Busy weeknights and picky eaters can make mealtime a challenge. My Jack can be a little picky, so I know this struggle first-hand. One day he’ll eat salads with blue cheese on them and roasted Brussels sprouts; the next day he won’t eat the crispy end pieces on chicken fingers. Go figure. We work hard to keep him well rounded, but some days we just have to pick our battles.
One thing that we can always guarantee he’ll eat is mac and cheese. He’s always been a big lover of a creamy pasta dish.
The creamy base of this stove-top mac and cheese is the perfect complement to the smoky flavor of Polish smoked sausage. And it’s so easy. You’ll have this on the table in about 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for those busy weeknights — or any night, for that matter. Pair this with a fresh veggie or a salad and you’re ready to eat.
A few things to keep in mind with this recipe:
Yes, you’re making a roux, which will turn into a béchamel sauce, but don’t panic. The names are scary, but the process isn’t. This method is the best way to keep a stovetop mac and cheese nice and creamy. And, seriously, don’t stress. You got this.
I love the convenience of using the pre-shredded bagged cheese, but in this case freshly shredded cheese is best. The powdery substance they use to keep the shreds from sticking together in the bag can often make a cheese sauce like this grainy. To avoid that, grate it yourself. It’s an extra step, but I think it’s worth it. Can you use the other stuff? Sure, you can. Just know it might make the texture a little different. But I also know that sometimes we can overlook something like that in turn for the convenience. That’s cool. You do you.
Trying to find Kiolbassa close to you? Just use the product locator on the company’s website to find it in stores.
Creamy Smoked Sausage Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 (13-ounce) package Kiolbassa Polish Smoked Sausage, sliced
- 1 (16-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (1-pound) box elbow macaroni
- 4 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Lightly brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Set aside.
- Grate the cheese on a box grater.
- Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instuctions and drain.
- Set aside.
- Pour the milk into a microwavable container and heat until warm — about 2 1/2 minutes.
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly until it has all been added.
- Cook, stirring very frequently to prevent scorching, until thick — about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and gradually add the shredded cheese, stirring constatly until melted.
- Add the salt and mix well.
- Add the pasta and sausage to the pot and mix well.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.