I made this super tasty mac n’ cheese dish a few weeks ago on a visit to SoCal. It’s the perfect marriage of broccoli, apple, and cheddar. My hungry crowd of friends gobbled it right up.
Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese with Broccoli and Chicken Apple Sausage
3 large crowns of broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper
24 ounces chicken apple sausage, cut in bite sized pieces
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar jack
1 1/2 pounds giant elbow pasta, cooked according the the packages al dente instructions
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided
1 cup italian panko bread crumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 425F degrees. Coat broccoli in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast broccoli in the oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile add oil to cover the bottom of a medium saute pan and heat over medium-high heat. Saute the sausage until crisped on the outside, about 5-10 minutes, and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour to the butter and cook until it no longer taste raw, 1-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce has started to slightly thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in cheddar jack cheese, remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble: Toss cooked pasta, broccoli, sausage, beshamal, and 2 cups of cheddar. Pour mixture into a large rectangular pan (mine was about 19 x 11″). Cover the top with the remaining cheese, bread crumbs, and spray with olive oil. Cook at 425F for 30 minutes to an hour until all the cheese is melted and the top is brown and crispy.