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Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (gluten free)


I have received information and materials from JOHNSON & JOHNSON CONSUMER, Inc., McNeil Nutritionals, LLC Subsidiary the makers of LACTAID®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post and I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write it.

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese that’s made with real milk and cheese but is lactose free. It’s perfect to satisfy those comfort food cravings without messing with your stomach.

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Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese (lactose free)

My daughter, Kelsey, is part of the one in five Americans diagnosed as lactose intolerant – she was diagnosed last summer. Since then, she’s maintained a mostly dairy free diet. However, there are times where there’s just no satisfying substitute for real dairy. So, here with are with a gluten free macaroni and cheese recipe that you’ll love!

Classic example – macaroni and cheese. We’ve tried all kinds of dairy free alternatives and have been less than impressed with results. Then last fall, we discovered that aged cheddar cheese is naturally lactose free. (Why didn’t I know that earlier?!) 

Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |

How to make this gluten free mac and cheese lactose free!

Literally, a light-bulb went off. I don’t have to make dairy free macaroni and cheese, I can just make gluten free macaroni and cheese without lactose! Thanks to products like LACTAID®, I can still make some family favorites without having to fully convert them to be dairy free.

LACTAID® Milk is perfect in the lactose free macaroni and cheese. You just can’t mimic that comforting, creamy, cheesy goodness without the milk and cheese.

Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |

Also, in case you’re wondering, there’s no difference in taste between LACTAID® and non- LACTAID® products. If somebody didn’t tell you, you really wouldn’t know.

I also like to use the LACTAID® cottage cheese in lasagna. My Polish husband’s great-grandmother’s lasagna recipe is called “American Lasagna” and is made with cottage cheese instead of ricotta – it’s SO good! If your recipe just calls for ricotta, you can use the LACTAID® cottage cheese in place of that.

Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |

Best way to cook gluten free macaroni and cheese:

But let’s get back to this MAC AND CHEESE. I like to bake my macaroni and cheese since that’s the way I grew up with it.

True story: my husband had NEVER had baked macaroni and cheese before I started making it for him. How is that even possible?? All those years of missing out…

Baked macaroni and cheese is totally the way to go. The edges get nice and crispy/crunchy – those are my favorite pieces. A perfect bite includes a crispy piece of macaroni, some creamy pieces of macaroni, and some of the crunchy topping. That right there is the definition of comfort food, my friends.

By the way, this gluten free mac and cheese would go great with my mini bbq meatloaf recipe!


Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |
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Gluten Free and Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese from What The Fork Food Blog | | Sponsored by Lactaid |
Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese (and gluten free). From What The Fork Food Blog |

Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese

4.60 from 96 ratings
Lactose Free Macaroni and Cheese that’s made with real milk and cheese but is lactose free. It’s perfect to satisfy those comfort food cravings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Print Rate Pin


  • 8 oz. gluten free macaroni
  • ¼ C ghee or dairy free butter
  • ¼ C gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 2 C LACTAID® milk
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 C cheddar cheese*
  • ½ C gluten free bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp ghee or dairy free butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking dish with non-stick spray (use a baking dish that holds 2 quarts).
  • Cook the macaroni according to package directions for al dente pasta (you could even cook it a minute less). Drain the macaroni when cooked and set aside.
  • Add ¼ C ghee or dairy free butter to the empty pasta pot and heat over medium heat. When the ghee is melted, whisk in the gluten free flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour and whisk in the LACTAID® milk.
  • Heat the milk, whisking almost constantly until it comes to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the milk mixture thickens. The milk mixture is thick enough when it can hold a line on a spoon when you run your finger through it without it running. It will take about 5-10 minutes.
  • When the milk has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese. Mix until it melts completely. Stir in the macaroni and mix until the macaroni is completely coated with the cheese sauce.
  • Transfer the macaroni to the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of melted ghee. Stir to coat the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the top is browned and cheese sauce is bubbling.


*Real cheddar cheese is naturally lactose free. Use a good quality cheddar and look for one labeled with 0g lactose/serving.
This recipe also calls for ghee or dairy free butter. Ghee is a lactose free product which is what I prefer to use when I make this recipe.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g


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Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

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4.60 from 96 votes (94 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

  1. trc says:

    At what point are you supposed to add the salt and pepper listed in the ingrediants?

  2. Danielle says:

    Believe it or not, lactose is the only sugar in cheese (except specialty cheeses like cranberry holiday cheese or chocolate chip cheese) so because of this the sugar content on the nutrition label tells you how much lactose is in the cheese (0g sugar= 0g lactose). Also, real butter is almost always safe for people with lactose intolerance, I’m lactose intolerant and have no issues. People who are EXTREMELY sensitive may have a problem with butter and if so ghee is a great substitute. Just sharing because a common misconception about people who are lactose intolerant is that they can’t have any dairy/cheese or much of anything.

  3. Chris says:

    You lost me at lactose free cheese. This is theoretical IMHO, informed by 40 years of lactose avoidance. I have yet to find an aged cheese I can repeatedly consume without affect.

  4. Sony says:

    5 stars
    I have been lactose intolerance for over 20 years. But did not know that aged cheese was LF. I’m glad because I have seen product that are 0g but thought nothing of it. Now I can pick up some other products to
    have in my refrigerator to enjoy. Thanks for the info! 😊

  5. Sue says:

    5 stars
    So glad to find your website! I’ve been making a similar Baked Mac-n-Cheez since I figured out that aged cheeses were safe for my belly! (Who knew, right? Look for 0 g sugars but take a lactase pill just for safety! Swiss, provolone, parm, romano, etc are all usually LF.)

    Hope these tips help some of you out there:

    If you’re not afraid of bacon (animal fat is animal fat, just saltier than butter with no lactose!), reserve bacon fat and substitute it for butter when making sauces. Just reduce salt and taste before seasoning. What the heck, add chopped bacon to the Mac while you’re at it! I LOVE lactaid — but when we run out I make a roux with oil/bacon fat/etc. and flour and make a veloute sauce using chicken broth or water with bouillon cubes. LF and super tasty in a pinch. Almost cream sauce without the cream, if you get my drift.

    I don’t make mine GF, so I’m free to use breadcrumbs. Progresso makes an Italian-seasoned panko that is LF and adds another layer of flavor to the Mac. Look for a blue cylindrical container at your grocer.

    LF sisters and brothers: there is a great line of LF products out there that are REAL DAIRY that I have only found at Whole Foods: I am not a spokesperson and none of my opinions have been bought or paid for — I just want you all to know that there is REAL sour cream, and REAL cream cheese and REAL yogurt that you can enjoy again!

    My last comment for all of you out there who are Lactose Intolerant, you need to know that YOU ARE THE NORMAL ONES. In the animal world, there is only one bizarre species that consumes milk (of other species!) long after weaning: humans. Everyone else you know has the mutation for “Lactase Persistence”. Evolution has shown that this is a great mutation (which is why we are in the minority), and it makes it possible for people to get great nutrition from milk and dairy products for their entire life! But it isn’t the way any other mammal species gets nutrition. So keep that in mind the next time you are at a restaurant and have to struggle to find out if there is lactose in the dish you want to enjoy!

  6. Tom says:

    I didn’t realize aged cheddar was lactose free either. I’ll have to try it.

    I’ve been trying to make macaroni and cheese like I had when I was a kid. It used Velveeta cheese. Yeah, I know. It is probably on the bottom tier of the mac and cheese hierarchy, but, that is what I remember.

    I thought I stumbled across some lactose free American process cheese. Borden supposedly sells some packaged individually wrapped American cheese slices. However, as I looked into it, Borden sort of got sold off to some sort of equity investment company that sold off different aspects of it and the Borden name is on some of the products, but, they are all made by different companies.

    I’ve see pictures of the cheese online, but, when I contacted the co-op that makes the cheeses with the Borden label they aren’t familiar with it. I contacted a local store that sells other Borden cheeses and they contacted their distributor and they don’t know about it or how to get it. I was able to get a list of some retailers in other parts of the country where I know people and when the stores that supposedly carry it were asked they knew nothing either.

    Anyone know anything or have any ideas. It seems like some place that makes American process cheese could just use lactose free milk and then follow the same process to make a lactose free version.

  7. Katie says:

    Most Kraft shredded cheese is lactose free as well. And feta cheese and Greek yogurt are naturally lactose free. I can eat all of the above with no issue!

  8. Megan says:

    OMG I feel like my life is changed!…. I’ve been Lactose Intolerant forever and my 2 yr old daughter is as well and this is the first time I’ve heard of naturally lactose free cheeses!! I’m so excited. Thank you for the recipe…. I’m looking forward to making it for my daughter as she loves cheese and mac n cheese but hasn’t had it since we realized she had a dairy problem 🙁