There’s no better homemade comfort food than macaroni and cheese. Simple to make and a crowd pleaser for pickier palates, it tends to be a staple in most family homes. Yet sometimes that cheesy, melty dinner can turn tiny tummies (or even yours!) into an uncomfortable knot.
At Kreider Farms, we understand how difficult it can be cooking for the whole family if one or more of you are lactose intolerant. Finding foods that work for everyone can be not only frustrating, but time-consuming and expensive as well. That’s why we went on a search for one of the best lactose free mac and cheese recipes we could find. Not only does this recipe hit that comfort food spot, but it also packs just as much (if not more) flavor than typical mac and cheese.
What Cheeses are Naturally Lactose Free?
Before we get to the recipe, we wanted to talk about the star of the show—the cheese! For instance, did you know that you can actually make your own lactose free cheese right at home? Mozzarella and ricotta are a few of the easier ones to make, but you can even buy certain premade cheeses from the store that are low in lactose, too. Aged cheeses typically have less sugar in them, making them easier for lactose intolerant stomachs to digest. A few popular types are sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, Muenster, brie, provolone, Gouda, blue, parmesan, and Swiss.
As with all cheeses or foods in general, make sure you know your limits. If you’ve never eaten a specific type of cheese (even if it’s a lactose free cheese), try it in smaller portions to see how your stomach reacts before you eat an entire meal. Everyone reacts differently and has different tolerance levels, so do what’s best for your body!
Lactose Free Mac and Cheese Recipe
First and foremost, if you have a tried and true family recipe for mac and cheese, we suggest modifying that one first by using Kreider’s Lactose Free Milk and possibly substituting certain cheeses. But this Rachael Ray recipe is one of our absolute favorites and should go nice and easy on lactose intolerant stomachs (we’ve tweaked it slightly to be more lactose intolerant friendly).
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to get started with this recipe:
- 1 Tbsp. Vegetable or Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsps. Margarine*
- 3 Tbsps. Flour
- 1 ½ Cups Lactose Free Milk
- 3 Cups Shredded White Cheddar Cheese**
- ½ Tsp. Nutmeg, Ground Or Freshly Grated
- ¼ Tsp. Ground Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Lb. Elbow Macaroni (Cooked 8 Minutes or to Al Dente)
*Make sure you check your margarine label to make sure it doesn’t contain milk solids or milk product.
**Cheddar cheese is naturally low in lactose, but make sure you know your stomach’s limits before eating a lot of it.
The first step to this macaroni and cheese is make a roux for your cheese sauce. Start by heating up a deep, medium-sized skillet over medium heat and add in your oil and margarine to the pan. When the margarine melts, slowly add in your flour. Whisk together until smooth for about 3 minutes until the flour has had a chance to cook. While continuing to whisk, slowly add in your lactose free milk and stir it frequently until the milk starts to bubble.
Once it has thickened slightly, add in 2 of the 3 cups of your shredded cheese a handful at a time. Once the cheese is incorporated, season your sauce with nutmeg, pepper, and salt to taste. Add in the cooked pasta and coat the noodles completely by folding them into the sauce. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of choose across the top. Place the baking dish into the oven and broil until the cheese is brown on top.
With cooler weather just around the corner, we think this lactose free mac and cheese dish will be a big hit for any household. Coming in from that crisp fall air to a warm, comforting, and extra cheesy dish that has none of the uncomfortable stomach side effects—could it get any better? Not really (unless you have a sweet tooth and go for lactose free ice cream or cheesecake!), but Kreider Farms is here to help keep those family traditions going through dietary issues.