|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 5 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 49g||63%|
|Saturated Fat 24g||121%|
|Total Carbohydrate 57g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|*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.|
This delicious pasta dish is a breeze to make and can put dinner on your table in under one hour. Tasty penne pasta and andouille sausage make a casserole that is filling and flavorful. A roux-based sauce of cheese and vegetables complements the earthy flavors of the sausage and the whole mixture goes into the oven covered in breadcrumbs and butter to develop a crispy top. This casserole is easily prepared in advance in order to be popped into the oven once it's almost dinner time. Ideal for busy households, it requires pantry staples like butter, milk, and flour alongside common veggies like onions and bell peppers, so perhaps the only ingredient you'll need to look for is the sausage. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread and you'll have enough for tasty leftovers for the day after. This casserole is the answer for pasta and meat lovers and requires just a quick 20-minute preparation before 30 minutes in the oven.
For this recipe, we chose penne pasta because its shape is great to hold onto a lot of the delicious sauce. Most short pasta will do exactly that, so if what you have is mezzi rigatoni or macaroni those work well, too. The ideal sausage is smoked andouille, a charcuterie that is French in origin but now known as a fundamental part of Southern cuisine in the United States. Similar to the French version, the local variety has a strong garlic flavor and plenty of seasonings derived from Cajun traditions. Both made out of pork, these are strong and bold sausages that carry plenty of flavor on their own. This recipe's creamy cheese sauce will tone the sausage down some—the perfect combination!
Choose Cheddar cheese on a block and grate it at home. Pre-shredded cheese is packed with anti-caking additives that made it harder for it to melt and incorporate into sauces. Keep any leftovers refrigerated for up to 2 days, or freeze individual portions of the casserole for a delicious last-minute lunch.
- 8 ounces mini penne pasta, or elbow macaroni
- 12 to 16 ounces smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, or red; chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Topping:
- 1/2 to 1 cup soft fine bread crumbs
- 2 to 3 teaspoons butter, melted
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Cook pasta following package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan or skillet, cook the andouille sausage with the onion and bell pepper until the onions are translucent. Remove the sausage mixture to a plate and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet you used to cook the vegetables. Stir in the flour until blended.
Gradually add the milk and Creole seasoning to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
Add the cheese and stir until melted. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
Stir in the drained pasta and sausage mixture.
Spoon the pasta into the prepared casserole.
Mix the bread crumbs with the butter and sprinkle it over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is browned and casserole is bubbly.