If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember this cheese sauce from last Wednesday. I started drooling while whipping up this Italian Mac & Cheese with Smoked Sausage, and that’s a good sign in this case. Six kinds of cheese with Italian seasoning and garlic should absolutely be made into a candle. Except I’m pretty sure I’d drool all the time over it, so maybe not. I can’t explain to you how good this cheese sauce smells while cooking and it’s a bajillion times better in taste. The best part is that it’s very easy to make. Boil your pasta and make the sauce while it cooks. Stir everything together and bake. Even the leftovers are crazy good…I should know because I’ve made this twice now and I’ve eaten it pretty much every day, sometimes twice, and I’m still not sick of it.
So, how’s it taste?
I’m sure you can tell I really liked this. The garlic and Italian seasoning make this so good. I love the change up in using an Italian cheese blend compared to regular mac and cheese. Mozzarella, smoked provolone, fontina, romano, asiago, and parmesan make up the six and this cheese lover has no complaints! You could certainly shred all those yourself (and I’m sure the flavor would be even more amazing), but I used Sargento’s blend. They do make a reduced fat blend, but it only had four cheeses, so I splurged for the full fat. No regrets!
I used turkey smoked sausage instead of the real thing to cut down on the grease. I find the real stuff is too greasy for my taste, unless I boil it first, and I wanted to avoid that extra step. Butterball makes a fantastic turkey smoked sausage, and it worked really well in this dish. This would be a perfect dish for an easy weeknight meal or to take to a potluck. Your guests will love it!
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 60 min
Italian Mac & Cheese with Smoked Sausage
3 cups uncooked cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta (about 10 oz.)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded Italian-style cheese blend (8 oz.)
1/4 cup, plus 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
8 oz. smoked sausage, sliced
1. Heat oven to 350F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, 1/2 tea-spoon Italian seasoning, pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in Italian cheese blend and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese until melted.
3. Gently stir pasta and sausage into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
This mac and cheese looks so good! I’m loving the smoked sausage in there. Great addition to all the melty cheese. I’m so happy fall is here! Bring on the carbs!
This mac ‘n cheese looks fantastic, Leah! I love the flavors that you added in here to jazz it up. Sounds like the perfect meal to me, especially on a cold day!
Comfort food city! I think yo might be on to something with the garlic and cheese scented candle, LOL! This looks so delicious!
oh mac and cheese, you stole my heart:)
Wow. I can’t bring myself to write anything else because these cheesy goodness is making me hungry as we speak. I love this
No way! I want this in front of me immediately.
Mac & cheese is the ultimate comfort food. The smoked sausage sounds amazing in here! Looks so creamy and delicious!
I’ve had major mac & cheese cravings lately… this version might just set me over the top :). Which basically means I have got to get home and whip up a batch for me, myself and I. Looks delicious, Leah!!
As I’m looking at the delicious looking photos I’m realizing that I can’t remember the last time I ate mac n cheese! I need to fix that immediately because this mac n cheese looks so good and so cheesy 🙂
I am such a mac and cheese addict, and I love this version…the sausage must take this completely over the top with that smoky flavor. Love this!
Mmm yummy!!! Mac & cheese is definitely the best comfort food and the smoked sausage is calling my name. Love it 😉
Yes please!! 🙂 I really love this dish! I made mac and cheese this week too but my cheese sauce wasn’t quite spot on. I am going to try your version!
Wow this mac and cheese looks so incredibly hearty, comforting and delicious. It’s all I am craving right now!
This looks so good, love all the cheese Leah!
This is so so soooo my type of meal – it looks and sounds AMAZING. I’ll take a bowl for a mid-afternoon snack right now, please. =)
y’know, Tofurky makes some great Italian sausage. I’m just sayin’. 🙂
But, really, this combines two of my favorite things: Italian food and mac and cheese.