Easy Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

I don’t know who doesn’t love a good Mac and cheese recipe. It’s the perfect comfort food when you’re craving something rich and creamy. Sure you can buy it from the store but making it from scratch is always best. You can control the ingredients going in and have a peace of mind knowing your eating clean ingredients.

gluten free Mac and cheese

In my family we love to re-create recipes into gluten free and add the most nourishing ingredients possible. We’ve re-created egg drop soup without corn starch, gummy bears, and this gluten free mac n cheese recipe. I try my best to encourage my children to make healthy choices when it comes to food. By doing this, they see that they not only feel better but it’s also super simple to make a recipe healthier! Jump to recipe

Choosing Clean Ingredients 

If your children are anything like mine, they probably love any cheese product. Especially mac n cheese, they love it so much! I can honestly say I am a cheese lover as well, it’s hard not to be! I hated the fact of buying boxed mac n cheese knowing it really didn’t have the best ingredients. Even though I was buying organic and gluten free boxed kind, I still was not impressed. We try our best to stay away from all additives such as citric acid, silicon dioxide, and sodium phosphate. They may not be the worst but if I can make a homemade gluten-free recipes with minimal ingredients, why not? This delicious dish not only offers simple swaps but also offers convenience with two cooking options. You can use your instant pot or slow cooker recipe!

You’ll also like the fact that this easy recipe can be adjusted to meet your needs. Whether you prefer more cheese or less cheese, you can add however much or less you’d like. If you aren’t big into milk, you can also replace the milk with nut milk if that’s your thing. However, I cannot say how this recipe would do with vegan cheese, as we have never tried that! We drink raw whole milk since we milk our own goats, so that’s what we will be using in our recipe today! 

What You’ll Need:

The Best Cheese For Gluten Free Mac N cheese

We chose to go with a combination of cheeses such as: shredded cheddar cheese and shredded gouda cheese. We personally feel those are the best cheeses for mac n cheese based off of our taste preference. They melt the best and create a rich and creamy texture. Sort of like velveeta cheese texture but much healthier. I find pre-shredded cheese to be easier than having to grate cheese. This is also a great way to save time and make the final product creamy. You can use any cheese in place of these such as, mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese, sharp cheddar, white cheddar, colby jack, monterey Jack, or american cheese. Whichever you prefer . 

Keep in mind with this recipe, my mac n cheese does not look super yellow like most. This is simply because we choose not to add food dyes. I have seen people add turmeric to give it that bright yellow texture but I didn’t want to risk a strong turmeric taste.

cheese sprinkling into instant pot

Choosing Noodles For Gluten Free Mac n Cheese

For this dish, we are using organic gluten free brown rice noodles like these. We love the classic elbow noodle but you can use any shape or pasta you prefer. I’d say any short cut style would be ideal like penne, shells, or ziti. In the past, I’ve tried cauliflower noodles and zucchini noodles. They weren’t that great as far as taste but if you are trying to stay away from grains, those would be a great option. I will say beware of corn based noodles, I have read that these can get mushy and fall apart. Who wants a mushy mac? Pasta made from 100% lentils can work but I have personally tasted lentil pasta and the taste isn’t the greatest. Similar to the cauliflower noodles, you can tell something just isn’t right. 

gluten free noodles and instant pot

Choosing Spices For Your Mac n Cheese 

The spices we will be using will be fairly simple. I’ve opted for onion powder, garlic powder, and cajun season. Here in South Louisiana we love our cajun seasoning because it adds the perfect amount of spice to every dish. The one I linked does not contain MSG, black pepper, silicon dioxide, no sugar, and is non-irradiated.  You can omit this if you prefer a mild Mac n cheese. 

This homemade mac is also great because we are using our instant pot. You can also use your slow cooker if you don’t have an instant pot. I’ll share how to use both! You’ll have the perfect side dish the whole family will love in no time with little prep time.¬†

Setting Your Instant Pot 

This is my top version of Mac n cheese and what I’ve chosen to make today’s recipe with. I love the ease of the instant pot and how quickly it can cook things if I’m in a hurry. It nearly cuts the cooking time in half! 

 if using your instant pot you can add your noodles, water and/or broth, the spices and salt mentioned. Put the lid on and seal the valve, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Once done, do a quick release. 

Setting Your Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are great if you aren’t in a huge hurry but don’t feel like standing by the pot all day. I have many friends who prefer their crock pot over their instant pot! 

Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray, I personally like to use butter instead so I rub room temperature butter all over in place of cooking spray. Add in all of the ingredients minus the cheese, the cheese will go in once it is all done cooking. Cover the crock pot and set on low, cook for 90 minutes. Make sure to give it a good stir occasionally. After 90 minutes you can stir in the cheeses you’ve chosen and cook an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and mixed in. You can turn it to the keep warm setting but if it doesn’t have a keep warm setting I would remove from the heat so the noodles don’t get crunchy. Enjoy your gluten free slow cooker mac! 

gluten free Mac n cheese with instant pot

How To Serve Gluten Free Macaroni 

You can eat this as a main dish or as a side dish. As a side dish you can pair this with some grilled chicken, baked salmon, or if you really want to go southern some homemade gluten free fried chicken. You can store in the fridge for up to 5 days but if you’re anything like us, it’s all gone the next day. 

You can add green onions on top, bacon bits, or even chives. Whichever flavor you are going for!

Yield: 8 servings

Gluten Free Mac And Cheese (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker)

Gluten free Mac and cheese

This delicious gluten free mac and cheese will be ready in no time with the help of your instant pot or slow cooker!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Gluten Free Noodles
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Gouda
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 4 cups of Water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cajun Seasoning (optional can use 1/2 tsp black pepper instead)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add noodles, water, spices, and butter to your instant pot
  2. Secure the lid on make sure the valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  3. After the time is up, quick release. Stir in milk.
  4. Add cheese slowly. I did one cup at a time. Once melted I added the other cups. This will prevent it from making a stringy mess.
  5. Salt to tast, add any toppings and enjoy!

Notes

This will not be a yellow mac and cheese since we do not use food dyes. To add color you can always add a bit of turmeric but I cannot promise it won't taste like overpowering.

Add your milk in slowly, you may need only 1/2 cup depending on the noodles you are using. Or you may need more than 1 cup. You want enough milk to make it nice and creamy.

Stir cheese in slowly, 1 cup at a time.

If you find it isn't cheesy enough, you can always stir in more cheese! I found this plenty enough cheese for us.

For slow cooker instrustions refer back to the blog post. It's essetnially the same steps minus the cook time. It'll take a little longer in the slow cooker with a 90 minute cook time.

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