Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar aka Mac N Cheese

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gluten free elbow macaroni

While you won’t find Sponge Bob Square Pants, Scooby Doo, or Pokemon-shaped pasta inside the box, Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Rice Pasta & Cheddar mac n’ cheese does taste good.  A little doctoring of the cheese portion was needed (I like my pasta happily smothered in cheese sauce), but overall this is a great product to have on hand for a quick meal.



  • Uber-simple to make.  Even a monkey could prepare it!
  • The rice pasta tastes like the “real thing” — no gritty texture.
  • Reasonably priced at $1.99 for 6 ounce package.


  • The cheese portion of the mac n’ cheese was more like watery cheese soup.  It’s very thin and needs to be thickened up with extra cheddar.
  • The box of gluten free mac n’ cheese is 6 ounces.  A traditional glutenous box of mac n’ cheese is 7.5 ounces.  Um, hello, why do gluten intolerant peeps get less?


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Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.


  1. I agree with you that Trader Joe’s Pancake mix has an “off” smell. But it is the least expensive GF pancake mix on the market, so I guess you get what you pay for. I look forward to trying the new GF Mac-N-Cheese, but will likely add some extra cheese myself:) It’s gotta be cheesy!

  2. I am so glad you did this…I have a few boxes of it sitting on my shelf waiting to be eaten. I’ve been too afraid to try it, thinking it might be awful! But I know what I’m having for dinner tonight!

  3. You know, this is actually my favorite mac and cheese in a box that I’ve found since going gluten free!! I love it, but I also add extra chedda to it :)why does that stupid orange Kraft stuff taste SOOOOOO good?!

  4. Did you use milk and butter and not water when you made it? If you do that (according to the pkg directions) then I never feel the need to doctor it up more.

  5. I have other food issues besides gluten, but this stuff is a horrible trigger of intestinal symptoms for me, despite the fact that I “should” be able to eat everything it contains. I can make rice pasta with cheese from scratch and be fine, but this stuff… terrible reaction to it.

  6. This one looks promising! Now that I’ve read your review, I know that I can buy this and eat it too. Otherwise I would be just like Kate, buying it and putting it in my larder. I will definitely add more cheese to it too. Yum!

  7. I tried it and wasn’t terribly pleased. But I like the idea of adding extra chedda to it. 🙂 Maybe I’ll give it another whirl. Thanks for the tip!

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