I am never making another macaroni and cheese recipe again. This is the one!
It has the most amazing flavor. You know how most mac & cheese is just “meh”… like, not terrible but not *jazz hands*. This is super *jazz hands* with a little *razzle dazzle* thrown in for good measure.
It is a big batch – like it makes about 20+ cups of mac and cheese. I developed it for a meal program I was running. For a smaller, family sized amount I would maybe just make 1/4 of it. The size here is perfect for a potluck or if you want to make up some meals to share with extended family/friends.
The Mediterranean Cabbage Salad is the perfect accompaniment. It is light and refreshing and helps add a few veggies to an otherwise carb-heavy meal!
First up the salad:
Mediterranean Cabbage Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette
4 cups cabbage, shredded (or thinly slices)
4 large tomatoes, sliced and seeded
2 English cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 red onion, sliced
garlic vinaigrette (I use Simply Natural Organic Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette)
Place all ingredients, except vinaigrette, in a large bowl.
Drizzle on a little of the vinaigrette and toss gently.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.
When ready to serve: serve with more vinaigrette and add as needed.
On to the main course!
Big Batch Bacon and Kielbasa Mac and Cheese
2 lbs macaroni, cooked
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 pkgs kielbasa sausage
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup butter
2 onions, diced
3/4 cup flour
8 cups milk, warmed
1 16 oz brick aged cheddar
1 16 oz brick Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups parmesan, shredded (divided)
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
Before starting: boil your macaroni and set it aside and cook your bacon and set aside as well.
Prepare the kielbasa sausage: place sliced sausage onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with a little BBQ sauce. Place under broiler until it starts to brown. Flip the pieces over and broil another 3 – 4 minutes – until browned. Set aside.
Prepare mac and cheese – In a LARGE pot (I use a canning pot), melt the butter and add in the onions. Let cook for a minute. Add in the flour and cook another minute, until thickened.
Very gradually add in the milk, stirring in between additions until smooth. Cook about 5 minutes until thickened. Reduce the heat and add in all the cheeses (reserve 1 cup of Parmesan for sprinkling on top). Stir until melted.
Add in the spices and stir well.
Lastly, stir in the cooked sausage, bacon, and macaroni.
Let heat through and then serve.
Don’t forget to sprinkle generously with the reserved parmesan cheese.
Don’t you want to just crawl right in there?
Best mac and cheese EVER!
I got 10 very large servings out of this (2 + cups of macaroni and 1+ cup of salad). If you were bringing this as a side dish to a potluck you would get 20 – 1 cup servings quite easily.
You can half or quarter this recipe with no problem for smaller amounts.
The macaroni is so flavorful. 4 cheeses and the smoky sausage and bacon make for the best macaroni EVER!