Ever since discovering my favorite recipe for Easy Mac and Cheese almost 2 years ago, it’s become a regular in our weeknight dinner rotations. I love it because I can whip together in almost the same amount of time as a store bought packaged mac and cheese or side item, but it’s so, so, so much better. Plus I love knowing exactly what is going into my food. No mystery chemicals or high fructose corn syrups.
During my first trimester of pregnancy I was exhausted all the time and many nights I just didn’t have the energy for complicated dinners. This led me to do more experimenting with the recipe and add-ins to turn mac and cheese into a quick weeknight meal. This has been one of our favorite combinations. The kielbasa adds a nice smokey flavor and the meat that Jesse likes to round out his dinners. The peas add a light sweetness and make me feel just a tiny bit better about eating mac and cheese for dinner (even though I know peas aren’t the best vegetable choice in the world, still better than nothing!) I hope you like this combination as much as we do!
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter
6 oz. cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
10-12 ounces dry pasta shells (I’ve been using whole wheat)
1 package turkey kielbasa , cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2-3/4 cup frozen peas
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the shells and cook according to package. 2 minutes before the pasta is ready add the peas.
While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the milk, egg, dry mustard, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Set aside. Cook kielbasa in a skillet until it is heated through and starting to brown. Set aside.
Drain the pasta and peas and return to pot over medium-low heat. Stir in butter until melted. Pour in the milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken up a bit. Add the shredded cheese in small increments, stirring constantly, until it is all added and melted.
Serve hot with kielbasa.
Sunny Side Up original
Here are some more Easy Weeknight Dinner ideas!