The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Cajun-Style Mac and Cheese

5.00 Mitt(s) 1 Rating(s)1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Creamy mac and cheese elevated with great Cajun flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Rotini Pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 4 slices American Cheese Singles, Unwrapped
  • 1-½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Links Of Andouille Sausage, Diced
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeds And Ribs Removed, Diced
  • 1 pinch Salt To Taste

Preparation

Cook your pasta, about one minute under the package instructions for al dente. Drain, and place the pasta into a mixing bowl.

To make the cheese sauce, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add your flour, and stir for about 4 minutes or so with a wooden spoon. This is the start of your sauce. You want to cook out the flour flavor, but not burn it. Slowly drizzle in the milk, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon. You will keep stirring for quite a while. Yes, you will get a nice arm workout. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens.

Once the sauce thickens, add one American cheese slice at a time until each slice melts. Then, slowly add the cheddar, one handful at a time. You want a smooth cheese sauce here. Add the cayenne pepper as you continue to stir. If you add the cheese too quickly, the cheese could get stringy, so just keep that in mind.

Pour the cheese sauce into the bowl with the cooked noodles and give a good mix.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, then add the oil. Once oil is hot add the sausage and cook until lightly crisp. Toss in the onions, garlic, celery and bell peppers. Cook until the onions sweat through but still have a bit of texture. I’m not going for overly soft vegetables on this one. Once cooked, add the veggie mixture into the pasta bowl, and stir to combine everything.

Taste, and season with any desired amount of salt. Dig in.

This Cajun style mac and cheese was awesome. It was perfectly cheesy, and when biting into it you get that great holy trinity of any classic mac and cheese. You also get a perfect hit of spice and the great texture of the sausage nuggets. I’ve made some good mac and cheese in my time, but this one escalated to one of my favorites.

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Profile photo of kj

kj on 12.17.2013

This was really good! Kids loved it!

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