Months ago I posted a picture of my dairy free mac and cheese dinner on my Instagram story and have consistently gotten requests for the recipe since. It took me more than a hand full of attempts to master the cheese sauce, which gave me a real run for my money. Literally I couldn’t get the sauce to thicken. I finally cracked the delicious code and want to share it with the whole world. 😉
Now I can’t take all the credit for this recipe. The original recipe is from Genius Kitchen. I took this recipe tweaked it to make it dairy free + more creamy, because the creamier the better.
For all you dairy doubters, husband requests this dish. He isn’t dairy free and makes it very clear he prefers real cheese.
Lastly, a disclaimer to my fellow lactose intolerant peeps. After a few times of eating this recipe I noticed my stomach was a little upset. Naturally I turned to Google and turns out your body can develop an intolerance to goat milk as well. So, if you feel a little sick after eating it cut down the amount of goat cheese you put in and or try substituting it with a vegan cream or more shredded cheese instead. And let me know how it turns out!
4 oz container of Garlic & Herb Goat Cheese
1 1/2 cups of Daiya Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
1/2 container of Shell Macaroni Noddles
3 tablespoons of Butter
3 tablespoons of Flour
1 1/2 cups of Dairy Free Almond Milk
Pepper (for seasoning)
Breadcrumbs (I specifically use this kind because others have dairy in it)
9” x 9” pan
Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Spray
For a little extra goodness add little smokies, or your favorite meat. If you do add little smokies, try dipping the final result in barbecue sauce (Cookies is our current fav brand because it has the least amount of sugar in it). It’s a very tasty addition.
First Timer: 40 minutes (because trying new things always takes longer)
Knows Your Way Around the Kitchen: 30 minutes
Seasoned Pro: 20 minutes
30-45 minutes depending on how new your oven is.
First things first, boil some water for the noodles. Get a large pot and fill it at least half full and turn the burner to high. If you are including meat, you’ll also want to get out a pan/pot for the meat now. I like to cook the smokies in water over medium heat the whole time prep time.
Next, we are going to start the cheese sauce base.
Get out a small pot and melt 3 tablespoons of butter on low heat. When it starts to sizzle add in the flour, one tablespoon at a time (3 total), stir and repeat. Once all the flour is mixed in, cook it for an additional minute. After this it should look like a paste.
The water might be boiling at this point. If it is, dump at least half the box of shells in and cook them for how ever long the box tells you to. That box knows it’s stuff. Usually it’s 10-12 minutes. If you want leftover noddles or are really hungry, add in 3/4 of the box.
Now is also a good time to preheat your oven. Set it to 350 degrees and it should be ready when you are finishing up prep.
Back to the paste we go!
Add in 1 cup of milk if you want the mac and cheese to be more dry, 2 cups if you want it real gooey. We tend to like it in the middle and use 1 and a half cups of milk. This next step is key to getting creamy and not runny cheese sauce. Add in 1/4 cup of milk at a time. Stir in the milk and continue to stir for at least 1 minute before adding the next 1/4 cup. Once you’ve added in all the milk, if you notice it is still too runny try adding in another tablespoon of butter and flour. At this point the mix should be able to coat the back of a spoon. This is also the perfect time to add in pepper for seasoning.
Add in 3/4 of the goat cheese and let it melt. You may have to break it apart with your spoon in order to help the melting process. Once it is melted, add in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Let the cheese melt for 2 minutes (It should be nice and gooey at this point). Congrats, your cheese sauce is officially ready!
Your shells should be done right about now as well. Drain them and spray/rub the pan with olive oil or spray.
For the best and even cheesiness put down a layer of shells and then add a layer of cheese and meat. Sprinkle in more shredded cheese and bread crumbs to really get the party going. Repeat this until the pan is full. Usually we do this twice or three times before the pan is full.
On the top layer I don’t add more shredded cheese because it tends to get hard, which is a thing with dairy free cheese I’ve yet to master. But if you like your mac and cheese real crispy on the top then put that cheese on the top! Also if you really have a thing for goat cheese crumble up the remaining amount and sprinkle it over the top.
You’re ready to go! Pop your creation into the oven, set your timer to 30 minutes, and once you hear the ding enjoy!