The one childhood food that I can’t live without is probably mac and cheese. I ate the Easy Mac noodles and the Dinosaurs growing up and once I got older, I discovered Velveeta. I made mac and cheese in the microwave and on the stove and probably ate the leftovers cold sometimes. I remember babysitting some neighbor kids and I had to make the kids Velveeta for dinner. I found it so strange that the cheese was so gooey in that little pouch. (remember, I only knew about the cheese powder up until this point) Oh but the cheesy shells… I thought I had hit the jackpot with these Velveeta shells! Mac and cheese was never the same after that. So yummy. Thank you Kraft!
Fast forward a decade and I’m still eating the Velveeta shells! However, I wanted to try a new twist to mac and cheese – a gluten-free homemade version!
- 1 lb gluten-free shells – I got the Ancient Harvest brand shells from WalMart.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp gluten-free flour
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup provolone cheese
- 1 cup swiss cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- hot sauce to taste (3 tsp)
- salt/ground pepper to taste
- Tomato slices for the top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, cook the shells according to package instructions. I took down the cooking time by about 2 minutes since the noodles would be going in the oven after. Drain and set aside. Shells – Done.
In another large saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk, making sure not to burn flour. Slowing add the milk and keep whisking. Add salt, pepper, hot sauce, cayenne and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in all the cheeses until all melted.
Combine the shells and cheese and place in a 13×9 baking dish. Top with some parmesan cheese and tomato slices. Bake uncovered for about 30-45 minutes until the top is nice and bubbly. I only baked it for 30 because it smelled so good and I was
getting hungry! 🙂
I loved this dish! I shared this one (because that’s what I used to do with my mac and cheese as a kid) and I got 2 thumbs up. Perhaps next time I’ll add some ham or turkey?
I must say, gluten-free is a lot easier than I thought. It’s definitely more expensive in some areas (like these noodles) but so worth it. Instead of the super full feeling of eating too much mac and cheese, I just felt like I had a very satisfying dinner! – still ate too much though!
For dessert – boxed brownies with a twist. Some had peanut butter in the middle and the others had an Oreo on the bottom and Oreo crumbles on the top. OK – I can’t have mac and cheese and feel like a kid without boxed brownies! Note: Not gluten-free.