Healthy GF baked ‘mac and cheese’- 2 ways!

Ok, so this ended up being a bit of a long title, but I had a lot I wanted to convey! 

This sauce contains a multitude of health wholesome ingredients, the entire dish is gluten free and is also baked with a wonderful crispy of my favourite parts. Oh, and there are two ways you can enjoy this dish!


Using brown rice pasta has an additional benefit, as well as being gluten free it is so quick to cook. Regular pasta would take 10-15 minutes but the GF pasta takes a mere 6 minutes, shaving important time off the process. Meaning you can eat sooner!

I had a go with this dish two ways. The first trial involved cooking the pasta from dried within the sauce base in the oven. Due to the potato content this cooked up more like a flan and was much drier and less saucy, this was a great texture in its own right  however I had originally envisaged a creamy sauce and so was keen to create a more saucy variation.  It was a simple teak to the recipe meaning that the pasta was pre-cooked and therefore reducing the overall oven time.

I had some of the ‘mac and cheese flan’ as a cold slice the following day which was also good.  The photos are of the less creamy version as I didn’t have my camera to hand for the second variation.  I added peas to the mix for good measure and a bit of colour, but you can omit or substitute another quick cooking vegetable if you prefer.

The topping is my favourite part...a simplified non-oat version of this recipe. It doesn’t crisp up quite as much as the oat version but is still delicious. You can add extra herbs and spices to taste.

Recipe:  Healthy GF baked ‘mac and cheese’

Sauce ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sweet potato- grated
1/2 cup cauliflower grated
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp roasted garlic granules (or regular garlic cloves)
1/2 mustard
1-2 tsp mixed spices
1/4 tsp salt to taste
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs coconut oil melted
1 1/2 cup soy milk- heated

1 cup frozen peas
2 cups GF rice pasta (it should state cook in approx. 6 mins on pack)

Heaping 1/2 cup crushed chickpeas
1 small white onion finely chopped
salt and pepper

Method 1:
Cook pasta according to packet instructions until only just cooked.

Meanwhile boil the sweet potato and cauliflower for 5 mins until cooked. Drain and blend with all remaining sauce ingredients ensuring the sauce is still hot.

Whilst the sauce and pasta are cooking prepare the topping and set aside.

Place the GF pasta and frozen peas (optional) in a 30cm pie dish and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle the topping in an even layer.

Bake at 200C for approx 10minutes until the topping browns and the peas are cooked through.

Method 2:
Follow the steps above to make the sauce but don't cook the pasta prior to baking. Pour the sauce over the uncooked GF pasta and peas. Loosely cover in foil and oven bake for 30 mins- removing the fil for the last 5-10 minutes to allow the topping to brown. This creates a dryer and less creamy 'flan' style texture that could be sliced and also served cold the following day.

For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.
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