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Thank you so much!

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I make sure all of my recipes use foods that are free of the allergens they say they are free of. You will need to do the same. For help with this, please see the appropriate "Alternative Names" page for the allergen(s) you need the recipe free of.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Gluten-Free Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese (Wheat, Nut, Egg and Fish-Free, Can Be Soy and Milk-Free)

It's fall y'all (well, if you consider September 1st the start of autumn like I do vs. the autumnal equinox)!  Once it starts to cool off, I do more baking.  One of the things that I plan on adding to my autumnal menu on a more regular basis is this Gluten-Free Bacon Mac and Cheese (recipe of my own creation).

This recipe is wheat, nut, egg and fish-free (if all your ingredients are), and can be soy and milk-free (see variations).  It also has two of my favorite things - bacon and cheese!  DELISH!  And the gluten-free bread crumb topping adds a nice crunch.  Seriously, you guys, you need to try this ASAP if you are a bacon mac and cheese fan.

Note: The gluten-free flour I recommend does not technically contain soy, but it does contain xantham gum (see "Soy-Free" under variations for more details) which can cause issues for people with soy sensitivities or allergies.  Also, not all gluten-free bread crumbs are soy-free.  For these reasons, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  I will share a soy-free alternative in variations, though.

Gluten-Free Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

For the Mac and Cheese:
1 lb. gluten-free bacon, cooked and crumbled

16 oz. gluten-free macaroni or rotini noodles, uncooked
(We normally use and highly recommend Tinkyada noodles.) 

1/3 Cup salted, full-fat butter

6 Tablespoons gluten-free flour
(We normally use and highly recommend Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend.)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 1/2 Cups milk
(We normally use whole milk, but you can use whatever you have on hand.)

4 Cups (16 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

For the Topping:
3/4 Cup gluten-free bread crumbs

1/4 Cup salted, full-fat butter, melted

  1.  Preheat oven to 350oF. 
  2. In a large pot, melt your 1/3 Cup butter.
  3. Add your gluten-free flour, salt and pepper to your melted butter, and cook and stir until bubbly (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  4. Add the milk to the roux you made in step 2, and stir and cook until the mixture thickens to your likeness.  (Note: The filling will thicken up a little bit during baking, but not a ton, so you'll want it basically as thick as you want the end result.)
  5. Stir the cheese into your milk mixture and keep stirring until the cheese is melted.
  6. Mix your cooked and crumbed bacon and your uncooked noodles into the cheese sauce and pour it all into a greased, glass 13x9 inch pan.  (Note:  Gluten-free noodles can get extremely mushy if you pre-cook them before baking them.  Trust me, they will cook in the oven in the sauce to a nice al dente, but if you are nervous they won't be cooked enough or find that they don't cook enough to your liking, you can either just soak them in hot water for a few minutes, drain them, and then add them to the sauce before baking or cook them until they are about 1/2 done beforehand.)
  7. Mix the melted butter with the bread crumbs in a small bowl and sprinkle them evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and the topping is browned.

Makes one 13x9 pan or about 12 large servings or 24 smaller servings.

Variations (Please keep individual allergen and dietary needs in mind when using variations.  Thank you!):

  • Milk-Free: Use bacon grease in place of the butter.  You could also use a dairy-free butter like SoDelicious.  You will also need to replace the milk and cheese with dairy-free options that fit your dietary needs (Daiya has a lot of great dairy-free cheeses, and there are numerous dairy-free milks to choose from).
  • Soy-Free: Namaste Gluten-Free Perfect Flour Blend does not claim to contain soy, but it does contain xanthan gum, which can cause issues with people who have soy sensitivities and allergies.  Not all gluten-free bread crumbs are soy-free either.  For these reasons, I will not claim that this recipe is soy-free.  You can use regular flour (if you can have it), cornstarch, or potato starch in place of the gluten-free flour.  You can also sub plain potato chips that are soy-free for the gluten-free bread crumbs.  You'll have to make sure all of your ingredients are soy-free, too.
  • Alternative Topping Ideas: As I mentioned above, you can use plain potato chips for the gluten-free bread crumbs.  You can also use regular bread crumbs, crackers, or no topping at all.  You can also put the crumbled bacon into the topping vs. stirring it in the mac and cheese if you want it a bit crisper and find that it gets too soft in the cheese sauce.  The choice is yours!
  • Added Onion Flavor:  If you want some onion flavor, sub onion salt for the salt and/or add in some onion (raw or cooked with the butter in step 1 - about 3/4 Cup).
  • No Bacon:  If you don't like bacon, you can sub diced ham, cooked chicken, broccoli or skip the add-ins entirely.
  • Different Cheese:  I find that sharp cheddar, especially extra sharp cheddar, works best for this recipe, but you can use white cheddar, colby-jack, monterey jack, or any other type of cheese you fancy or a combo of them as long as you don't exceed 4 Cups.  I have not tried using a soft cheese for this recipe, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out!
  • Non-Gluten-Free:  You can always use regular noodles, regular flour and regular bread crumbs (if you can have them).  Regular noodles will need to be cooked before using them in this recipe, however.
  • Time Saving:  Use already cooked and crumbed bacon that comes in a pouch vs. making it yourself, if that is an option for you.  This can save quite a bit of time in the prep-work!

Looks good, right?

It is, I promise!

Have a great rest of your week!

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