• Jenn

On Wisconsin “One Pan” Mac and Cheese

Well school is back in session, fall is fast approaching and for us up here in the Midwest, that means cooler weather and heavier meals. So today I’m sharing one of my many takes on simple Mac and cheese. It has all the basics plus bacon (because bacon makes EVERYTHING better), kielbasa sausage (a Wisconsin staple) and fresh basil (simply because I still had some in the garden and… I LOVE basil). This is definitely a family favorite, even my 11 month old baby loves it! And Bonus! I only use 1 pan to make it. Less muss and fuss. I hope you enjoy it as well. 🙂 Ingredients

  1. 8oz Cavatappi Pasta

  2. 3 (or more) slices of Cooked Bacon, chopped

  3. 1 (14 oz) kielbasa sausage, cut and cubed

  4. 1/4 cup white wine (about 2 quick glugs)

  5. 1 medium onion diced

  6. 3 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

  7. 2 cups of half and half

  8. 5oz of Cream Cheese at room temp

  9. 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  10. 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

  11. 3 Roma tomatoes, diced

  12. Grated parmesan cheese (for topping)

  13. salt and pepper (to taste)

  14. about 1 Tablespoon fresh basil chopped (optional)

*I used a large skillet for the whole meal (including boiling my pasta), but if you would rather boiled your pasta in a pot of course that’s fine. My goal here was to use only 1 pan and have less dishes.

  1. Start by cooking the pasta. Cook it 2 minutes less than al dente. This is important because you’ll finish cooking the pasta in the sauce at the end. It will not only help thicken the mac and cheese, but the pasta will adhere better to the sauce. Drain pasta and set aside.

  2. In that same pan cook the bacon slices. Leave the fat in the pan after you take the bacon out.

  3. Brown the kielbasa sausage in the bacon fat. Once browned, take out, again leaving the fat and bits. (I have a bamboo cutting board, so I use that to put all my meat on after I cook it).

  4. Add the white wine to the hot pan (your burner should be on medium /medium-high heat) and whisk around to get all the yummy flavor off the pan and into the wine and future sauce.

  5. Add the onions and garlic cloves, continue whisking until the onions are translucent. This must be continuous, or you will burn your garlic.

  6. Then add the half and half, cream cheese and garlic powder; stirring until completely combined

  7. take moment to taste and add any salt and pepper needed.

  8. Add the sausage, pasta, and tomatoes. Occasionally stir until pasta is cooked (about a minute or two). once again check for any addition of salt pepper or anything else you want.

  9. Top with Bacon, basil and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Print

On Wisconsin "One Pan" Mac and Cheese

A fun take on a classic family favorite. And Bonus! You only use 1 pan to make it. Less muss and fuss.

Course Main Course

Cuisine American

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  1. 8 oz Cavatappi Pasta

  2. 3 (or more) slices of Cooked Bacon chopped

  3. 1 [14 oz ] kielbasa sausage cut and cubed

  4. 1/4 cup white wine about 2 quick glugs

  5. 1 medium onion diced

  6. 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped

  7. 2 cups half and half

  8. 5 oz Cream Cheese at room temp

  9. 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  10. 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

  11. 3 roma tomatoes diced

  12. Grated parmesan cheese for topping

  13. salt and pepper to taste

  14. t Tablespoon fresh basil chopped optional

Instructions

Start by cooking the pasta. Cook it 2 minutes less than al dente. This is important because you'll finish cooking the pasta in the sauce at the end. It will not only help thicken the mac and cheese, but the pasta will adhere better to the sauce. Drain pasta and set aside.

In that same pan cook the bacon slices. Leave the fat in the pan after you take the bacon out.

Brown the kielbasa sausage in the bacon fat. Once browned, take out, again leaving the fat and bits. (I have a bamboo cutting board, so I use that to put all my meat on after I cook it).

Add the white wine to the hot pan (your burner should be on medium /medium-high heat) and whisk around to get all the yummy flavor off the pan and into the wine and future sauce.

Add the onions and garlic cloves, continue whisking until the onions are translucent. This must be continuous, or you will burn your garlic.

Then add the half and half, cream cheese and garlic powder; stirring until completely combined

take moment to taste and add any salt and pepper needed.

Add the sausage, pasta, and tomatoes. Occasionally stir until pasta is cooked (about a minute or two). once again check for any addition of salt pepper or anything else you want.

Top with bacon, basil and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

*I used a large skillet for the whole meal (including boiling my pasta), but if you would rather boil your pasta in a pot, of course that's fine. My goal here was to use only 1 pan and have less dishes.

Share this:

  1. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

  2. Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)

  3. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)

  4. Click to print (Opens in new window)

  5. Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)

608-658-3338

©2014–2020, The Smith Country; Smith Country LLC | Jenn Smith. All rights reserved.