This recipe is incredibly versatile. I’ve served it as a main course and as a side dish with a hearty protein like steaks. Never stint on the quantity you make of this because it goes fast – the first time I made it for a dinner party, it never made it to the table – it was consumed at the kitchen island by all the adults. The kids never got any.

IMPORTANT: As with any gluten free recipe that emulates something traditional (the classic mac and cheese), you need to be careful with certain of the ingredients – here the flour and the pasta. I strongly recommend King Arthur Gluten Free “Measure for Measure Flour” and Ronzoni Gluten Free pasta – the one they describe as “Delicious White Pasta Taste” (it is in a a yellow box).


  • 10 oz dry penne or elbow pasta (Gluten Free Ronzoni recommended)
  • 6 oz package sliced pepperoni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp diced oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup gluten free flour (King Arthur Measure for Measure)
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup cream (or 3 1/2 cups whole milk instead of the milk and cream)
  • 9 oz provolone cheese shredded
  • 6 oz sharp white cheddar shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1 cup purchased marinara sauce

Note: Like all mac and cheese dishes you can change up the cheese type and quantity here. Experiment with what you like.


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Get a cookie sheet ready to sit a cast iron pan or casserole dish on.
  2. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water with salt. 11 minutes worked for me but your time may vary depending on pasta brand.
  3. Take 20 slices of pepperoni out of the package and set aside to lay on the top at the very end. Mince remaining pepperoni and brown in 2 tbsp oil in a 12” cast iron pan over medium heat until crispy but not browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let drain. Leave about 1/4 cup drippings in bottom of pan.
  4. Sweat bell peppers, onions, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes over medium heat until softened, 5 to 10 minutes depending on heat. Increase heat to medium high and whisk in flour, coating vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Whisk in milk, stirring often until smooth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cheese step by step (only use 3/4 cup of the parmesan and 3 oz o the provolone saving the rest for the top). Whisk until melted.
  6. Stir in pepperoni and pasta. Season with salt and black pepper.
  7. Dollop marinara over pasta and top with remaining parmesan and provolone.
  8. Transfer skilled to the baking sheet.
  9. Bake until bubbly – 20 minutes.