Mac and Cheese, Ham, Carrot, Celery, Onion {gluten-free}

mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}

Mac and Cheese, Ham, Carrot, Celery, Onion {gluten-free}

The inspiration for this out-of-the-ordinary mac and cheese comes from an unlikely source – split pea soup! To make mac and cheese more of a meal than a side dish, I added the same ingredients and spices I use in my soup – cubed ham plus plenty of carrot, celery, and onion. Garlic, thyme, parsley, and red pepper flakes add extra flavor. The smooth white sauce was made with Parmesan and cheddar, flavored with nutmeg and dry mustard. Paired with a green salad and a glass of ripe and juicy Grenache, it makes a most satisfying winter’s night dinner.

Cooking for someone with gluten intolerance – I made this dish with gluten-free organic red rice elbows from my friends at Explore Cuisine and use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour. You can use traditional macaroni and regular wheat flour if gluten is not an issue.

Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese with Ham Recipe

mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 2 carrots – small slice
  • 2 celery stalks – diced
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 1 t. parsley
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 12 oz. red rice elbow macaroni (gluten-free) – cooked al dente, rinsed and drained well
  • 8 oz. uncured boneless ham steak (fully cooked)

mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}

In a large sauté pan or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and sauté until soft. Add garlic, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes and salt to taste, continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, sear ham steak in a dry non-stick pan. Cut ham into cubes.

mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}

Cheese Sauce:

  • 3 T. butter
  • 3 T. gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/4 c. milk – warmed
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • a few grates of nutmeg
  • 1 t. dry mustard
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan
  • 1 c. grated white cheddar

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in the gluten-free flour and continue to stir until well incorporated and the mixture gives off a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Slowly add warmed milk in a thin stream while continuing to whisk. Add salt, nutmeg, and mustard. Allow mixture to come to a boil, then simmer on low heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in the cheeses.

mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}

Add macaroni and cubed ham to the vegetable mixture in the wok. Pour in the cheese sauce and fold gently with a spatula to combine.

Place macaroni mixture in a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350°F for about 20 – 25 minutes until the casserole is steaming hot and the top starts to brown.

More Mac and Cheese Love

Mac and Cheese Love

Korean Mac and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar (recipe here)

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (recipe here)

Food Network

Comfort Food Feast


Mac and Cheese

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#ComfortFoodFeast is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite comfort foods. This week’s comfort food is Mac and Cheese. You might enjoy taking a peek at other mac and cheese recipes from some fabulous bloggers below… and be sure to follow our very popular Pinterest Board with over 375,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair!mac n cheese, ham, carrot, celery, onion {gluten-free}

Feed Me Phoebe: White Cheddar Mac ‘n Cheese Casserole
Creative Culinary: Green Chile Mac and Cheese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Bang Bang Cauliflower Mac ’n Cheese
The Mom 100: Creamy Four Cheese Penne Rigate
Healthy Eats: 5 Reasons to Put Down That Box of Mac and Cheese
Taste with the Eyes: Mac and Cheese, Ham, Carrot, Celery, Onion {gluten-free}
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Cacio e Pepe
Napa Farmhouse 1885: One Skillet Mac & Cheese
Red or Green: Three Perfect Mac & Cheese Recipes For Winter
From My Corner of Saratoga: Buffalo Mac n Cheese Recipe
FN Dish: Here’s How to Eat Mac and Cheese for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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