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MACARONI AND CHEESE with CHICKEN-APPLE SAUSAGE and BACON

Creamy mac and cheese with sweet chicken apple sausage and salty bacon is always a favorite!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword mac and cheese with sausage and bacon, macaroni and cheese with bacon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 6-8
Calories 296kcal
Author Toni Dash

Ingredients

  • 1 package elbow pasta I use Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbow pasta which is gluten free
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour you can use gluten or gluten free flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese cubed
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 12 ounce package  pre-cooked skinless chicken apple sausage 4 sausages
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large casserole with butter and set aside.
  • Boil water and prepare pasta to package instructions.
    boiled elbow pasta in colander
  • In a skillet brown the bacon so it is slightly done but not crispy or hard.  Drain well on paper towels.  Cut off any large pieces of fat from ends and discard.  Chop the bacon into small pieces (about 1/8 inch square).  Set aside.
    chopped cooked bacon
  • Chop sausages into ¼ inch square pieces.  Set aside.  I wanted mine to be somewhat rustic, not perfect square pieces.
    chopped chicken apple sausages
  • While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.  
    melted butter in pot
  • Whisk in the flour, as well as salt and pepper to taste (you can add more later as well). Basically you are making a roux*. 
    adding flour to melted butter
  • When it is well combined, slowly pour in the milk whisking the whole time to avoid burning the mixture. 
    pour milk into a roux
  • Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken noticeably (5-10 minutes).
    whisking in flour to melted butter
  • Add cubed cheese to butter/flour/milk mixture.  
    adding cubed cheese to sauce
  • Continue to stir until the cheese is fully melted.
    stirring cheese sauce
  • When pasta is cooked, rinse, drain well and return to the cooking pot.  
  • Pour in the cheese sauce, chopped bacon and chopped sausage; stir well to fully combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. 
    finished mac and cheese with sausage and bacon
  • Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the macaroni develops a nice, brown crust on the top.
  • When done, remove from oven to cool slightly and serve.

Notes

*a roux (pronounced ‘roo’) is a mixture of flour and butter which is the base of many sauces and a thickener.
VARIATIONS:
  • Use extra sharp cheese and add a bit of Dijon mustard
  • Use sharp cheddar mixed with a little bit of Monterey Jack cheese and add chopped Anaheim chilies (canned or fresh if available)
  • Experiment with cheese blends.  Gruyere cheese is very good in this dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 283mg | Iron: 0.8mg