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How Can I Thicken My Mac N Cheese Sauce?

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I'm planning to make some Mac n cheese with veggies this week. I haven't made it in probably a year or more, I am confident that wegmans gluten free pasta will be delicious. I used to make it with a roux with flour of course, I was thinking of baking a potato and using that to thicken the sauce. I also have gluten-free cornstarch. Anyone have any experience making a roux? I use cornstarch in my gravy, but I'm worried it might be weird with dairy. Thoughts, ideas?

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I have been making a roux when I make hot dishes since there is a real lack of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup around here that is gluten free.  You just might have to use more than you would have before

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I do this all the time. I learned to make mac & cheese from a roux first and that's how I keep doing it. I use whatever flour I have at hand. I started using rice flour, although I'm not a super fan of it it works. I much prefer to use the AP flour that I keep on hand instead. At any rate, either worked just fine and my mac & cheese is as awesome as ever. And now I want some!

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My daughter and boyfriend have been hounding me to make homemade mac and cheese.  I have never done it, but I would think it would taste better than anything on the shelves.  My daughter was a die hard Kraft Mac and Cheese fan so I am not sure how homemade will stack up to her expectations.

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As Addy said, any all purpose flour mix (even baking mixes like pamelas) make great thickeners when used in a roux.  I generally make a roux with half corn starch and half brown rice flour, but if I am out of one, I use whatever flour is on hand.  Brown rice flour takes a little longer to thicken than white rice flour.  But either will make a great cheese sauce.  

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You guys think I should use different proportions? I used to go on the rule that 1 tbls of fat + 1 tbls of flour to thicken 1 cup of liquid. I never measure anything exactly but I have a good eye. This will be my first gluten free roux, so im really hoping its not a bust. Like I said its been a year or more since Ive made my famous mac n cheese, I know it wont be the same but the original recipe took a few times to perfect. Im hoping to pump up this version with some veggies like spinach inside and tomatoes on top.

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I usually just eyeball everything also, but I have noticed that I need a bit more roux now than I did before.  Just my personal experience with the three things I have made, lol.  Someone with more experience will know more than I.

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You guys think I should use different proportions? I used to go on the rule that 1 tbls of fat + 1 tbls of flour to thicken 1 cup of liquid. I never measure anything exactly but I have a good eye. This will be my first gluten free roux, so im really hoping its not a bust. Like I said its been a year or more since Ive made my famous mac n cheese, I know it wont be the same but the original recipe took a few times to perfect. Im hoping to pump up this version with some veggies like spinach inside and tomatoes on top.

I use the 1:1 proportion.  There are probably slight differences in the amount of freed starches each individual flour puts off, so just eyeball it.

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I have never made mac and cheese from scratch but I use potato starch to thicken my gravies and sauces. I prefer it to flours because it doesn't impart any flavor so you don't have to cook it in order for it to be done, just add enough to get to the thickness you want and serve. 

But you do have to use less of it than flours so adding slowly helps to avoid going too far too fast. 

I haven't tried xanthum gum as a thickener but I generally try to avoid it and guar gum because both are known to cause digestive symptoms and mess with blood sugar levels. I only had a bad reaction once when I ate too much of something containing it in one sitting, but it was bad enough for me to learn that the maximum daily doses for each are pretty low.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-340-XANTHAN%20GUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=340&activeIngredientName=XANTHAN%20GUM
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-919-GUAR%20GUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=919&activeIngredientName=GUAR%20GUM

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Thanks you guys. I think I might just go with potato starch because it sounds like i can adjust if necessary. I can't wait! I will update later in the week when i finally make it.

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I'm curious to know from anyone who has tried both if cornstarch is similar to potato starch when used as a thickener. I've only experimented with potato and not corn. Does it impart flavor, does it clump more or less than flours, etc.?

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That makes me think of this recipe... I was going through bookmarks yesterday and drooled over this:  http://www.imaceliac.com/2014/02/gluten-free-crock-pot-mac-n-cheese.html?showComment=1404417989714#c2268602361593667352

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I just wanted to update. I made this over the weekend and it was really tasty! I put spinach in the sauce and pureed a potato in with the onion. It thickened it nicely but I didn't make nearly enough sauce, I think the corn pasta sucks up the liquid quite a bit. Very tasty! I topped it with cut up tomatoes and a little parmesan cheese. It was a bit much for my tummy, so I don't think i will be making it again for awhile.

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Something else to make before going totally gluten-free :D.  We used the recipe on the Creamettes box and I love it!!  I use Wondra for making gravy or roux usually but cornstarch works fine too.  I always add potato water to my gravy as well...well, I used to do all that I guess.  

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I do this all the time. I learned to make mac & cheese from a roux first and that's how I keep doing it. I use whatever flour I have at hand. I started using rice flour, although I'm not a super fan of it it works. I much prefer to use the AP flour that I keep on hand instead. At any rate, either worked just fine and my mac & cheese is as awesome as ever. And now I want some!

What is AP flour?

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