Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese

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Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese is a simple yet scrumptious, gluten-free mac and cheese recipe. Made in just 1 pan and in 20 minutes!

Ben and I just finished binge watching a series on National Geographic called “Live Free or Die.” Pretty dramatic title considering the people in the docuseries are in no immediate danger of dying, but hey, you gotta cut through the noise somehow!

Anyway, the show follows 5 individuals who’ve chosen to “re-wild” themselves, aka leave the modern world behind in favor of living off the grid. One fellow, Thorn (my man!) lives in the woods of South Carolina where he sews his girlfriend purses made from roadkill. Colbert is a 60 year old living in the alligator-infested swamps of Georgia who covers himself in turpentine and wild hog lard versus bug spray to repel mosquitos. Tobias spends the majority of each episode wandering around the Arizona desert looking for water. Spoiler alert: it’s hard to find.

It’s difficult not to feel semi horrible about ourselves watching Thorn fell trees with a dull saw, Colbert hack a canoe out of an old log, and Tobias search and search…and search and search…for something to drink, while covered in blankets against the chill of the AC and eating softened Halo Top ice cream, but hey – one thing I am making from scratch? Homemade mac and cheese!

Next step is to single handedly build a log cabin and start sewing all my own clothes. I think I’m ready for it, don’t you?

Mmmm, I think not!

But seriously, one thing you don’t need if a craving for mac and cheese strikes, is a box. A thick and creamy, homemade cheese sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make from scratch, and is so unbelievably easy – you’ll never go back to store-bought.

Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese is gluten-free macaroni noodles stirred into a decadent and creamy, EASY cheese sauce that’s spiked with garlic butter, and fresh tomatoes and basil. This recipe comes together in under 20 minutes and is so summery. Mac and cheese is typically thought of cold-weather comfort food, but why should the fall and season that shall not be named have all the fun??

So go forth, raid your garden, and whip up this ridiculously yummy dinner – bonus points if it’s made over a bow drill-started fire! (Spoiler alert: mine was not.)

Start by adding 2 cloves minced garlic to 2 Tablespoons melted butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute until the garlic has turned golden brown, 1 minute, then sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour and whisk for 1 minute. I used King Arthur Measure for Measure GF Flour.

Slowly stream in 1-1/2 cups milk while whisking constantly to create a smooth sauce then season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high to bring the milk to a bubble then turn it back down to medium and stir constantly until the sauce has thickened, 5 minutes.

I used unsweetened almond milk because that’s what we keep in the house, but would recommend 2% over skim if you’re using cow’s milk.

Remove the saucepan from the heat then add 8oz freshly shredded fontina cheese in two batches, stirring until the sauce is completely smooth before adding the second batch. Taste then add more salt and pepper if necessary.

You will go nuts over how yummy this cheese sauce is – and it couldn’t be simpler!

Last step is to stir in 7oz gluten-free macaroni that’s been cooked in a pot next door, along with 2 chopped Roma tomatoes and 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves that have been chopped.

Scoop into bowls and serve immediately (or do what I did and grab a fork then start eating directly out of the saucepan!) I hope you love this EASY, summery Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheese – enjoy!


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Tomato-Basil Stovetop Mac and Cheesegluten freevegetarian20 minute meal30 minute meal


  • 7oz dry gluten-free macaroni
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure GF flour)
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but recommend 2% milk if using cow’s milk)
  • 8oz freshly shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Read the whole recipe on Iowa Girl Eats