Sausage Buffalo Mac and Cheese - Italian sausage turns this kicked up side dish into a main attraction that is the ultimate in comfort food.
Spring is right around the corner. It's going to be time to lighten things up soon.
But before we do, I have one last (you're right, it's probably not the last) comfort food dish. Not just any comfort food. This is hearty and filling and it is full of love (and cheese).
I'm not suggesting you eat this every day. I don't even think you should eat it every week. This is like a once every couple of months when you need a little comfort by way of food. You've heard me say the same thing about my super popular Chicken, Broccoli & Ziti recipe. Everything in moderation.
Usually when we think buffalo sauce, we think chicken. I thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit. The sausage worked really well, plus it was on sale and super cheap. As a nod to the classic buffalo chicken, I included carrots and celery.
Carrots and celery are healthy, right? That's got to cancel out some of the calories, no? Oh well, I tried.
Sausage Buffalo Mac and Cheese
- 12 oz pasta cooked according to package instruction.
- 1 lb bulk sausage
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 2 T butter + 2 T butter + 1 T melted butter
- ½ C buffalo wing sauce + ¼ C buffalo wing sauce
- 2 T flour
- 2 ½ C milk
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 C cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 C monterey jack cheese shredded
- ½ C crumbled blue cheese
- ½ C panko crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray.
- Brown sausage in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat, until no longer pink. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
- Melt 2 T butter in same skillet, over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion. Cook, just until starting to soften, 5-6 minutes. Add sausage back to skillet and stir in ½ C wing sauce. Turn off heat.
- In a sauce pan, melt remaining 2 T butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and mustard until smooth. Cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk and remaining ¼ C wing sauce. Cook until beginning to thicken 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses.
- Pour cheese sauce over sausage mixture and add to cooked pasta.
- Place mixture into baking dish. Top with panko crumbs and drizzle melted butter of the crumbs.
- Bake 35-40 minutes.
- Optional: Sprinkle additional blue cheese over the top when serving.