Mac & Cheese with Sausage Meatballs

(from castro15’s recipe box)

Categories: Pasta


  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. cavatappi
  • 1 cup crushed cheese crackers
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 10 oz. bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon


  1. eheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain. Reserve the pot.

  2. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup crushed cheese crackers and 1/4 cup milk in a medium bowl; let sit until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage and 2 tbsp. Parmesan and mix well to combine. Form the sausage mixture into 1-inch meatballs; arrange on the prepared pan. Bake until golden and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add the flour and remaining 2 cups milk to the reserved pot and whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cheddar and Velveeta and stir until smooth. Stir in 3/4 tsp salt and Dijon.

  4. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water to the cheese sauce and stir to coat. Add the meatballs and stir to coat; thin with the remaining 1/4 cup cooking water, 1 tbsp. at a time, if needed.

  5. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup crushed cheese crackers and 1 tbsp. Parmesan in a small bowl. Divide the mac and cheese among bowls and sprinkle with the cracker mixture.

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