My Gluten Free Chilli Mac & Cheese: the best comfort food!

20th June 2019
Blog post

Gluten Free Chilli Mac and Cheese: combining two of everyone favourite comfort foods! All you need to do is make a chilli-con-carne, mix it into your favourite pasta, mix in some cheese and bake. Its the best winter warmer!!!

I’m sharing my family favourite Chilli Con Carne recipe with you here! My family are a mixed bunch when it comes to food…some of us like a bit of spice, others say a korma is “spicy” (Katie, I’m looking at you!!), and this one satisfies all of us. It can batch cooked, stored in the fridge/freezer and then you can whip out a portion when you’re ready to make your Mac and Cheese!

That said, if you’ve already nailed your own Chilli Con Carne recipe you can easily sub it into the Mac & Cheese below!

What’s more, its super quick to make, fills you up and is packed with flavour. I promise, as soon as you’ve tried this it’ll become a weekly staple in your house.

Which Pasta Brand Should I Buy?

I LOVE Garofalo.

Nothing compares if you ask me. It cooks perfect, there’s never any stickiness and I love their range of shapes. Available on Ocado or Amazon. Its not cheap but I really think the price makes a massive difference when it comes to gluten free pasta.

Garofalo pasta is formed through a metal forming die which gives the pasta a rough surface that allows the sauce to stick- they’re one of few manufacturers that use this method for gluten free and I really think you can tell.

Its also created in a separate factory from their regular pasta so we haven’t got to worry about cross contamination!

AND ITS GOOD COLD – I know, doesn’t sound believable with gluten free pasta, right?!

Which Pasta shape should I use?

Any shape will work but I usually go for Garofalo Casarecce (as the chilli sauce soaks in the the folds of the pasta) or Gnocco Sardo (the little shells fill with the sauce and its just heaven!!).

chill mac & cheese

* 5 Gluten Free Pasta Tips * to help you cook it perfectly!!

(1) Use DOUBLE the amount of water

Use double the amount you’d use for “normal” gluten free pasta. It makes the pasta less sticky/gloopy if you know what I mean?! I believe this works because gf pasta is starchier 

(2) Only add the pasta to the water once its *properly* boiling.

Its easy to get impatient and put it in when the water has jussttt started to simmer. Don’t!!!! haha

(3) Do the wiggle!!

As soon as your pasta is in the boiling water, reduce to a simmer and move the pasta around with a fork. Repeat this every couple of minutes to prevent it from sticking. Gluten free pasta is a clingy so-and-so.

(4) Don’t overcook it.

Over-cooked gluten free pasta tastes way worse than over-cooked “normal pasta”. Don’t test it by the time on the packet – eat it!

(5) Add a little of your pasta water to the sauce.

Literally take 2-3 tbsp of the water your pasta has cooked in and add it to your sauce – sounds weird, tastes delicious!

My Gluten Free Chilli Mac and Cheese

The Ultimate Comfort Food. Make a chilli-con-carne, mix in some cooked pasta & cheese, top with more cheese and bake. Its that easy!!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Servings: 5 – 6 people
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, english


  • 250 grams gluten free Pasta – use Garafalo!! - any shape you like
  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tin plum/chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200 grams cheese - dairy free if you need – I recommend Violife
  • 1 beef gluten free beef stock cube/pot - I use Knorr Rich Stock Pot
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or 100ml red wine

Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram - optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground chilli powder - optional
  • 1 tsp oregano


Chilli Con Carne

  • Slice the pepper, celery and onion into small cubes. Place into a deep frying pan and fry on a medium temperature for 5-7mins, until lightly browning and softened.
  • Add the mince and fry until browning. temperature.
  • Add all of the "spice mix". Stir through and leave to cook through for 2 mins.
  • Add the stock cube, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar and stir through.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes. Fill the tin with water and tip that in too. Bring to the boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and leave for 30-45mins for everything to soften and get even tastier!!!

Mac and Cheese time

  • Preheat oven to 180oC.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the pasta, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 mins less than the required cooking time on the packet
    >You want the pasta to have a slight bite/be almost undercooked as it'll keep cooking in the next stage.
  • Drain the pasta, leaving a tiny bit of pasta water in the pan. Add the pasta back into the pan.
  • Add your chilli con carne and 3/4 of the cheese to the pasta and mix through.
  • Pour into a oven proof dish. Scatter the rest of the cheese over the top and place into the oven for 10 mins or until the cheese has all melted.
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