Cajun-Inspired Mac ‘n Cheese

I hope all the mamas had a lovely Mother’s Day on Sunday.  So much of my trip did not go as planned and I ended up making the 7 hour drive to my parents all by myself with a 4 month old and a dog.  Needless to say, I couldn’t get back home soon enough.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but my husband occasionally works out of town, so for the entire month of April and so far in May, he hasn’t been home.  That’s the reason I had to do the trip up north alone – he wasn’t able to take off as we had originally planned (and only found out on Thursday and we were to leave on Friday!).

Well, in instances like these when he’s not here for dinners I like to have recipes that are fairly easy to make (because I still thoroughly enjoy cooking for myself) but still delicious.   I’ve made this recipe in the past, when my husband has been home, and we both liked it a lot (as I do pretty much every recipe created by Lauren), so this time I doubled it to make it easier to heat up leftovers to finish off my last week alone with a four month old (and dog).  I’m calling the recipe Cajun-inspired because it uses andouille sausage and has a bit of spice to the dish, but not too much.  This is honestly one of my favorite mac ‘n cheese recipes.

Cajun-Inspired Mac ‘n Cheese

Serves 4

  • 2 c whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 package Johnsonville andouille split rope (or the chicken andouille if you prefer a lower fat version), sliced into approximately 1/4″ half circles
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 c diced bell pepper (I used green to keep costs down but I’m sure a rainbow would be very appealing!)
  • 1/2 c diced yellow onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 c unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 tsp course ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 oz Greek yogurt cream cheese
  • 1 c pepper jack cheese

In a medium saucepan, cook the pasta according to package.

While pasta is cooking, add andouille sausage to large saucepan and cook until browned.  Set aside on a paper plate.

Add butter to the large saucepan along with the peppers and onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).  Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute longer before slowly adding the milk.  Allow to simmer until milk thickens.  Then add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Then add the cheese and whisk until completely melted and smooth.

Add the andouille sausage and pasta and mix until pasta is completely covered in cheese sauce.  Serve!


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