December 08, 2020

RECIPE: Penne with Italian Cheese and Smoked Sausage

This is a super easy recipe--it's very similar to my homemade macaroni and cheese (I don't think I've ever posted the recipe for that--will have to do it sometime, as it's a huge favorite in our house!)

This is probably not a very good description, but it's a more grown up version of the boxed mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs in it that we used to eat as kids. No? You didn't eat that? Haha, maybe it was just my family!

Here is a printer-friendly version!


1 (16 oz) box of penne (or other similar pasta)
1 Tbsp. extra light olive oil (or any flavorless oil)
1 package (about 15 oz) of smoked sausage (found with kielbasa) - my family prefers the Butterball Turkey Smoked Sausage
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2-1/2 cups milk (I use full fat milk)
8 ounces of Italian blend cheese (I just buy the stuff in a bag that's already a mix)


Heat a large pot of water on high for the pasta. Add a large pinch of salt to the water, and cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, add the oil and heat over med-high. Slice the smoked sausage at an angle (or straight on, it doesn't matter!) and add it to the pot. Stir the sausage in the oil until it is starting to brown around the edges.

Add the butter to the pot and stir until the butter is melted. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir until you have a uniform thick texture (no clumps of flour). Very slowly, add the milk while stirring constantly (to avoid forming lumps of flour). It'll resemble mashed potatoes and then get thinner and thinner as you add more milk and stir.

Once all the milk is added, wait for it to come to a bubble--you don't want a hard boil, but just enough to thicken the sauce. Turn off the heat completely and add the entire bag of cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. You'll have a thick white cheesy sauce with sliced sausage in it.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and mix the pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately. Makes about six good-size servings.


  1. Noodles, Velveeta, smoked sausage like you have and milk at my house! Certainly not healthy but delish every once in awhile! I am going to have to try this version, looks great!!!

    1. That's so funny! I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves the combination. For some reason the Italian cheeses in this takes it to a new level. I hope you like it! :)

  2. Umm I'm 31 and still eat Kraft mac n cheese with cut up hot dogs, lol! Maybe its time for me to try a grown up version! ;) This sounds delish!

    1. Hahaha, Kraft Mac & Cheese is a guilty pleasure of mine! I grew up on it as a kid (literally I ate it every day). Hot dogs just complete it, right? ;)

  3. Katie,

    I just had to post this link to you. I have another friend that is a general contractor and she just posted a list of her favorite tools. the 2nd on her list is a track saw and this is what she said, " I have the DeWalt Cordless Tracksaw, which means I can take the saw and the track with me to the lumberyard and cut my sheet goods down to size in the parking lot if I like!"

    I thought of you! Here is the link below.


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