! I am unbelievably “OCD organized” in my pantry, it keeps my brain clear.  ;-)

I’ve had this for years, I use it as a guide to come up with quick meal ideas, just be sure your add-in’s are gluten-free!! Use two packages of GF Mac and Cheese to equal one Family Size Box of the Gluten-filled Kraft Mac and Cheese, (as indicated on the recipe card). If you don’t have kiddos that are “no-touchers” (separate foods cannot touch…. period), then this is a great way to sneak in some added vegetables! :-)

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