Okay, so it’s not really “Boxed” Mac and Cheese but “Bagged” Mac and Cheese just sounds weird!
I have been making my own “Kraft-like” GF Mac and Cheese for a long time now, mostly because I do not care for the texture of the pasta in the GF store-bought Mac and Cheese. The other two reasons I make my own are because I can change up the pasta shapes AND I save a lot of money!
I have been buying my cheese powder in bulk on Amazon.com (Frontier Co-op Orange and White Cheddar Powders). You can see Frontier’s Allergen Statement here. This is one of those moments when you have to use your judgment. There is no wheat in the cheese powder and nothing on the label indicates an ingredient derived from barley, rye or commercial oats. However, the cheese powder is not tested/certified gluten-free (at least it wasn’t a year ago).
Update: There is a now a Gluten-Free Cheese Powder on the market from Riega Foods and I definitely recommend going that route since they test for the presence of gluten in the final product (you can read my review here).
The good news though… I have heard on VERY GOOD authority that a cheddar cheese powder (that is sold in individual packets, no less!!), will soon be coming to market. The cheese powders will also be TESTED to ensure they contain less than 20ppm of gluten (but so far they have actually registered “undetectable” for gluten in preliminary testing!), WOO-HOO! That is all I can say for now, but I will update you as soon as I can.
For each package of Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese:
7 1/4-ounces of Gluten-Free Pasta (Tinkyada is our favorite)
1 1/4-ounces of GF Cheddar Cheese Powder (White or Orange)
- I put the cheddar cheese powder in its own separate “snack-size” Ziploc Bag and insert it into the larger “quart-size” Ziploc Bag that is holding the pasta.
- I bought some large mailing labels and I just print the directions on the mailing label and affix to the front of the bag!
What I put on the label (this is just how we like to make it):
I rarely use real butter in anything I cook, I usually use Smart Balance (Original in the tub) or Earth Balance, which is Smart Balance’s Dairy-Free cousin. The 16 minute cook time you see on the label is specific to the Tinkyada Pasta I use. Make sure to follow the cooking directions on your specific brand… you know how temperamental GF pasta can be (well, except for Tinkyada, I am very biased, I know)!
I make a bunch of these at a time and store in an airtight plastic container in my pantry. These are great for Mike to grab for a quick and easy meal for the boys (if I am gone during meal time) or I will send a package to Sam and Luke’s “Nana and Papa’s” when they go for a visit (Nana has her own separate Gluten-Free Pans to help prevent cross-contamination), love her!
This is the “Classic” kid version of Mac and Cheese with Orange Cheddar Cheese Powder. The orange color is annatto extract.
Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Vegetable Spirals with White Cheddar Powder.
Tinkyada’s Brown Rice Little Dreams Pasta with White Cheddar Powder.
This is not necessary, I do it for my ADD! I am unbelievably “OCD organized” in my pantry, it keeps my brain clear.
I’ve had this for years, I use it as a guide to come up with quick meal ideas, just be sure your add-in’s are gluten-free!! Use two packages of GF Mac and Cheese to equal one Family Size Box of the Gluten-filled Kraft Mac and Cheese, (as indicated on the recipe card). If you don’t have kiddos that are “no-touchers” (separate foods cannot touch…. period), then this is a great way to sneak in some added vegetables!
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