Layers of flavor are packed into this extra-creamy mac and cheese. A hearty entrée or side dish that will win over adults and kids alike, serve it as a simple one-pan weeknight dinner, at the neighborhood tailgate party, or your next gathering.
- 12oz shell or macaroni pasta
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 5 Zupan’s Hot Buffalo Chicken Sausages, casings removed
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce, such as Mitch’s Best or Fire on the Mountain, plus more for serving
- 2 tsp Better than Bouillon Roast Chicken Base
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 12oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
- 6oz Fontina cheese (about 2 cups), grated
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup Zupan’s Parmesan Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, draining it about 2 minutes before al dente.
Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the loose sausage and press it into the pan in an even layer. Allow the sausage to cook undisturbed until it begins to solidify on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Then break it up into small chunks and sauté until it is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and whisk in the flour until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream a little at a time to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk in the buffalo sauce, bouillon base and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cheddar until it’s fully melted and you have a smooth cheese sauce. Add the pasta and toss until evenly coated. (It will seem too saucy at this point, but will thicken in the oven.) Stir in the Fontina cheese. Taste and add salt or more Buffalo sauce as desired. Sprinkle the top of the mac and cheese with panko.
Bake until hot and bubbly and the breadcrumb topping is toasted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Drizzle the top generously with buffalo sauce and sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot, with more Buffalo sauce on the side.