Gluten Free Baked Apple Mac and Cheese
Serves: Makes 12 to 15 servings
- Olive oil
- 16 ounces gluten free quinoa and brown rice spiral pasta
- 3 to 4 medium Fuji apples, peeled and cut in ¼-inch slices (about 4 cups)
- Lemon juice
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 5 tablespoons gluten free all-purpose baking mix
- 2 ½ cups half-and-half
- ¾ cup whole or 2% milk
- 16 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 cups), divided
- 10 ounces colby cheese, shredded (2 ½ cups)
- 2 to 3 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (½ to ¾ cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 to 3 slices gluten free bread, cubed (I use Udi’s millet and chia gluten free bread)
- 12 to 15 baked apples for serving, optional*
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a stockpot, bring 1 gallon water and olive oil to a boil; add pasta. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, until not quite al dente. Drain pasta; turn into a large bowl and toss with additional olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine apple slices, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch salt; toss gently.
- In a medium saucepan, over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons butter.
- Stir in the baking mix until smooth. Gradually stir in half-and-half and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat.
- Add 3 cups Cheddar, colby and Gouda cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add apples to pasta; toss gently.
- Fold in the cheese sauce.
- Pour into a buttered 13×9-inch baking pan. Top with ¾ cup Cheddar cheese and dot with 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, in small skillet, sauté bread cubes in remaining butter until golden brown and crisp; season with salt and pepper. Cool; crush into crumbs.
- Remove mac and cheese from oven; let stand 5 minutes.
- If desired, fill baked apples with mac and cheese.
- Top with remaining Cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with bread crumbs and parsley.
- *Baked Apples:
- Cut off top quarter of apples and remove cores with melon baller or sturdy metal spoon.
- Coat inside of apples with non-stick cooking spray and place in shallow baking pan.
- Bake along with mac and cheese 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly soft.