A twist on my original gluten free mac and cheese recipe, this version is packed with sneaky veggies and is perfect for kids. If you want to make a lighter version, simply use semi-skimmed milk and half-fat creme fraiche, but otherwise I have included full fat varieties here to make the recipe extra kid friendly.
My toddler actually ate vegetables this way – miracle! Alba has just hit the age where her food preferences are very beige so I am always looking for ways to get extra vegetables in her diet. I actually loved this veggie-packed mac too as having bites of broccoli and cauliflower adds variety and makes the dish feel much more like a well-rounded meal.
Of course, you can also make this gluten free mac and cheese with just cauliflower or just broccoli if you find that easier than buying both for the mix.
Gluten Free Mac and Cheese with Hidden Veggies (Serves 6)
- 250g gluten free macaroni pasta
- 500g broccoli and cauliflower
- 60g salted butter
- 60g plain gluten free flour
- 600ml whole milk
- 100g creme fraiche
- 50g parmesan cheese, grated
- 200g cheddar cheese, grated
- black pepper
- nutmeg (optional)
- Prepare the veggies by cutting the cauliflower and broccoli into small florets, then set aside for the moment.
- Bring a medium-large saucepan full of water to the boil and add your gluten free macaroni pasta. Allow to cook for 3 minutes then add the cauliflower and broccoli to the pasta pot and cook for a further 5-8 minutes until the pasta is soft and the veggies have been blanched.
- While the pasta and veggies are cooking, melt the butter in a small non-stick saucepan and then add the plain gluten free flour. Stir to combine and cook over a medium-low heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture is sizzling gently.
- Keep the pan on the heat and gradually add the milk, 100ml at a time, whisking as you go to allow the ingredients to combine. The sauce will start to thicken gradually until you have a nice white sauce base.
- Add the creme fraiche and a good grating of black pepper to the white sauce and stir into the sauce. I also add a grating of nutmeg (approx 1/4 tsp) as I like the flavour and it gives this dish a lovely lift. You can easily omit it if you don’t have any in your store cupboard though.
- Finally add HALF (100g) of the grated cheddar and the parmesan to the sauce – we will save the rest of the cheddar for the topping – and stir it in. Taste the sauce and season if needed.
- Once the gluten free pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and veggies and shake off any excess water. Pop the pasta and veggies back in the empty pasta pan and pour the cheese sauce over the top. Give everything a really good stir to get the sauce mixed into the gluten free pasta tubes.
- Take a rectangular baking dish and tip the cheesy pasta, broccoli and cauliflower into the dish. Level out with a wooden spoon and then sprinkle the remaining 100g of grated cheddar cheese on top.
- Place under the grill for 10-15 minutes until the cheese on top has turned golden and crispy. Your gluten free macaroni cheese with hidden veggies is then ready to serve – enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this gluten free mac and cheese recipe! If you are looking for more kid-friendly gluten free dishes, here are some of the ones I make regular at home for our family: