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Hearty Mac and Cheese

October 15, 2013
“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign withPollinate Media Group™ and Hillshire Brand Company but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #buy3save3

Hearty Mac and Cheese - a combination of penne pasta, gourmet sausage, two blends of cheese and a hint of mustard creates a filling meal that everyone will enjoy.

Yesterday I went shopping at Safeway bound and determined to mix up my tried and true recipes…eating the same things over and over again can get a little boring so I was happy to take advantage of the Just for U program which saved me $3 when buying 3 Hillshire Farm products.  Sweet!  I would be able to make 3 meals with those 3 deals!

If you need some recipe ideas check out Hillshire Farm’s site for a huge variety!

I decided on purchasing Thin Sliced Pastrami (to make toasted pastrami and cheese sandwiches for lunch), Smoked Sausage (to make a breakfast casserole) and Gourmet Creations in Basil Pesto (below) to jazz up my regular mac and cheese.  You can find all Hillshire Farm products in the refrigerated section.

Hillshire Farm's Gourmet Creations

My challenge as a mother is creating meals that are easy to prep and a meal that both my daughter and husband will love.  I don’t have time to make different meals for everyone! 🙂  So for last night’s dinner I figured since everyone in my house loves mac and cheese I would just have to find a way to make it more hearty.  My husband doesn’t believe dinner is dinner unless part of it is meat…so my impromptu idea was to add some yummy sausage to my normal recipe which would leave Mabel a happy little girl and my husband a happy guy.  Another brownie point for me!

Are you ready to make some delicious mac and cheese?  Here you go:

Hearty Mac and Cheese


  • 2 Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations sausages (any flavor combination will do but I chose Basil Pesto)
  • 2 1/2 cups of dry Penne (but any shape pasta will do)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded monterrey jack
  • plain bread crumbs
Hearty Mac and Cheese w/sausage \\

I chose to lightly brown my sausage


  1. OPTIONAL – brown sausage.  I personally like to lightly brown the sausage because I like the slightly crunchy texture it gives it.  Then set it aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Boil pasta until tender and then put in a strainer to drain completely.
  4. In a large bowl, combine pasta with the butter and egg.  Then add the cheese (leave a little extra out to add later).
  5. Cut sausage into slices and add to pasta mixture.
  6. In a small bowl mix dry mustard and salt with a tablespoon of hot water.  Make sure dry mustard is thoroughly mixed, no lumps leftover.  Then add the cup of milk.
  7. Put pasta/cheese mix into a greased baking dish.
  8. Pour milk mixture evenly over the pasta.
  9. Sprinkle leftover cheese on the top of the pasta and then sprinkle breadcrumbs to taste.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes and then enjoy!
Hearty Mac and Cheese - a combination of penne pasta, gourmet sausage, two blends of cheese and a hint of mustard creates a filling meal that everyone will enjoy.

What my mac and cheese looked like before it was baked.

Hearty Mac and Cheese Recipe - a combination of penne pasta, gourmet sausage, two blends of cheese and a hint of mustard creates a filling meal that everyone will enjoy.

Finished meal….yum!

Let me know what you think!  I would love to hear your comments or anyway that you would modify the recipe!

Visit Hillshire Farm on Facebook and Twitter for more recipes and deals!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Oh my! that looks so yummy! And adding the Basil Pesto sausage was pure genius! Totally a grown up mac & cheese!

  • Reply
    Amanda {A Royal Daughter}
    October 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Yummy! The basil pesto sausage sounds like the perfect addition of yummy flavors to make mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Looks so yummy! Definitely adding this to my list of recipes!

  • Reply
    Katie Clark
    October 16, 2013 at 12:14 am

    This looks great, especially the basil pesto sausage. Those three ingredients are my weakness!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I love mac-n-cheese! I’ve never added sausage before… will have to keep that in mind. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    I LLLOOOVVEEE mac and cheese but also need protein to attempt and balance out the carbs. This is definitely getting made!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Seriously girlfriend, this looks INCREDIBLE! And it’s totally something I could make for the entire family. Alea’s such a picky eater, but she sure loves her mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Looks delish!!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I’m not a big fan of sausage but it definitely looks yummy.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Yum, I just made mac and cheese last night…..’tis the season!!!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Looks like a great adult version of mac and cheese!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Mouth is now watering! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply
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