When I first saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I love breakfast sausage and I love mac n cheese. I make so many egg bakes for breakfasts around here that it was time for a new one. I decided to surprise my P.S. who is also a huge mac n cheese fan. He even brings home boxes of mac n cheese for fast meals. I’d rather make it from scratch but when I’m not around, he has his boxes.
I will say this isn’t a typically “easy” recipe. There are a lot of steps and things to boil and fry to assemble a giant pan of cheesy breakfast goodness. And I don’t even want to THINK about all of the dishes I ended up washing afterwards! A lot. But as we often say about those recipes that leave the kitchen piled with dishes to clean up, “It was worth it!”
I boiled the pasta first, to get that done and cooled and set aside. I used cavatappi like the recipe and it boiled for 9 minutes to be still firm. Follow the box for cooking times. While my pasta cooked, I moved on to the sausage.
I used my large nonstick skillet to fry the bulk breakfast sausage I’d bought. I didn’t use a sausage with maple flavoring, I’d had that recently and didn’t want that in my flavor profile this time. Your choice, maple or not. I fried it until it was nicely browned and caramelized on the first side, then broke it up into small pieces and let it finish cooking. I used a slotted spoon to set it aside in a bowl.
I used a smaller skillet to fry my diced peppers, not thinking that I should have also been frying the onions. When my peppers were browned around the edges I removed them to the bowl of sausage as well, then diced up my forgotten onion.
I fried the onion in a light drizzle of oil in the same smaller skillet until they were translucent and lightly browned. I also added them to the bowl of sausage.
The pasta was done and I drained then rinsed it with cold water. I set it aside in the colander.
Back to the large nonstick skillet, I heated it to medium and melted the butter before stirring in the flour. I continued to stir it for several minutes, cooking the flour well.
I added half of the milk and whisked well until all of the lumps had disappeared. I added the remaining 2 cups of milk and let it come to a boil then cook until it had thickened. The cheese came next: I stirred in 2/3 of each of the 3 cheese until they were melted and smooth. I taste tested and added salt and pepper until I was happy with the taste.
I poured the cheese mixture into a large mixing bowl then added the sausage, onion and pepper mixture as well as the pasta. I stirred until it was evenly mixed then spread it into my sprayed baking pan.
In a separate bowl I whisked the eggs then added the remaining cheeses and the biscuits I’d torn in pieces. I added an extra egg due to the amount of biscuits I used. You could add another egg and use the whole roll of biscuits.
I mixed well then spread it over the macaroni mixture in the pan. I slid the pan into the preheated oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. I have to note that the original recipe and the recipe she followed used a cast iron frying pan for the recipe. My recipe made such a great amount of food it didn’t fit easily into a 9×13-in pan. I had to use my lasagna pan that is more like 11×15-in. I didn’t add anything to the recipe, I’m not sure why my yield was so much greater.
At 30 minutes the top was lightly browned and the biscuits were a beautiful golden brown.
I set the pan on a rack to cool for a few minutes then served myself a small portion. Just to rate it. Wow, I loved it! It was sausage and biscuits.. and mac n cheese.. all in one bite. Absolutely a great idea for breakfast! And maybe a midnight snack…
Breakfast Mac n Cheese
- 1 lb of pasta; cooked according to box directions (I used cavatappi)
- 1 lb pork breakfast sausage
- 1 large onion; diced
- 1 red pepper; diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
- 2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese
- 2 cups pepper jack cheese
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 eggs
- 5 or 6 cooked breakfast biscuits (I used 4 jumbo buttermilk biscuits and would use more next time)
- Maple Syrup for garnish if desired
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 11×15 baking dish.
- Make the pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the sausage until it is browned and caramelized in places. Break up into smaller pieces and cook through. Drain and set aside.
- In the same skillet cook the onion and pepper until browned around the edges. Add to sausage mixture and set aside.
- Melt butter in skillet and add flour. Cook over medium heat for several minutes. This removes the raw flour flavor. Add 2 cups of milk and whisk until smooth, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Remove the skillet from heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheese, stirring until melted and smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour cheese sauce into a large bowl. Stir in the pasta and sausage mixture until well mixed. Spread in a greased or sprayed baking pan. I used a 11×15 lasagna pan.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs then stir in the remaining cheese and the crumbled biscuits. Spread mixture on top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.
Adapted from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us