Grain-Free Cheddar Shells + Cheese

GF pasta overhead 2

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free 🌟

Good Evening, Friends! **Update- you can now use grain-free lentil macaroni in this recipe if you don’t have time to make it from scratch!**
There are few things better in this world than enjoying a comforting meal amongst family and friends. And part of that joy can come not only from sharing the meal itself, but in sharing the preparation of it. I remember in my family, on the weekends, how we would turn on some good music and make a party out of it— even if it was just a few of us. What could have been a tedious effort quickly turned into celebration and bonding—and recipe sharing!! And I must say, this is the perfect meal for the whole family to participate in. Making pasta can be a lot of fun, especially when the dough bears some semblance to play-doh.😋 And you don’t necessarily have to make shells, you can let everyone put their creative hats on and come up with their own designs!

GF past pot2

And forgive my lack of modesty, but this dish is SO delicious!! It’s really exciting to have Mac and Cheese back in my life and I can’t wait for you to try this grain-free version. It has absolutely become a staple in our kitchen and I hope it will in yours, too. 💕

GF pasta pot

Tips For Today:

-Feel free to use grain-free Lentil Macaroni if you’d rather not make the pasta from scratch.
-You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in saran wrap and then knead it to bring it back to a play-doh like texture. You can add a drop or two of water to make it easier.
-Do not leave your shells out too long after forming them or they will dry out.
-We added our grain-free bread crumbs to our shells and cheese before baking, it adds an extra crunch. But it is also absolutely delicious without them.
-If you don’t have the time to make our pasta and you can tolerate chickpeas, Banza also makes grain-free pasta shells- their ingredient list is chickpeas, tapioca flour, pea protein and xanthan gum.

Onto the recipe!

GF PAsta close

First, make your cheese sauce and set aside. Then create your pasta dough.
GF past wk

Shape your dough: Take a small pinch of your dough, roll it into a ball in the center of your hand and press into the middle of the ball with your index finger while cupping your hand.
GF Pasta Shells
Cupping your hand at the same time will curl the edges forward, creating a shell. Place formed shells onto parchment paper.

Send pasta in for a quick boil and then drain in colander.
GF Pasta boil

Mix shells with cheese sauce, top with shredded cheddar + grain-free breadcrumbs if desired and bake until golden brown around the edges. Serve and enjoy!
GF Pasta broil

Enjoy The Recipe + Happy Pasta Making!😊

Print
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Grain-Free Cheddar Shells + Cheese


  • Author: Lila Ruth
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • **You can use grain-free Lentil Macaroni in this recipe if you don’t have time to make homemade pasta.
  • Homemade Grain-Free Pasta
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 cup potato flakes (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 3 teaspoons guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • CHEESE SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (preferably not skim)
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar or white cheddar (extra for topping)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
  • salt and paprika to taste (we use about 1/4 teaspoon of each)

Instructions

  1. FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE: In a medium sized pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter at medium heat. After butter is melted, whisk in the 2 tbsp of potato starch, allowing it to cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add in your milk, about 1/2 a cup at a time. The mixture will thicken very quickly, so whisk vigorously. After you have incorporated the milk, allow mixture to boil for a minute or two. Then stir in cheddar and parmesan cheeses until smooth. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. PASTA: In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, potato starch, potato flakes, parmesan, guar gum and salt. Add warm water, olive oil and egg yolk into the dry mix. Combine together with a large fork then continue to work through by hand until smooth dough forms. (Dough will be smooth but sticky). Rinse hands and let dough sit for a few minutes.
  4. Then form your dough into a ball and place onto a large sheet of parchment paper. (Put a large pot of water on to boil at this point).
  5. To create the pasta shells, use the photos above as a guide. You will take a small pinch of your dough, roll it into a ball in the center of your hand and press the middle of the ball with your index finger while cupping your hand. Cupping your hand at the same time will curl the edges forward, creating a shell. Place formed shells onto parchment paper.
  6. It will take about 20 minutes to press out all of the shells, enlisting a helper makes the process speedier and more fun.  Once all of your shells are made, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Then carefully pour pasta shells into a pot of boiling water. They will rise to the top after 1 minute. Allow them to continue to boil for 2 more minutes. Then pour them into a strainer and drain. (Do not allow them to sit for more than a few minutes or they will start to stick together. If this happens, just rinse with cool water and they will separate).
  7. Quickly reheat your cheese sauce and pour drained shells into sauce and combine. Pour shells and cheese into 4 ramekins, soufflé dish or small casserole dish. Add shredded cheese overtop and grain-free bread crumbs (info in tips above) and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges have browned.
  8. Let cool a few minutes before serving and enjoy!

Keywords: grainfree, glutenfree, pasta, macandcheese, macaroni, cheese, dinner

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