Browned sausage and sliced tomatoes help to make this creamy, delicious macaroni and cheese a hearty main dish. The flavorful casserole is made with pork sausage, chopped vegetables, and a homemade cheese sauce. It's topped with a buttered bread crumb topping and baked to perfection.
Serve this macaroni and cheese bake with biscuits or fresh sliced bread for a fabulous everyday meal.
- 8 ounces macaroni or ditalini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage, spicy or Italian style
- 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped, green or combination of colors
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
- Dash red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) American cheese, cut in cubes or shredded
- Salt, to taste
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 cup fine soft bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and then set aside.
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or saute pan over medium heat. Crumble the sausage and add it to the pan along with the bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring and breaking up sausage, until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Spoon off any excess grease and add the seasoning, pepper flakes, black pepper, and garlic.
- Add the flour to the sausage mixture and cook for about 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the milk. Continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in the cheeses and add salt, to taste.
- Fold the macaroni and tomatoes into the sausage and sauce mixture. Spoon into the prepared casserole.
- Combine the bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake the for 25 minutes.
- Increase heat to 400 F and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until crumb topping is lightly browned.
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|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||51 g|
|Saturated Fat||24 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||18 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|