Macaroni and Cheese: The Goat Edition

Macaroni and Goat Cheese gluten-free. Quick and easy.

Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm from the oven macaroni and cheese? If you raised your hand, read on. If you prefer chocolate, stay tuned. 

The original recipe we used for years was from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. Our copy was an early edition and it looks like it – no binding left and the pages are splattered with spills and ink. Over the years we evolved the recipe to suit our family – shallots instead of onions, and multiple kinds of really sharp cheeses. It’s probably the first scratch dish we taught our kids how to make in those way back days.

When we became gluten-free and before dairy-free we just changed out GF flour for the roux and it worked quite well.

But these days we have to think up ways to bypass the cow dairy and still make the dish as tasty as we remember. Life without mac and cheese is just not right. Enter the little goat. For those who have a sensitivity to cow’s milk, sometimes goat is the answer. In moderation, it is for us. And since there are so many new goat cheeses at the market, it became simple to remake the dish using everything goat.

But we’ve evolved the dish again to make it even easier to prepare than the original recipe while using all goat milk products,goat kefir, chevre, hard goat cheeses plus plenty of seasoning.

Goat kefir is beginning to be easy to locate, but you might have to look a little bit to find it. Just in case, regular kefir will work, too. For the best flavor, use a few different types of goat cheese including the hardest, sharpest one you can find – it might look a lot like Romano. Safeway carries many different goat cheeses now (they didn’t a few years ago) so it’s easy to round those up without looking everywhere for special ingredients.

Because pasta (and especially GF pasta) soaks up the liquid, err on the side of too much cheese sauce when you mix up the dish before baking. By the time it bakes and then if you reheat leftovers, you will be glad you made it a little extra saucy.

 

Macaroni and Goat Cheese gluten-free. Quick and easy.

Macaroni and Goat Cheese
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Ingredients
  • 10 to 12 ounces GF pasta (shells, elbows)
  • 720 grams goat kefir (3 cups)
  • 120 grams soft herbed goat cheese, crumbled (4 ounces)
  • 120 grams semi soft goat cheese such as Gouda, cubed (4 ounces)
  • 100 grams hard, sharp aged goat cheese, grated (3.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 small twig of fresh thyme or chive (optional decorative topping before serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 ½ or 2 quart deep casserole pan with nonstick spray. Cook pasta according to package directions until it is slightly under done but soft to the bite.
  2. In a large saucepan gently heat kefir and add the soft and semi-soft goat cheese along with the salt, peppers, garlic powder and nutmeg. Heat over a very low flame, and stir until the cheeses are mostly melted and few lumps remain. Add half the hard, sharp grated cheese to the mixture and stir until melted. Drain pasta and stir into kefir mixture. Expect it to be soupy at first – once baked, the pasta will absorb most of the liquid. Pour mixture into prepared casserole pan. Top with remaining grated cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling in the center and the top has formed a dark golden brown crust. Cool about 5 minutes (if you can wait) and serve. Top with a thyme twig or chive, if using. Makes 4 generous servings or 6 side servings.

 

Comments

  1. i love macaroni and cheese, definitely craving some right now!

  2. My family and I loved the macaroni and cheese. My son is asking when I will make it again. Thanks!

  3. I used several types of goat cheese. It didn’t come out creamy. It was rather dry not sure what happened.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Monica – So sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. If you want to let me know what ingredients you used and how it was prepared I might be able to help you trouble shoot. Let me know if I can help.

  4. I would love to make this for my family as my husband is quite sesitive to dairy. We love goat cheese too! Could you tell me in particular which cheeses you used?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Erica – I typically use whatever is available at the grocery. Mostly, use the flavors you like best. Goat Gouda is always a good choice and the herbed chevre is whatever brand is the freshest. I like the simple herb blends. No need to spend a lot of money on the high end brands unless you love them. I buy a combination of flavors that seem to fit that day. Also, our farmer’s market has a goat cheese stand with a nice hard, aged cheese that grates easily and is very sharp. That’s always a good choice, too. Also, if you are avoiding cross contamination (cow dairy) buy packages that are sealed from the manufacturer rather than stuff they cut in the store. Hope that helps.

  5. 1. Is goat yogurt an ok substitute for the kefir?
    2. You mention a roux in the intro but there isn’t one in this recipe. Why not? Would it make it creamier if there were one?
    3. Have you tried making the recipe with mustard/mustard powder and/or Worcestershire sauce? I’ve seen a lot of mac and cheese recipes with those ingredients.

    Thanks for your help!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      I have not made the recipe using the substitutes/methods/ingredients you mention so you’ll have to experiment. Mac and cheese is a pretty versatile dish, so you’ll probably have good luck trying those.