Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Skillet

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Skillet

My youngest cutie is very adamantly anti-vegetable. I love vegetables and I always have, so it drives me a little bit crazy. I can dangle the tastiest dessert in front of his sweets-loving eyes and he won't budge. Not an inch. Dan and I have never been ones to force our boys to eat. Our rule is that if they don't eat the good ("yucky") stuff, they don't get the bad ("yummy") stuff!

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Creamy Spiced Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Spiced Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni & cheese and spicy foods are two of my all-time favorite food loves. There is no better comfort food on the planet than mac & cheese, in my opinion. What makes it even better is that there are so many different ways to prepare it. It is versatile comfort food at its best! And spicy food, oh how I love my spicy food.

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Apple Sausage Mac and Cheese Recipe

Apple Sausage Mac and Cheese come together in a delicious meal. A perfect fall meal with the flavors of apples and a kick of cayenne bring comfort to the meal. A unique yet delicious spin on your classic Mac & Cheese recipe! 

Is it terrible to admit that I'm glad the weekend is coming to an end? I know, it's terrible. As our weekend of sickness closes, I am seeking comfort in food. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I was on the fence about it. I don't post anything that I'm on the fence about. It has to be fabulous! So I changed a few things and made it again. This time I loved it!

With the temperature changing, the leaves beginning to change colors, we are being signaled fall is on the way and fall = comfort foods! If you are looking for a season and unique yet delicious mac & cheese recipe, give this one a try! If you're looking for your classic comfort Mac and Cheese, check out my take on Baked Mac & Cheese for that comfort factor you are looking for.

HOW TO MAKE APPLE SAUSAGE MAC AND CHEESE

(adapted from Food Network Magazine)

STEP 1 - Prepare your pasta

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 3/4 pound of medium pasta shells to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.

STEP 2 - Prepare your chicken apple sausage & cheese sauce

Meanwhile, melt the butter (or 2 tablespoons of olive oil) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the sausage and cook, stirring as you also add mustard powder, cayenne pepper and salt.

Cook, stirring, until the sausage is golden, about 3 minutes.

To create a roux, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

Slowly stir in the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. 

Then, slowly stir about 3/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, leaving the remainder for later, and 1/4 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, leaving the remainder for later, into the sauce until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 

STEP 3 - Putting the dish together

Add the cooked pasta and sour cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the top of your mixture with 35 crushed butter crackers (1 sleeve Ritz) and the remaining cheeses.

Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve! Season with salt and pepper as desired!

RECIPE TIPS

  • Any shaped pasta can be used in this recipe for a fun shape and texture change. Radiatore is my current favorite!

  • Substitute Gruyere cheese for Monterrey Jack if you're up for a delicious change.

MORE DELICIOUS MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPES:

PERFECT FALL TREATS

  • Best Pumpkin Bars -These bars make the perfect fall dessert. They are moist, irresistible and full of yummy pumpkin flavor. Great for your next fall gathering. 

  • Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - Don’t let those delicious little pumpkin seeds go to waste when carving pumpkins! Learn how to prepare those raw pumpkins seeds. Season and roast them, they’re easy to make! They turn into a delicious little fall snack that will get gobbled up by all.

  • Halloween Snack Mix - This sweet and salty Halloween Snack Mix is a great Fall snack to have on hand. It is perfect for a handful on the run or a great snack for kiddos after school! It's also great for Fall- or Halloween-themed parties! Mix and match the snacks you have on hand to build your snack mix.

  • Best Apple Crisp - This delicious Apple Crisp recipe is the best. It is tried, tested and NEVER fails! It is the perfect way to use up apples in the fall. You’ll love the oatmeal brown sugar topping and the flavors of the apples dusted with cinnamon shines through. It also tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  • Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes - Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes are the tastiest way to use up apples! Salted caramel oozes over apple cupcakes that are topped with apple-infused icing. These are irresistible!

  • Apple French Toast Bake - Transform classic French Toast into an appley indulgence! Prepare this easy Apple French Toast Bake recipe the night before so there’s no morning prep! It’s also wonderful as a make and bake option. Pour some maple syrup over the steamy cinnamon apples and you’ll have a tasty breakfast for 1 or many!

APPLE SAUSAGE MAC AND CHEESE

Apple-Sausage Mac & Cheese

A unique yet delicious spin on your classic Mac & Cheese recipe!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Nov 06, 2011

Print Friendly and PDF

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 1 hr 5 min

AppSausageMac&Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ pound medium pasta shells
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 6 ounces chicken-apple sausage, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded (4 cups)
  • ½ pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 35 butter crackers (1 sleeve Ritz), crushed
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2 ½-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage, mustard powder, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the sausage is golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 more minutes.
  3. Slowly stir about three-quarters each of the Monterey jack and cheddar cheese into the sauce until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the pasta and sour cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the crushed crackers and the remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

With the windows cracked just a bit, I love the mixed smell of a crisp October day and something delicious baking in the oven. Or bubbling on the stove. Or all of the above. I was looking for the supreme comfort meal when I came across this recipe on the NY Times website. It was everything I hoped it would be. Comfort, cheese, a teeny bit of kick, crunchiness, gooey-ness. But beware! Don't eat a large helping unless you have time to sleep.

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Macaroni and Many Cheeses

Macaroni and Many Cheeses

Ok, so I haven't had the best week in the world. Everything seems to have exploded at once. Why does that always seem to happen? By Saturday of this past week, I just wanted comfort, and preferably in the form of food. I was pleased to see that this comforting macaroni & cheese recipe was next on the list for my challenge! That could not have worked out more perfectly. 

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