Cajun Style Mac and Cheese

Cajun Style Mac and Cheese

I don’t remember growing up if I was that big of a fan of mac and cheese. I think we ate more mashed potatoes more than anything when it came to side dishes, but that is not to say that I do not love mac and cheese. Mac and cheese could very well be one of the top ten comfort dishes of all times, and with that said, everyone makes their mac and cheese their way. I think I have mastered mine in terms of the sauce over the last year, and sure you probably know I love mac and cheese as well. I’ve made everything from a three cheese mac, a loaded pizza mac and cheese, a jalapeno and bacon mac and cheese, a nacho style mac and cheese, a beer mac and cheese, a mac and cheese burger, and heck, even a buffalo mac and cheese pizza, because why not? But not too long ago I had a real craving for something southern, like jambalaya, or gumbo, so that led me to thinking I wanted to take some of those flavors and introduce them into a mac and cheese, hence this Cajun style mac and cheese recipe.

Cajun Style Mac and Cheese

This recipe is not only simple to make, but wow does it back great textures and flavors.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rotini
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 links of Andouille sausage, diced
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 4 slices of American cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Cook your pasta, about one minute under the proposed al dente time. Drain, and place the pasta into a mixing bowl.

To make the cheese sauce, start by melting the butter in a sauce pot. Once melted, add in 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 the flour out, but not burn it. Slowly add in the milk, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon. You will keep stirring, yes, you will get a nice arm workout, until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce thickens, add one American cheese slice at a time until each slice melts. Add another slice, and repeat. Then, slowly add in the cheddar, one handful at a time.  You want a smooth cheese sauce here. Add in the cayenne pepper. If you add too quickly, the cheese could get stringy, so just keep that in mind.

Cajun Style Mac and Cheese Recipe

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

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, then add in the oil.

Add in 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 to 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 along with the perfectly spiced, and texture andouille sausage nuggets. I’ve made some good mac and cheese in my time, but this one escalated to one of my favorites, plus it filled my hankering for that southern craving.

Cajun Style Mac and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Mac and Cheese
Cuisine: Comfort, Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb rotini
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 links of Andouille sausage, diced
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 4 slices of American cheese
  • 1½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta, about one minute under the proposed al dente time. Drain, and place the pasta into a mixing bowl.
  2. To make the cheese sauce, start by melting the butter in a sauce pot. Once melted, add in 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 the flour out, but not burn it. Slowly add in the milk, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon. You will keep stirring, yes, you will get a nice arm workout, until the sauce thickens. Once the sauce thickens, add one American cheese slice at a time until each slice melts. Add another slice, and repeat. Then, slowly add in the cheddar, one handful at a time. You want a smooth cheese sauce here. Add in the cayenne pepper. If you add too quickly, the cheese could get stringy, so just keep that in mind.
  3. Pour the cheese sauce into the cooked noodles, and give a good mix.
  4. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, then add in the oil.
  5. Add in 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 to the pasta bowl, and stir to combine everything.
  6. Dig in.
  7. This cajun style mac and cheese was awesome. It was perfectly cheesy, and when biting into it you get that great holy trinity along with the perfectly spiced, and texture andouille sausage nuggets. I've made some good mac and cheese in my time, but this one escalated to one of my favorites, plus it filled my hankering for that southern craving.

 



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