Cajun Mac and Cheese has andouille sausage, bacon, and tons of flavor. This deliciously loaded mac and cheese recipe delivers just the right Cajun kick to this classic dish.
Shout out to my Cajun seasoning, because when I look at my recipes and take stock – what have I made, or, more importantly, what have I not made, using Cajun flavors seems to be a recurring thing with me.
I’ve never been to Louisiana, but here we are.
So, one thing I loooove to do is made fancy, crazy creative, DELICIOUS macaroni and cheese recipes, and this Cajun Mac and Cheese is right up that alley.
How is this macaroni and cheese “loaded”?
Loaded usually means bacon, cheese, sour cream, and green onion. Or some variation thereof.
My loaded mac and cheese has:
- Andouille sausage.
- Two cheeses: sharp cheddar and mozzarella.
- Incredible flavor from Dijon, Cajun seasoning, sun-dried tomato, green bell pepper, garlic and onion.
- Topped off with a cheesy crunch fried onion topping.
SO good and such depth of amazing flavor. There ain’t one dull bite to be had.
The steps to make this mac and cheese are essentially the same as making any other macaroni and cheese.
- Make a basic white sauce using butter, flour, and milk.
- Add all the flavor ingredients and cheeses to finish the cheese sauce.
- Add the cooked macaroni.
- Top with the crunchy onion topping and bake.
This recipe is completely straight forward. Just assemble your ingredients and knock it out.
Can this cheesy mac be made in advance?
Yes. This is a wonderfully creamy cheesy recipe, so it reheats very well in the microwave or in a low temperature oven until heated through.
So you are safe assembling and baking a day in advance.
Is this recipe spicy?
No, it is not. I didn’t use so much Cajun seasoning because while I wanted a kick, which we get from the sausage and seasoning blend, I wanted my kids to enjoy it too.
So, if you do want it spicy, just add crushed red pepper flakes. You can add them to the cheese sauce prior to baking, or serve pepper flakes so everyone just sprinkle over to their hearts delight when they eat.
- As with all macaroni and cheese recipes, we make a roux, then add milk, then cheese. This recipe is no different, other than the other ingredients we are throwing in.
- Making a mac and cheese roux happens quickly. Watch it or it will overcook on you.
- Slowly adding the milk while whisking constantly helps the milk thicken faster and saves time.
- We do not have to get the cheese completely melted. It is fine to get the cheese sauce off the heat to keep it from thickening too much (and making dry mac and cheese) with much of the cheese still not completely melted. It will finish melting once the hot pasta is added.
- Macaroni and cheese does not take long to bake. Once assembled, it is pretty much ready, it just need to heat through and blend flavors. But we don’t want to over-bake and end up with dry macaroni and cheese.
Want more Cajun-inspired recipes?
- Cajun Smoked Sausage and Gnocchi. This 20 minute pantry dinner can’t be beat.
- Cajun Instant Pot Pot Roast. My most flavorful pot roast includes directions for slow cooker or oven preparation.
- Cajun Maque Choux Macaroni Salad. This one is a Crowd Pleaser!
- Cajun Salmon Sliders with Remoulade. Fun and flavorful party sliders.
- Creole Shrimp Deviled Eggs with Bacon. These kicked up deviled eggs are amazing.
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Cajun Mac and Cheese
- 7 oz andouille sausage diced
- 1/2 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning blend of choice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato in oil drained and chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded and diced fine
- 1/2 cup fried onions crumbled
- garnish: chopped flat-leaf parsley, crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Assemble the ingredients
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Assemble all of the listed ingredients together.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- In a medium skillet, saute the sausage until nicely browned.
Make the Cajun cheese sauce
- Heat the flour and butter to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, until smooth and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
- To the flour-butter roux, slowly whisk in the milk. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture is warm and starting to give off a little steam. Reduce heat to low.
- Whisk in the Dijon mustard, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, and minced onion. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and 1-1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for the topping).
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cheeses are melted.
- Remove from the heat. Add the bell pepper, sun-dried tomato, andouille sausage, and bacon.
Cook the pasta
- Cook the macaroni elbow in the boiling water to al dente according to package directions. Note that this can be done while making the cheese sauce.
- Drain and add to the cheese sauce.
Assemble the casserole and bake
- Pour the cheese sauce and macaroni mixture into a 13×9 bake dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the crumbled fried onions and remaining cheddar cheese. Sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through, lightly browned on top, and bubbly.
- Garnish, if desired, and serve.