Hi all! I guess it wasn’t really fair of me to tease you with this cheesy deliciousness on yesterday’s post, but, I have to say it was so fun to read all your comments. It definitely makes me feel better that I am not the only one out there that goes crazy when sausage meets pasta and melts together in loads of cheese. Cheesy, smokey, creamy pasta shells with garlicky sausage and crumbly bits on top….need I say more?!
This Skillet Macaroni & Cheese will be on the table in under 30 minutes and I am pretty sure nobody will believe you if you told them it’s Weight Watchers SmartPoints friendly.
Skillet Sausage, Macaroni & Cheese (Print It!)
- 8 oz uncooked pasta such as small shells or rotini
- 4 Chicken Sausage Links (I used these Roasted Garlic Mozzarella Links), diced
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk (you can use 1% without changing the points)
- 1 cup 2% sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/2 tsp sea salt & 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- Preheat broiler. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in case you need it later in the recipe. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and brown sausage, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in sausage pan. Sprinkle flour being sure to whisk for about 30 seconds. Slowly add the melt whisking the entire time until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheddar, sea salt & black pepper.
- Add pasta and sausage to the cheese sauce, stirring to coat. If the mixture is too thick, add up to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water.
- Spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray and pour macaroni & cheese mix in it spreading evenly. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the top is slightly golden. Cool slightly and slice into 8 squares.
Makes 8 servings (about 1 cup each) for SmartPoints
Nutrition facts per square:
STEP – BY – STEP:
I personally think when making a healthier mac & cheese you should pick a good pasta. I love using shells or rotini (spiral pasta) as they are the best carriers of the cheese. As in they act like “buckets” so it’s more cheese than mac 😉
I used 8 oz of this (yep, I measured it out) and cooked for 10 minutes in salted water.
While the water boiled, I browned the sausage.
While the pasta cooked, I made the cheese sauce starting with melting the butter and sprinkling it with flour. Whisk slightly to get the “flour like” taste out cooking for about 1 minute. Slowly stream in milk and bring to a boil, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in cheese (I used a 2% mexican shred as it’s what I had on hand). Sharp cheese will give you the most cheesiness for your points. Add in sea salt, black pepper and if you are feeling adventurous, I’d say a little smoked or chipotle paprika (1/2 tsp).
I used a scoop to scoop my pasta from the water to the pan. Add sausage. You could totally add green onions or maybe some cooked sweet peas here too if you want to be adventurous. (The Husband said no lol!)
I could’ve totally stopped here ~ add a spoon and don’t look back! But, The Husband said we should make “grown up” mac & cheese…..
So, I pour this all into my small baking dish and sprinkled it with a little seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesan before broiling the top brown, about 2 minutes in our oven.
Tadah! Serve this up with a big salad, veggies or both for a complete meal. This dish is 8 SmartPoints but worth every single “shell”.
There you all have it ~ Was it worth the wait to get the recipe?