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Mac and cheese in a black pan.
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3.72 from 28 votes

Sausage Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Sausage Mac & Cheese - this EASY macaroni and cheese recipe is full of Italian sausage! It's the perfect comfort food. I've been making this FOR YEARS and everyone always loves it.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Dorothy Kern
Cost: 8


  • 14-16 ounces dry pasta (any shape; I like using elbows)
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage (mild, sweet, or hot, or even turkey sausage)
  • 1 medium (134g) onion , diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves (9g) garlic , minced
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter
  • 4 tablespoons (31g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk regular, lowfat, or nonfat
  • ½ teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
  • 5 cups shredded cheese (see note)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta according to package directions - be sure to salt the boiling water. Drain well.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage over medium heat in a large pot (at least 5 Qt). Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into small bits. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Once the sausage is cooked through, remove it to a plate or bowl and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in the sausage pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Stir in the flour completely and cook for 1 minute, then add the milk. Stir to combine the mixture, then add the italian seasoning, pepper, and dry mustard.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes or so. It should be the consistency of a creamy soup. Stir in the cheese until melted. Add salt to taste (and more pepper, if desired).
  • Add sausage and pasta into the cheese sauce and stir until combined. Remove from heat and serve hot.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This can be made one day ahead and reheated in the oven as well.


  • I prefer using whole milk but nonfat or 2% will work too. I have not tested this with nondairy milk.
  • I love the kick of hot italian sausage but use your favorite. It's easiest if you use bulk sausage but you can also use links and squeeze the sausage out of the casing.
  • Cheese: I always use cheddar cheese in this, at least 3 cups. I love mixing other cheeses too for extra flavor (my favorites are sharp cheddar, grueyere, and mozzarella) but use anything you have. I recommend shredding your own cheese for ultimate meltiness.
  • Because of all the salt in the sausage and cheese I do not salt the cheese sauce until after it's done. Taste and adjust seasoning before adding the pasta.
  • If you want, use one large pot and make the pasta first, drain, then continue. Takes longer but less cleanup.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 424IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 1mg