This creamy cajun mac and cheese is spiked with cajun seasoning and loaded with smoky bites of andouille sausage throughout. If you love a deliciously creamy mac and cheese, but find yourself craving it kicked up a little bit, this recipe is for you!
Cajun Mac and Cheese
Cajun mac and cheese is an updated twist on my classic homemade mac and cheese recipe. The most obvious additions are andouille sausage and cajun seasoning. I tried this recipe with chopped sausage, half moons, and sliced rounds, and honestly, I didn't have a favorite. As long as the sausage is cut into bite sized pieces it will taste great.
Tips for making cajun mac and cheese
I start by searing the sausage in the pot I will be making the roux (butter/flour mixture) in. Browning the sausage not only cooks it through, but adds additional flavor and texture rather than simply heating it. It also leaves burnt on fond at the bottom of the pan that will be incorporated into the roux for added flavor, as it is stirred.
Whenever you are making a roux for a cheese sauce or gravy it is important to slowly cook the roux to ensure it doesn't burn, yet the raw flour taste is cooked out. This is best done on low heat or medium-low heat.
Also, take your time adding milk to the roux. Add a few splashes at a time and fully whisk them in before adding more. This will help prevent lumps.
Ways to customize this recipe
Andouille sausage is not the only protein you can add. Feel free to include shrimp and diced chicken as well. If adding chicken, make sure to fully cook it through.
You can also add vegetables. Peppers and onion would be a great fit, and celery would round it out nicely. Peppers, onion, and celery form the "Holy Trinity" of cajun cuisine. If adding these to your mac and cheese, I recommend sauteing them first.
You can use store-bought cajun seasoning, or use my homemade creole seasoning recipe instead. The flavors are very similar, however, the benefit to using my seasoning blend is that there is no salt added. Which gives you more flexibility in the amount being added.
Finally, feel free to spice it up further with hot sauce. I would recommend a vinegar-based Louisanna style sauce, but even something like my ghost pepper sauce would taste phenomenal. Start with a little and keep adding to taste.
More Andouille Sausage Recipes
- Red Beans and Rice - The best red beans and rice you will ever have, I promise!
- Jambalaya - Homemade Jambalaya with chicken and sausage.
- Jambalaya Soup - A flavorful twist on the classic Jambalaya.
- Fried Cabbage and Potatoes - This simple meal consists of seasoned potatoes, fried cabbage, and sliced sausage.
Cajun Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar 8oz
- 1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack 6 oz
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 pound andouille sausage (sliced)
- Boil water in a large pot and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain from water and set aside.
- While noodles boil, add sausage to a medium sized pot set over medium heat and sear sausage slices until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add butter. Once melted sprinkling flour on top of butter and whisk to combine. Continue whisking to prevent the flour from burning. Cook for approximately 3 minutes to remove the raw taste from flour, while continuing to whisk.
- Slowly add milk and cream into the mixture of flour and butter, adding a few splashes at a time. To prevent lumps in the sauce, ensure you fully mix in the liquid before adding more.
- Once all liquid has been added, melt cheeses into the sauce, working in batches. Add cajun seasoning, andouille sausage, and noodles. Stir to combine then serve.