Hi, everyone! I’m Lisa Lin from Healthy Nibbles & Bits, a blog where I share healthy, gluten-free recipes with a dash of fun. I love fusion cuisine, so you can expect to find a lot of fusion recipes on my blog, like these General Tso’s Brussels Sprouts. Come join my food adventures on my blog and YouTube!
I have been craving comfort foods lately, big time. When I was browsing through BHG’s vast library of recipes for my guest post, this Three-Cheese Baked Mac and Cheese immediately caught my eye. The challenge for me, though, was to adapt the recipe into a gluten-free one.
Beginning in July 2015, I switched over to a gluten-free diet, and one of the things I thought I would miss most is pasta. Nothing is easier to throw together than a pasta dish, and it’s one of my go-to dinners on weeknights. I was skeptical about being able to find quality gluten-free pasta, one that didn’t turn mushy when cooked. Much to my surprise, I’ve found a few quality pasta brands that could withstand both boiling and baking! Don’t believe me? I’ll show you with this baked mac and cheese dish.
I’ve lightened up BHG’s original recipe several ways. First of all, I used only 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour for my roux. I stuck with 2 cups of 2% milk for the sauce, but used half of the amount of cheese. I also swapped the types of cheese used to make the recipe even healthier. The original recipe called for 2 cups of swiss cheese, 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, and 1 cup of gouda cheese. I used 1 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella, 1 cup of shredded white cheddar, and 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan. Don’t worry, there’s still enough cheese action here!
I’m sure you’re wondering where that golden color of the cheese sauce came from. It’s butternut squash! I cooked about 2 cups of butternut squash cubes in a saute pan for 10 minutes, then used an immersion blender to make it into a puree. Then, I mixed the butternut squash puree with the rest of the cheese sauce. The butternut squash adds a wonderful sweet flavor to the dish and balances out very nicely with the cheeses. If you think cooking butternut squash is too much, substitute it with 1 cup of canned butternut squash or pumpkin puree.
Finally, I didn’t have any dry mustard on hand, so I swapped that out for 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Just toss the cheese sauce with some cooked gluten-free penne pasta, and you’re all set to give the mac and cheese a toasty bake. Of course, you can enjoy the mac cheese without baking or broiling. However, I must admit that the browned cheese on the top of this casserole was my favorite part. If you have an extra 20 to 25 minutes to spare, that extra baking step is so worth it!
Consider my comfort food cravings sorted.