Kicked Up Sausage Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
35 min
30 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 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

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.

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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

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Kicked Up Mac and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse