Bratwurst Macaroni and Cheese


Bratwurst Macaroni and Cheese

We are back from our quick trip back home to visit my mother-in-law.  At 96 years-old she just entered a nursing home.  It has been tough on everyone but being 550 miles away from her as she makes this transition has been heartbreaking.  She has gone from stage 3 Alzheimer’s to almost stage 7 in 18 months.  She no longer knows who we are or where she is.  She never wanted to go to a nursing home, ever.  To see her like this is emotionally draining for everyone.

But, we are home now.  We needed good comfort food to ease our weary body and souls and this was it.  We are still getting ready for our big vacation so I am trying to limit the amount of groceries I am bringing home.  This recipe was perfect for using what I had on stock in the pantry and freezer.

Verdict:

My family loved it!  The creaminess of the macaroni and cheese was delicious against the bratwurst bites.  I made 2 of these – one using the exact recipe below and another using gluten-free ingredients.  Both kids took this in their lunches to school the next day.

I served this with broccoli and a green salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (13.5 oz) Johnsonville Bratwursts, cut into 1/2 moons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 16  oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large casserole dish or 13×9 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a non-stick skillet, brown sausage and onions over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  3. In a large pot cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions.  Drain.
  4. While pasta is cooking in a sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.  Once it is completely melted sprinkle the flour over the top and stir continually until it starts to turn light brown.  Slowly whisk in the half and half.  Heat 5-8 minutes or until it starts to slightly thicken.  Remove from heat and add in cheeses.  Stir to thoroughly combined.
  5. Pour cheese sauce over cooked macaroni.  Stir to well mixed.  Add in sausage and onion and stir to mixed thoroughly.
  6. Pour all in prepared casserole dish and bake 20-25 minutes until well browned on top.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

 

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