Super creamy spicy sausage mac ‘n cheese

You know how as a kid you’d be on your very best behavior when you wanted something?

-You’re 9 or 10 and want Sega so flippin’ badly because Nintendo is sooooo last year and a hedgehog with funky hair is way cooler than a fat plumber with ugly suspenders? Set the table for dinner every night, bring the dishes to the counter and walk the dog before being told.

-You’re 12 or 13 and want to hang out at the mall on a Friday night giving the bored out of their mind mall security guards something to actually do while you and your girlfriends act ridiculous doing loops around the place stalking boys and giggling? Take the trash out before you had to be asked.

-You’re 16, get invited to senior prom and reeeeeally want to go to the jersey shore with everyone afterwards for the weekend. End the year with straight A’s, beg, plead, list all your accomplishments ever in life and reinforce how responsible you’ve been up to this point. Except that time it doesn’t work…(still bitter about it).

Yeah, well marriage is kind of no different.

Mac ‘n cheese is probably (outside of legit Greek food) Ulysses’ favorite dish.

Guess who wants something?

Spicy, cheesy, meaty, creamy (and still chock full of veggies) mac ‘n cheese seemed like the best way to make it happen.

If my manipulation plan works, I’ll be able to show you after this long weekend.

Hopefully we don’t have a prom outcome on our hands.

4.0 from 2 reviews

Super Creamy Spicy Sausage Mac ‘n Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Creamy, cheesy, spicy and filled with veggies this is the ultimate comforting mac ‘n cheese while still being good for you.
Author:
Recipe type: pasta, entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 cups uncooked whole wheat orecchiette pasta (or any small shaped pasta)
  • 12 oz. spicy chicken sausage
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1½ cups sharp white cheddar, grated
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt, add pasta and cook until al dente. If using orecchiette, about 8-9 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, break sausage up into pieces and cook until browned (you may want to add a bit of olive oil while sauteing depending on the fat content of the sausage).
  3. Add peppers, scallions and zucchini and saute for another 4-5 minutes until softened.
  4. Add spices and flour and toss together until flour is fully incorporated.
  5. Add milk and cheese next and stir all together until cheese is melted.
  6. At this point the pasta should be done cooking. Drain well reserving about a cup of the cooking water in a separate bowl* and add pasta to the pan.
  7. Toss to coat pasta in cheesy mixture completely.
  8. Add grape tomatoes and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately.
Notes
*Keep pasta cooking liquid for reheating. Mac ‘n cheese has a tendency to dry up once refrigerated and reheated. Use some of the pasta water to help “loosen” it up a bit again when reheating or if not serving immediately.

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    Ooh, this looks awesome and I hope you’re plan works! :)

  2. 2

    Hopefully your plan is a success! :)

  3. 3

    #Swoon

    I love mac and cheese :)

  4. 4

    LOL! That stuff never worked with my parents! I had prom outcomes almost every single time. So disappointing.
    sidenote: i want to lick the screen right now it looks so good. I’m so making this.

  5. 5

    I happen to love that fat plumber and his sexy suspenders….

    =)

  6. 6

    ahh haha can’t wait to see what you’re buttering him up for. Camera equipment perhaps? And I can completely relate to just about all of those circumstances growing up!

  7. 8

    Lookin’ GOOD! I love all of the veggies. Yum!

  8. 9

    I look forward to hearing the outcome of this plan! This definitely looks like the perfect way to somebody’s heart.

  9. 10

    Oh, what a great recipe! I thik even hubby wilgo for it with veggies in it!! It’s on my to make list this weekend!! Have a wonderful Friday!!

  10. 11

    you just convinced me that i want mac and cheese at 945 in the morning. this looks SO good and i love that it’s got spice to it. i’m starting to dislike some meals when they don’t have enough punch from spice..and the spice that’s given by sausage? mmm even better! white cheddar in this is awesome.

  11. 12

    I made some awesome pesto and tomato mac and cheese yesterday, but this looks even more AMAZING. YOu know, minus the meat.

  12. 13

    I’m a sucker for mac & cheese and I’m always looking for new ways to make it, this is great!

  13. 14

    good luck with your plan :)

  14. 15

    I love healthified mac and cheese recipes! Now if I could just get my husband to eat some vegetables…

  15. 16

    Healthy, fresh and delicious. PERFECT recipe, Gina!

  16. 17

    holy moly. my husband would love this. i won’t lie, as would i. yum.

  17. 18

    Spicy mac and cheese? This looks amazing Gina! I love orecchiette, too!

  18. 19

    Holy cow this looks good! Like the other ladies I think my fiancé will love this!

  19. 20

    Haha, good luck! If this mac and cheese doesn’t do it I don’t know what will. It looks great! I love all the veggies you packed into this :)

  20. 21

    lol I’m DYING to know what you want. I’d be happy with this dish – creamy cheesy and spicy – yum!

  21. 22

    Judging by the delicious ingredients that went into this dish, I think you just might succeed with your plan. I tried to do all those things when I was a kid too and they only worked barely half the time. Why did my mom have to be so strict?

  22. 23

    You just me totally nostalgic for my early teenage years, which were apparently spent similarly to yours.

    Also, now I’m hungry. :)

  23. 24

    I couldn’t even make a case for beach week. It was never gonna happen.
    That meal on the other hand looks like it could accomplish anything!

  24. 25

    Love this macaroni! And hope your plan works! :)

  25. 26

    My boys will love this!!! YES! I’ve got my fingers crossed for you… ;-)

  26. 27
    Barbara says:

    Well everyone who had similar outcomes in the teen years… had good and caring parents too!
    PS. taking out garbage and walking the dog without being told was expected….not “extra good ” behavior.

  27. 28

    HA! That’s adorable. I absolutely remember doing chores to get to do things I wanted AND doing chores as punishment when I did the things I wanted without permission! ;) Love how you’ve added all these veggies to the mac n cheese — makes it feel a lot more guilt-free.

  28. 29

    Mac and cheese is certainly a splendid form of manipulation, er, persuasion… ;)
    hope you get what you’re after!

  29. 30

    Some common breakfast sausage spices include sage, thyme, and nutmeg. If you like a spicy sausage, you can also include crushed red pepper or cayenne. Or, you can go the sweet route an include brown sugar.

  30. 31

    Girl, YES x a zillion x even more. This was MADE FOR ME.

  31. 32

    WOW does this look good.

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