The best gluten free mac and cheese is a dupe for its glutinous counterpart. It took way too long for the packaged food industry to figure out how to make pasta out of rice and corn that tastes good and has the same consistency as regular wheat pasta. And, when it comes to gluten free mac and cheese, there’s the additional complication of making a cheese sauce with thickeners that don’t include gluten. But it’s 2023. The future is now. And there’s some really good gluten free mac and cheese at the grocery store. Not to spoil anything, but you can finally get gluten free Kraft Mac and Cheese—and it’s good!
We tried a bunch of GF mac and cheese—both frozen gluten free mac and cheese and boxed gluten free mac and cheese—and narrowed it down to the four best options. Truly, we just want mac and cheese that tastes like mac and cheese. A nice, thick, flavorful sauce. Al dente pasta that doesn’t leave a film in your mouth. Gluten free mac and cheese can and should taste just as good as the other stuff. We think you’ll love these.
- Annie’s Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar
If you love Kraft Mac and Cheese but you always wish the cheese sauce tasted a little bit more like actual cheese, Annie’s Gluten Free mac and cheese is the way to go. The sauce is a much more natural color than Kraft’s and it comes out really creamy when it’s prepared according to the instructions on the box. There is a touch of bitterness on the finish, but I think you can write it off as a cheddary bite. The noodles are the same shape as Kraft noodles, but, be forewarned, that these take longer to cook than the box says. They were still a little hard after nine minutes, so keep them in the pot a little longer. This is not the best gluten free mac and cheese in a box, but it’s so much better than some of the weird alternative macaroni options we tasted. Annie’s should update those cooking instructions, though.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Kraft Gluten Free Mac & Cheese
If you handed me a bowl of this gluten free Kraft mac and cheese and didn’t tell me it was the GF version, I really don’t think I’d know the difference. Granted, Kraft Mac & Cheese isn’t exactly a gourmet meal, but it’s still some of the best boxed mac and cheese. If you grew up on it, you know it and you love it, kind of like that old blanket on your childhood couch that always smelled a little bit like feet. The noodles have bite but not too much bite (lookin’ at you, Annie’s). The sauce tastes exactly like the Kraft cheese sauce you know and love. Kraft didn’t release a GF mac and cheese until 2020 and I assume that’s because they’re really trying to perfect it—and they did. Throw some frozen peas and sliced hot dogs into a pot of this, and you’ve got yourself a classic childhood meal, minus the gluten.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Amy’s Bowls Broccoli & Cheddar Bake
When we taste tested GF frozen meals, this gluten free mac and cheese was the standout. Yes, it’s actually rotini rather than mac, but you can’t afford to be a purist when you’re looking for the best gluten free mac and cheese, trust me. This bowl of rotini in cheese sauce is so hearty and satisfying, and the gluten free pasta is so convincing. It even comes with a buttery, gluten free breadcrumb topping that gets toasty in the microwave. It could use a little more broccoli, but if you’re looking for a good gluten free mac and cheese meal for one, this is going to hit the spot.
Credit: Merc / Walmart
- Beecher’s Gluten Free “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese
If you can get past the fact that it’s actually made with penne, Beecher’s makes the best gluten free mac and cheese (the company also makes some of the best frozen mac and cheese in general). I’d say it’s beyond description, but it’s my job to describe things so I’ll do my best: The sauce is deeply creamy, nutty, and sharp, like actual homemade cheddar cheese sauce. The best part for our purposes is that the pasta is indistinguishable from pasta made with wheat flour. And even if you’re some sort of supertaster who can tell the difference, I don’t really think you’ll care when the sauce is this good. I had to force myself to stop eating this gluten free mac and cheese during our taste test. If you’re making a big dinner for a mixed gluten tolerant/gluten free crowd, this is the gluten free mac and cheese that will please everyone.
Credit: Merc / Ralphs
Best Boxed (Runner-Up)
Best with Broccoli
Best of the Best
Other products we tried: Annie’s Deluxe Gluten Free Mac and Cheese, Banza Mac & Cheese, Daiya Deluxe Mac & Cheese, Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese, Jovial Organic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese