Spicy Sausage Alfredo Bake
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
This recipe is simple, and delicious! My husband lovingly refers to it as "Grown-Up Mac'N Cheese" which is pretty accurate. When you were a kid, did your parents ever make you mac'n cheese and hot dogs? Well mine did! I am not as much of a fan of boxed mac'n cheese anymore, but this is a yummy twist.
I do not have any children right now, but I wanted to know if this pasta would be kid approved. So we offered to bring in the a family function. I cut back on some of the red pepper flakes. The result: the kids devoured it! So it receives the "Parkhill Kid Approved" seal!
Spicy Sausage Alfredo Bake
16 oz dry pasta
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ C grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp butter
2-3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp flour
1 C chicken broth
2 C mozzarella cheese, divided
1-2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 (12 oz) fully cooked smoked sausage, any variety
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Rinse.
While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant; 1-2 minutes.
Stir in flour.
Whisk in chicken broth until smooth, then stir in cream and water.
Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and simmer until sauce is thickened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 C of mozzarella until cheeses are melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
Slice sausage into ¼ inch thick half-coins, and add to sauce. (You can make them chunkier, but we have found that the half-coins distribute better.)
Add cooked pasta and the chopped parsley to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
Preheat broiler. Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.
Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden.
You can make this as spicy as you want! If you want it to not be spicy, removing the red pepper flakes should suffice, but you can also take out the cayenne pepper. My husband likes spicy, so we do the ingredients as above, and if we can find it, we use a Spicy Kielbasa sausage!
A low-carb version: replace the pasta with roasted cauliflower and roasted squash chunks. Just cut up the veggies, spray them or drizzle them with oil, and roast them for about 25 minutes or until desired at 450 degrees. I like them to be a little brown. I also dry them out a bit by placing them on a paper towel before roasting with some salt – so it can draw out some of that water.
If you do not have cream, but have half and half, that is fine! Just use 2 cups of half and half, and eliminate the water!