Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Making a gluten-free dairy-free mac and cheese can be a little tricky when the main ingredients are basically only gluten and dairy. Enjoy this post with 25 different ways to make gluten-free dairy-free mac and cheese with this recipe roundup!
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Do you love mac and cheese as much as my family does? Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. In fact, I remember eating mac and cheese at least once a week when I was a kid. Money was tight and my mom didn’t love cooking. Even so, I loved it. And now that I’m an adult, it brings me back to my childhood.
With ingredients like macaroni, milk, butter, and cheese being the main stars of most mac and cheese recipes, how do you make this comfort food gluten-free and dairy-free and safe to eat if you’re avoiding both gluten and dairy.
I’ve rounded up 25 delicious gluten-free dairy-free recipes from around the web that can curb your mac and cheese craving, without having to give in to eating foods that you may be intolerant to.
Before we dive in, let’s go over some frequently asked questions around gluten-free and dairy-free eating when it comes to mac and cheese. Believe it or not, there are quite a few that I hear regularly!
Does mac and cheese have gluten?
If you are making mac and cheese from a box mix or from a traditional recipe, the recipe will likely call for macaroni pasta. Most macaroni is made with semolina (wheat) which means that yes, mac and cheese does have gluten.
Read on: Is cheese gluten-free?
How to make mac and cheese gluten-free
To make mac and cheese gluten-free, all you need to do is replace the semolina macaroni with a gluten-free macaroni pasta.
Does mac and cheese have dairy?
Most mac and cheese recipes and boxed mixes are made using cheese, milk, and butter. All three of these are dairy products, so yes, mac and cheese contains dairy.
What can you substitute for milk in mac and cheese?
If you’re looking to substitute milk in a mac and cheese recipe, either from scratch or a boxed milk, you can use just about any dairy-free milk alternative that’s available.
I prefer coconut, almond, oat, and cashew milks for most one to one substitutions for milk in recipes. All of these will provide a creamy texture and fairly neutral flavor. Cashew and oat milks have the most neutral flavors, in my opinion.
How to make mac and cheese dairy-free
To make mac and cheese dairy-free, you’ll want to start with a dairy-free mac and cheese recipe. Since the cheese sauce contains so many dairy products, it can be tricky to replace these ingredients one for one in a recipe.
In order to make a dairy-free mac and cheese, you can make a dairy-free cheese sauce with dairy-free alternatives, like dairy-free cheese, dairy-free milk, and vegan butter.
Or you can get creative with other foods that when mixed together, create a similar flavor and texture of a cheese sauce but contains no dairy.
Different ways to make dairy-free mac and cheese sauce
There are a number of different ways to make a dairy-free cheese sauce for dairy-free mac and cheese. You’ll see in this recipe roundup that you can make a dairy-free cheese about a million different ways. Some of the different ways in this roundup include:
- Swapping out the dairy ingredients like cheddar cheese, milk, and butter for their dairy-free alternatives (vegan cheese, dairy-free milk, and vegan butter)
- Orange starchy vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash for color and texture along with other cheesy flavored ingredients, like nutritional yeast
- Soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, and other seasonings
- Beans mixed with nutritional yeast, dairy-free milk, vegetable broth, and vegan parmesan cheese
- Cauliflower and other vegetables mixed with vegan cheese, broth, and nutritional yeast
Read on: Is nutritional yeast gluten-free?
There are a ton of different ways to make dairy-free mac and cheese. As I was researching recipes for this roundup, I didn’t come across even two that called for the exact same ingredients, which I think is really telling!
Either there are a ton of ways to get this right – or there are a lot of people who think they can make a dairy-free mac and cheese that tastes good and many others seem to think they can make it better with different ingredients.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with any of these options. There are so many creative ways to make gluten-free dairy-free mac and cheese, so check out this list and find a few to try out to find your favorite!
This recipe roundup has five categories of yummy gluten and dairy-free mac and cheese recipes: easy mac and cheese recipes, stovetop mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese options, baked mac and cheese, and crockpot mac and cheese recipes – for those low and slow kind of days. Scroll through them all or pick a category and dive in!
Read on: Is cheddar cheese gluten-free?
25 Gluten-free Dairy-free Mac and Cheese Recipes
Gluten-free Dairy-free Easy Mac and Cheese Recipes
This recipe claims to be the best vegan gluten-free mac and cheese out there, with simple ingredients and made in just one hour. Give this one a try and you decide if it’s really the best!
This dairy-free mac and cheese recipe definitely brings the healthy out in what could be a very heavy meal.
With butternut squash and cauliflower, you’re definitely getting your veggies in disguise with this homemade dairy-free cheese sauce.
This allergy-friendly mac and cheese recipe uses Daiya dairy-free shredded cheddar cheese instead of making your own vegan cheese from scratch. This recipe looks simple compared to others I’ve seen, and delicious too!
This vegan mac and cheese is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. The homemade sauce for this dairy-free cheese is made from russet potato, carrots, and yellow onion, so you’ll get the same color of a cheese sauce but it’s actually made from veggies!
This simple dairy-free mac and cheese is made from combinining two dairy-free cheeses: cheddar and mozzarella along with a few other ingredients. Make sure to use gluten-free pasta to make the dish gluten-free!
Gluten-free Dairy-free Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipes
This creamy mac and cheese recipe is made on your stovetop and uses a non-dairy coffee creamer, almond milk, and dairy-free Daiya cheddar cheese to get the cheesy flavor you’re after without any of the dairy products.
The unique take on this macaroni and cheese recipe is the use of chickpea flour to thicken up the sauce.
In addition to dairy-free milk, vegan American-style cheese, and a few other ingredients, you’ll have a creamy and easy mac and cheese in just 15 minutes.
This recipe gets my praise for being only a few ingredients: gluten-free pasta, vegan butter, dairy-free cheddar cheese, dairy-free mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper.
With a few shortcuts with store-bought products, this mac and cheese isn’t super cheap, but it does fulfill a mac and cheese craving.
I love this recipe because it promises to be done in 15 minutes – it’s right in the name!
This recipe is unique in that it calls for flaxseed meal to thicken it up and create that creamy texture that you can get from flaxseed when it gels with liquid. It’s something I haven’t seen before! Be sure to use gluten-free macaroni noodles with this one.
This recipe looks more involved than many of the others in this list, but it covers all the bases on getting the flavors of a dairy-free cheese sauce to be delicious!
This dairy-free cheese sauce is made from butter beans, vegetable stock, dairy-free milk, nutritional yeast, vegan butter, and vegan parmesan cheese.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipes
This vegan mac and cheese recipe is made using soaked raw cashews, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast as it’s main ingredients for the dairy-free cheese sauce. This recipe serves 8 and will take about 20 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cook time.
12. Vegan Gluten-free Macaroni and Cheese
This vegan gluten-free macaroni and cheese recipe is made using nutritional yeast, dairy-free milk, rice vinegar, and Daiya vegan cheese. Enjoy this simple recipe to cure your mac and cheese craving!
13. Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
When we’re talking healthy mac and cheese, this one takes the cake! With onion, cauliflower, butternut squash, cashews, and vegetable broth – you definitely can feel good eating this one!
It’s hard to get a great cheese sauce without any cheese! this recipe uses butternut squash, onion, and cashews as a base for this delicious mac and cheese recipe.
This mac and cheese recipe is made with gluten-free noodles, and a homemade dairy-free cheese sauce.
The sauce is made of cashews, onion, garlic, chicken broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, and a few other seasonings. Make sure you have a blender on hand for this one!
Read on: Gluten-free chicken broth
Gluten-free Dairy-free Baked Mac and Cheese Recipes
This vegan mac and cheese is made with a cashew-based creamy “cheese” sauce, topped with a gluten-free breadcrumb topping, and baked in the oven for 15 minutes. This one has a number of ingredients, but it looks divine!
This mac and cheese recipe takes all the guilt out of eating mac and cheese – if you had any to begin with! This recipe is loaded with butternut squash and mushrooms for extra flavor, texture, and a boost in nutrition!
This baked vegan mac and cheese is made with russet potato, carrots, nutritional yeast, and a few other ingredients. Enjoy this with gluten-free pasta to make it both gluten and dairy-free.
This delicious-looking mac and cheese has a creamy sauce made with yellow sweet potato, cauliflower, white miso paste, and nutritional yeast as the main ingredients.
Make a homemade breadcrumb topping, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes to get golden brown and crispy mac and cheese, ready to devour.
This vegan mac and cheese is dairy-free, but not dairy-free, so be sure to use gluten-free macaroni pasta, gluten-free all purpose flour, and gluten-free bread for the breadcrumb topping.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe
If you like shortcuts anywhere you can get them, try this slow cooker mac and cheese. The sauce is made with soy or other dairy-free milk, vegan mozzarella cheese, vegan cheddar cheese, and vegan butter.
Make the sauce in the crockpot first, then add the dry noodles and cook another 20 minutes until the noodles are soft.
This mac and cheese is super simple – you all the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir every 20 minutes or so, and after 2 hours – ta da! A super easy and delicious gluten-free and dairy-free mac and cheese.
This mac and cheese uses butternut squash that you cook in the slow cooker, along with onions, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, olive oil, mustard, salt, and vegetable stock.
Cook this for 8 hours in your slow cooker, blend the mixture, then pour it over cooked gluten-free macaroni noodles.
I know this isn’t a slow cooker or crock pot recipe, but my Instant Pot gets just as much – if not more – love than my slow cooker does. This recipe takes 20 minutes and only 10 in the Instant Pot – plus it’s gluten-free and dairy-free!
This recipe is gluten-free and vegan, and loaded with veggies, including potatoes, zucchini, squash, broccoli, and greens. If you love veggies with your mac and cheese, this is a great recipe to try!
If you’ve been searching for the perfect gluten-free dairy-free mac and cheese recipe, I hope that this recipe roundup has inspired you to try one of these unique recipes.
From all my research, I couldn’t believe how many different ways there are to make mac and cheese. I’ve tried a number of ways over the years, and although some may taste a little less like the real thing than others, I’ve never been disappointed with any of these different ways to make it.
I love getting extra veggies if I use carrots or sweet potatoes as a base. I love the creamy texture if I used soaked cashews. And I love trying to recreate the real thing with the dairy-free substitutes I can buy at the store.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments – which one of these mac and cheese recipes looks the most delicious to you? Which one will you try first?
Love this post? You might also want to check out more of my recipe roundups here!
Want more? Check out all my Gluten-free Dairy-free Recipes!
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Come check out more recipe roundups on my page for Gluten and Dairy-free Recipes.