|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 35g||45%|
|Saturated Fat 16g||78%|
|Total Carbohydrate 23g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 9mg||46%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
You can never go wrong with macaroni and cheese for a family dinner. When you have very hungry eaters like growing teenagers, however, it’s a good idea to add more protein to this American classic.
The addition of sausage makes this a hearty macaroni and cheese. You don’t have to stick with the (hot or sweet) Italian sausage, you can use any of your favorite bulk sausages, such as mild, country-style bulk sausage or breakfast sausage, and even turkey sausage. Another alternative is to use diced ham instead of sausage.
To add more vegetarian protein, you can also add sautéed sliced mushrooms to the dish.
After you fry the sausage, pour off most of the excess fat but not all of it. The fat is a stand-in for the butter that you would use otherwise to make the white sauce for the mac and cheese.
This is a dish that you can prepare ahead of time, which comes handy for busy weeknights. Assemble the casserole and let it cool fully, then cover and refrigerate it for up to a day. When you are ready to bake it, remove it from the fridge, uncover it, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake as described.
Leftovers keep in the fridge for two to three days and can be reheated in the microwave.
8 ounces macaroni, uncooked
1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Lightly grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions; drain and set aside.
In a skillet, sauté the sausage, onion, and green bell pepper, stirring, until the sausage is no longer pink. Pour off excess fat.
Add the flour and salt to the sausage mixture, blending well. Gradually add milk. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the cooked and drained macaroni and 1 cup of the shredded Cheddar cheese.
Transfer macaroni and sausage casserole mixture to the prepared casserole.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over sausage casserole and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
- For extra color and flavor, add some cooked mixed vegetables or peas and carrots to the casserole mixture before baking.
- Instead of Italian sausage, use mild breakfast sausage or a turkey sausage blend. Ham would be good in this macaroni and cheese as well.
- Add some lightly sautéed sliced mushrooms to the macaroni and cheese along with the bell pepper.