If you’re on a diet to lose weight, then these gourmet and gluten-free Mac and Cheese are not for you. But if you want to indulge yourself with the best macaroni and cheese you can dream of, then you’ve come to the right place.
These Mac and Cheese are the definition of gourmet comfort food. They have bacon and are made with a creamy béchamel sauce prepared with whole milk.
The béchamel is transformed into a Mornay sauce with the addition of abundant cheese: Swiss Gruyère and Parmigiano Reggiano. Three cups of Gruyère and two of Parmesan, to be exact. And when I say abundant, I mean it.
The Balthazar Macaroni Gratin
As you will see, this is a hypercaloric dish. I like to say this is a deluxe recipe. And it could not be otherwise. It’s inspired by Balthazar’s macaroni gratin recipe.
Balthazar is one my favorite restaurants in New York. I tried their macaroni gratin in the fall of 2007. I liked it so much, that I bought The Balthazar Cookbook (affiliate link), so I could make it at home.
Since this is the gourmet version of a dish everyone loves, these mac and cheese are ideal as a side dish for the Thanksgiving dinner. Or for any dinner during the fall and winter months. Although I should clarify: my children say they have no problem eating them all year round.
How to make Gluten-free Decadent Mac and Cheese
For years I made Balthazar’s recipe without altering it. And it was one of my Tomás Eugenio’s (8) favorite dishes. But when I started to avoid gluten-free , I made some adjustments including:
- Substitute regular pasta elbows for gluten-free elbows.
- Make the bèchamel with corn starch instead of all-purpose flour. I recommend this replacement to everyone: a bèchamel made with corn starch is ready in at least half of the time.
- Add gluten-free panko as a topping.
Balthazar’s original recipe doesn’t say anything about breadcrumbs or panko. However, to make these mac and cheese even more delicious, before baking them, I sprinkle some gluten-free panko on top. This panko is previously toasted with olive oil. It will allow you to find crunchy bits in almost every bite.
Another license I took was to add a little more bacon on it, because who doesn’t love bacon?
If you don’t have gluten problems, or if you don’t mind eating gluten from time to time, my recommendation is that you make this recipe with regular pasta and panko.
Gluten-free Gourmet Mac n Cheese Recipe
To make this recipe, you will need some utensils and ingredients that you can buy online through my Amazon Affiliate Program, including:
- Wooden cutting board
- Cast iron pans
- Spider strainer skimmer
- Baking sheet with griddle
- Paper towels
- Pasta pot
- Wooden spoon
- Mixing bowl
- Pepper mill
- Gluten-free elbow noodles
- Corn starch
- Coarse sea salt
- White peppercorns
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Gluten-free panko
Here is my recipe, inspired by Balthazar’s, with all the calories but certainly gluten-free. I hope you like it as much as we do. Thank you for subscribing to my YouTube channel and for visiting my Amazon store.
Gluten-Free Gourmet Mac and Cheese
- 1 package gluten-free elbow pasta noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 bacon slices cut into bits
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 5 cups whole milk lukewarm
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Coarse sea salt
- 3 cups Gruyère cheese grated
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese grated (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup gluten-free panko
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Cook the pasta al dente, strain and put in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until golden but not crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the heat and place it on paper towels.
- Add the bacon to the pasta.
- In another pot over medium heat, melt the butter over medium heat, add the cornstarch and mix to make a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the milk stirring constantly until there are no lumps.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the béchamel begins to thicken.
- Remove from the heat and add the 3 cups of gruyère and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, stir and reserve.
- In a skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the panko and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown. Remove from heat and reserve.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and combine well.
- Pour the pasta into a lightly buttered iron skillet.
- Sprinkle with the panko.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve hot, and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Craving for more gluten-free pasta recipes? Check these out:
- Gluten-free all American Classic Mac and Cheese
- Gluten-free Pasta Casserole alla Bolognese
- Anchovy-Capers Gluten-free Pasta