Healthy, Spicy Southwestern Macaroni and Cheese
There are few things in life that satisfy more than ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese. How about ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese, with sausage? Oooh, make it spicy sausage. Make it ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese with spicy sausage. Wait! Make it HEALTHY ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese with spicy sausage that tastes like it ISN’T HEALTHY…You’re welcome 🙂
Serves 6 –8
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
250 g Fat free Spicy turkey sausage (meat removed from casings)
½ Green pepper diced (about ½ cup)
½ Jalapeno sliced (with seeds and ribs!)
1 Bunch (5-6) Green onions, sliced
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
2 ¼ Cups milk (I used 2%)
2 tbsp (whole wheat) flour
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp pepper
3 Cups pasta (I used Orecchiette)
1 Cup Grated old cheddar, divided
Preheat your oven to 375
Bring a large pot of water to boil and then cook the pasta according to pasta directions.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add in the olive oil, when it’s hot (it will ripple) add in the sausage. Sauté on high until the meat is browned and darkened and crunchy in some spots.
Add in the green pepper, jalapeno pepper and green onion; cook for about 2-3 minutes, just until the veggies start to soften and season with salt and pepper.
(With the heat still on medium-high) add in the garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, constantly mixing so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Whisk together the milk and flour; make sure the flour is completely dissolved and that there are no lumps.
Add in the milk mixture to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any flavours that may be there while the milk mixture comes up to a boil.
Drop the heat to low when the sauce has thickened.
Add in the chili powder, salt, cumin and pepper; mix well.
Stir in ¼ cup of the cheddar.
Add in the pasta when it’s cooked, mixing to completely incorporate all of the ingredients.
Transfer the entire contents of a pan to a (lightly) greased casserole (lasagna) pan.
Shake the dish to evenly distribute the pasta and then top evenly with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake the pasta for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and gooey 🙂
- Skip the jalapeno if you don’t want the heat.
- Go for mild sausage (again) if you don’t like spicy food.
- Use any short pasta you have one hand.
- OMG… I used white pasta… I wanted that shape and it wasn’t available in whole wheat 🙁