Gluten Free Shrimp Mac and Cheese Recipe
I am a fan of mac and cheese – big, big fan! It is the ultimate comfort food in my humble opinion. And one of my favorite entertaining strategies is to serve my guests comfort food at parties. It is unexpected and always welcomed.
Of course there is nothing at all wrong with plain old mac and cheese. However I recently decided to make some fancy schmancy mac and cheese. I thought about adding lobster but really, hasn’t that been done already?
OK, maybe the fact that lobster mac and cheese has been done (and done and done…) is not the reason I went a different way. Honestly, getting the meat out of lobsters is just a bit too much work when entertaining a crowd. Also, lobster can be pretty pricey. So, I opted for shrimp instead – readily available, budget friendly, and if you buy it already peeled and deveined, easy peasy!
To complement the subtle sweet flavor of the shrimp I decided to try using some tangy goat cheese. Pretty perfect if I do say so myself! And the method for this sophisticated mac and cheese couldn’t be easier; I simply boiled some half and half with some herbs and garlic until it reduced by half, stirred in my shrimp, goat cheese, and cooked gluten free elbow macaroni (I used Pastariso organic brown rice). Honestly, the resulting mixture was so creamy and delish you could eat it just like that but I decided that a little crunch was in order so I topped the mixture with some gluten free bread crumbs. Parmesan cheese (you can never have too much cheese in mac and cheese!) and a little melted butter.
I like to serve mac and cheese in little one-cup ramekins (you can get some at Target for under $2.00 a piece) and then each person gets the exact perfect ratio of creamy and crunchy. But if you haven’t got a bunch of individual ramekins sitting around, a larger one will do just fine.
By the way, I doubled this recipe and made 12 individual ramekins, perfect for a party! Next time you are in the mood for some fancied up comfort, give this Gluten Free Shrimp Mac and Cheese recipe a try!
- Gluten free non-stick cooking spray or butter for preparing the ramekins
- Kosher or fine sea salt
- 8 ounces gluten free elbow macaroni
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 small sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
- ¾ pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup gluten free bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray six 1 cup ramekins with cooking spray or grease with butter. (Alternatively you can use one 6 cup baking dish.)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water.
Combine the half and half, rosemary, thyme, and garlic in a deep saucepan (larger than you think you will need) and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture has reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Strain the mixture and return to the pot. With the heat on medium, add the goat cheese to the half and half mixture and cook, stirring, until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is creamy. Add the shrimp and drained pasta, cook for about 1 minute or until the shrimp just begins to turn pink. Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins.
Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the mac and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
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