Kicked Up Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
Prep:
35 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound homemade-style spicy pork sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a large casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, and 1 teaspoon of the Essence, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and anise seeds, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Melt the remaining stick of butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until thick, 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk in a steady stream and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 cups of the cheese, and stir well. Add the noodles, cooked sausage and vegetables, and stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of cheese with the breadcrumbs and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.


CATEGORIES:
View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
4.8 54
Great recipe! I have made this several times before but this time I timed by 5 & it still turned out great: item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was so good I had it for breakfast the next day! It's perfect! If you use unsalted butter you will need to add all of the salt. I didn't change a thing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can't go wrong with an Emeril recipe! This is the best mac n' cheese I've ever made, and I've made many of the 'adult' varieties. This one is fairly quick and easy and didn't make a dent in my wallet. As a bonus, everybody in my family of 6 loved it, including my toddler! Yum, Yum, Yum!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I started making this a couple years ago after my dad made it for many years, no need to change a thing. Sometimes the sauce is a bit runny and I cut back the milk a bit. Only change I make is 1/2 cheddar 1/2 Italian 4 cheese blend. Awesome leftover too! item not reviewed by moderator and published
What a great recipe! Traditional mac and cheese but with some personality...just how I like it. I get compliments every time I make this. On the nights I'm pressed for time, I skip last step and serve it without baking the mac and cheese with the bread crumbs and last cup of cheese. Sometimes I keep the sauce separate and just scoop it onto the pasta so I can have it all week long without having overly soggy noodles. Five stars all the way! Well worth the effort. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow, wow, wow! Was never a mac & cheese lover until I made this recipe. It was absolutely fabulous:-)! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is absolutely the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted. It takes a little extra time but well worth it. I make a large dish because my family actually enjoys it as leftovers too. I serve this with asparagus done in the oven with some essence sprinkled over it. Gives the asparagus a nice bite to it. I highly recommend the mac and cheese and remember to make extra. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was spicy and full of flavor.It was pure deliciousness. Adding some extra olive oil and some half & half makes the meal creamy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this dish multiple times and for all sorts of people and they all agree that this is the best mac and cheese ever! I substituted red peppers for the green since they look and taste better in my opinion and kept everything else. Cooking times varied depending on what stove I used to cook the flour (gas vs. electric) but it turned out great every time. Best part was, if there were leftovers, it still tasted great, if not better! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Awesome...Awesome...Awesome No substitutions are needed, I'm ntot a fan of peppers so I left them out. this recipe is excellent and better the next day...made this on numerous occasions. Best when coming home after a hard nights work at the bars ;) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good. the family likes things on the mild side. dropped the "essence" and replaced with "old bay" item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe would have been great except we followed the advice from other reviewers and left out the salt. If you are using unsalted butter in the recipe, add the extra salt. It really does need it. Aside from the decided lack of salt, the cheese sauce turned out lovely. The children liked the addition of the sausage. item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW!! This was yummy! I started this recipe too late in the evening, and instead of baking in the oven, I served into bowls & put additional cheddar cheese on top (omitted breadcrumbs). It was still AWESOME!! I would definitely recommend 4 total cups of milk AND chopped up tomatoes, and no anise seeds, bell peppers, or salt necessary (add salt afterwards if still needed). I WILL make this again. Thanks Emeril! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an awesome mac and cheese recipe and the first home made one i've ever tried. The sausage and onions add something really special to it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this for dinner tonight & wow! The flavor is GREAT & it came out very rich & creamy. I made a few adjustments however. I used hot chicken sausage & didn't use the green pepper (my husband doesn't like them). I also added more milk (about 4C) & used panko breadcrumbs w/parm. for topping. My husband can't stop raving about it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this with Turkey Italian Sausage, home made "Essence" minus the onion powder, and Monterey Jack + Sharp Cheddar combo and it was stupendous! Great recipe to experiment with.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I liked it but before I made it the first time I checked the reviews. I eliminated the salt, a good move, I added an additional cup of milk, could use a little more and decided to use sweet Italian sausage instead of hot. I felt that the Essence would provide enough heat and it did. If you eliminate the breadcrumbs on the top it will brown very nicely which is what you would expect with a Macaroni and Cheese dish. Will make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is an exceptional macaroni and cheese recipe. I did make a few substitutions and was very happy with the outcome. I used spicy chicken sausage, skim milk instead of whole, added some shredded zucchini, and used lower fat cheddar and added some parmesan . Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe and followed it exactly. It was good and spicy, but VERY salty. I plan to make it again with no salt, more cheese and more pasta. Also, I probably won't use the bread crumbs on the top unless I melt some butter with them so that it isn't just powder on the top. (I used pre shredded cheese, and although it was fresh the top of the casserole was dry.) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Last Friday I was looking for the ultimate comfort dish. My boyfriend had had a rough week and been at a funeral all day, it was cold, it was rainy ? you get the picture. I immediately thought of macaroni and cheese, but was visioning the kind with cherry tomatoes that exploded upon my bite, and a top that was crusty with breadcrumbs, but an inside that was creamy and full of flavor. Though I find most recipes for mac & cheese bland (despite multiple types of cheese) and greasy, I figured Emeril would be my best source in this case, and boy, he delivered in a BIG way. This recipe was everything that I was hoping for. Crusty on top, soft and creamy on the inside, not greasy in the slightest, full of flavor, and I loved the spicy kick. I was actually shocked that only one type of cheese (in this case, sharp cheddar) would produce such a result. Of course we made a few minor adjustments. We left out the anise seeds, substitute andouille turkey sausage for the spicy pork sausage, used panko crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs, and used an entire box of wheel-shaped pasta, instead of the ? lb. the recipe called for. Even with the extra pasta, the cheesy mixture was still chock full of flavor. We also divided the mixture into two smaller casserole dishes and had plenty of leftovers (which proved to be just as great). Next time I might substitute red pepper for the green pepper, but otherwise, I am thrilled to add this recipe to my repertoire. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the best mac and cheese ever! It was so good that my sister-in-law (who LOATHES mac & cheese) dared to try it and absolutely LOVED it! She served herself seconds! Within a week's time, I've made the dish twice! And I'll be having it again VERY soon! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Didn't have anise or peppers or cayenne, and without these, mine probably came out much more bland, but was still delicious and we loved it. I used spicy sage sausage (store bought) which was perfect, and was nervous as all I had was angel hair, but still, again, delicious! Good comfort food during the winter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a nice variation on the original. Very heart & satisfying comfort food. Everyone in my family enjoyed it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I try to find excuses to make this as much as I can! It is absolutely delicious, but beware of all those calories. :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family really liked this casserole. We did not use as much cayenne pepper as the recipe calls for--didn't add the 1/8 tsp. Glad I didn't because it was pretty spicy to me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely the best tasting Mac and cheese item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good idea, creamy, but not "kicked up" item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy to prepare. I left out the anise seeds because I don't like that flavor and the peppers because I hate them. I baked a small batch just to see how it would come out which was very dry. I added an additional cup of milk to the large batch and it came out very creamy. I would add more cheese and diced tomatoes. Overall a very yummy meal! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Emeril, you put the best adult touch on the oldest kids meal in the book. You da man!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Did not have any anise seeds but turned out spectacular. Takes a little time to make, but definitely worth it in the end. Very flavorful! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I make this dish every couple of months. We do not have an ultimate chopper or anything like that so it takes a little while to do the prep but it is well worth it. The anise seeds give a great flavor to the dish. Everybody who has tried this recipe in our house has loved it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This stuff is great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a simple and delicious recipe. Even my kids LOVED IT! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The kids loved this one. It was a pleasant surprise. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is definitely a keeper. A bit spicy and creamy, tastes great. Easy to make. My family loved it, including my husband, whose a bit picky. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This tasted great, but I think it needs more cheesy taste. I'd recommend maybe 10 oz of cheddar as opposed to 8. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is full of flavors. I would perhaps cut the anise seed amount in 1/2 or by a 1/3, but leave it in there. It adds a nice flavor. I served this with a Bavarian bread sliced and baked or broiled til crusty. While hot, I halved a garlic clove and rubbed it into the bread followed by rubbing a tomato. Sprinkle with fresh parm. I also served with a nice Kendall Jackson chardonney. This was a nice and tasty meal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best Mac & Cheese that I ever had. It is very easy to make too. Everyone must try this. Makes a great family meal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It was a hit at my family cook out! People I did not even know were coming up to me to ask about this dish! Try It. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this without the anise seeds, cayenne or peppers. I also used cream instead of milk. It was unbelievable. We had it at a BBQ and everyone was raving about how good it was. Amazing how something as simple as mac & cheese can turn out so good and so different. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A little too spicy for our taste, and time consuming to make. With a little alteration, I will make it again with ground turkey, less butter, no anise or green pepper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Seemed like just an OK/nice alternative to mac and cheese but I served it to a group and everyone raved. Very hearty and satisfying. item not reviewed by moderator and published
very delicious item not reviewed by moderator and published
Veggie lovers don't be scared away from this recipe. I used soy sausage (Gimme Lean) and added extra veggies (carrots and corn). I also used 1% milk. It was sooo good. My kids also enjoyed it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a very good comfort food dish. I watched Emeril's show while he prepared this dish. I changed the recipe somewhat by adding the sausage to the macaroni and cheese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This wasn't too bad for the making I thought it was fairly easy and it only took about a about 35 minutes to put it all together and another 25 to bake. The smell was wonderful and I didn't need smell a vision. My daughter and I especially loved the kick of it. My husband ate it then walked around the house with his rolaids the rest of the night because the kick in the macaroni was kicking his stomach so his rating isn't as high as ours ha ha!! The waffles were wonderful as well. We rate this a 5 star recipe and I am sure I will make it many times and sometimes omit the hot sausage with mild for my husband. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cheated and bought mild breakfast sausage in a tube so it would saved me some time. I didn't use the anise (I didn't have any) but my boyfriend and I really enjoyed it and I will make it again. I agree with the first reviewer and it was excellent and doesn't need the sausage. Next time I am going to try it without sausage and that will even saved more time and clean up!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is DELICIOUS! It is fairly complicated but well worth the effort. I have never had a casserole that I enjoyed so much. Worth a try, definitely item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is very rich and absolutely delicious! It's a new favorite for my family. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this dish for two parties this weekend, and Both groups loved it. Ended up using mild sausage to cool it down a bit for the masses. This recipe is a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
  item not reviewed by moderator and published
  item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was a ton of fun to make and tastes/smells AWESOME! item not reviewed by moderator and published
little less flour, more milk. great tasting and very rich. loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Meril's Kicked Up Mac and Cheese