Macaroni and cheese jazzed up with crawfish and Andouille sausage. This baked Cajun Mac and Cheese is sure to please macaroni and cheese lovers who like their food a little on the spicy side.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful first weekend in Spring. I am enjoying my first weekend getaway in months in the beautiful historic town of Beaufort, SC. Pictures to come soon or take a peak at my Instagram for some glimpses at the beautiful lowcountry.
Today I bring you a recipe inspired by one of my other favorite port cities- New Orleans. Being a spice lover, I am a huge fan of Cajun food. Andouille sausage and crawfish are 2 of my favorite ingredients and they work wonderfully as additions to mac and cheese.
I know most people outside of Louisiana eat little if any crawfish. But the people in Louisiana more than make up for the non-crawfish eaters with their crawfish consumption. Crawfish are in season during the Spring months. Many specialty foods stores sell frozen crawfish tail meat in 1 pound bags. To defrost I put the bag in the refrigerator the night before I want to use them. If you don’t like crawfish or have access to them, shrimp are a good substitution.
The Andouille sausage adds lots of spice to this Cajun Mac and Cheese. I’ve used yellow and white cheddar, Mozzarella, and Parmesan, but you could use pretty much any cheese combination. Fontina, Monterey Jack, Gouda, and even a little Gruyère would work.
And if you are as big a mac and cheese fan as I am, take a look at this Pinterest Board with over 180 Macaroni and Cheese Recipes!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Andouille sausage, sliced
- ⅓ cup finely diced onion
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red bell pepper
- 1 cup cooked crawfish tails
- 8 ounces mini penne or elbow pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan
- ½ cup crushed Ritz crackers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add Andouille sausage and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onion, red bell pepper, and crawfish. Saute 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Place cooked pasta in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and milk and pour in bowl with pasta.
- Add spices and salt to pasta bowl along with crawfish mixture.
- Mix cheeses in a medium bowl and set aside ½ cup of cheese. Add the rest of the cheese to the pasta. Mix together well and pour into prepared dish.
- Sprinkle cracker crumbs and reserved ½ cup cheese on top.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
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