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Nothing is more comforting than a big pan of sausage and creamy mac and cheese. Tender noodles and a creamy sauce mix perfectly with tender, sweet chicken apple sausage. And bonus – this is a 30 minute one pot meal, so the clean-up is a breeze!

chicken sausage mac and cheese in a skilelt

One pot meals are a great addition to your regular dinner routine. They make mealtime so easy! This Sausage Mac and Cheese will quickly become a family favorite that will please both kids and adults alike.

Like all of my one pot meals, this Sausage Mac and Cheese is incredibly easy to whip up when you’re in a hurry, since it takes just about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Ingredients for Chicken Apple Sausage Mac and Cheese

  • Chicken Apple Sausage – found in the deli section this sausage is fully cooked. The cooking process is just about getting a nice sear and caramelization.
  • Onion and Garlic – for flavor.
  • Apple Juice – I promise this is a fantastic addition to this recipe!
  • White Wine Vinegar – for acid.
  • Chicken Broth to cook the pasta and create the sauce.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Canned tomatoes add a tomaty flavor that goes well with the cheese.
  • Dried Sage – A savory herb that has a sweet note and paris well with pork and chicken.
  • Heavy Cream – for the sauce.
  • Pasta – I love the look of cavatappi (twirly macaroni) but all kinds of small cut pasta can be used.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Freshly grated off the block. No pre-shredded cheese as they use a caking agent that prevents melting.
  • Parsley

How To Make One Pan Sausage Mac and Cheese

  • Heat some olive oil in a large skillet, then brown the sausage, onions, and garlic.
  • Start by browning the sausage and the onions, then add a bit of garlic. Make sure the flesh of the sausage sits against the hot skillet for a minute so it can get a nice sear.
  • Stir in some apple juice with a little white wine vinegar to help de-glaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits as those are where you’ll find the real flavor.
  • Add the pasta along with diced tomatoes, chicken broth, heavy cream, dried sage and of course a little salt and pepper. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer the pasta until it’s fully cooked.
  • Cook the pasta to al dente (there will be a little liquid still in the pan and that’s ok). Stir in some shredded cheddar which will melt and create the cheese sauce.


Is the chicken sausage fully cooked?

Most chicken sausages, like the chicken apple sausage in this recipe, are fully cooked. You should check the package though, to be sure.

Can you make this dish ahead of time?

While you can cook this one pot meal in advance if you really need to, it’s much better served fresh.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes! The recipe as-is will serve at least 4 large portions or up to 6 smaller ones. If you need to double it, you can. Make sure to use at least a 5 quart pot to make sure you have enough room for the pasta to expand.

sausage mac and cheese in a skillet with a wooden spoon


Sausage: You can use any type of fully cooked sausage, like smoked sausage or a plain chicken sausage. You might want to swap out the apple juice for chicken broth if you do.

Cheese: I love the sharp cheddar with the sweet apple, but any kind of cheddar works well. You could also use Jack cheese or Fontina.

Pasta: Cavatappi looks so pretty in this dish. However any small cut pasta, like pasta shells, penne, or rotini can be used.

Vegetables: If you want to add some veggies, broccoli works well.

Serving Suggestions

I usually serve this with a big salad as a side dish. It really doesn’t need much else. Or add some Easy Oven Roasted Vegetables on the side.

Storage and Reheating

Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. Freezing is not recommended.

pasta, cheese and sausage mac and cheese in a bowl

More One Pot Meals to Try


One Pan Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta

4.54 from 54 votes
Chicken & Apple Sausage Mac and Cheese has tender pasta with a savory sweet sausage all cooked in one pan for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings


  • 12 ounces chicken apple sausage fully cooked
  • 1 small onion diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cavatappi (uncooked) or other small pasta (half of a 16 ounce package)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheese cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley for garnish
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  • In a 5 quart skillet or pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive over medium-high. Add sausage and onions and cook until onions are soft and sausage is browned. Add garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Pour apple juice and white wine vinegar into the pan. Stir, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta and seasonings. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until pasta is tender.
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and let cheese melt.
  • Serve immediately.


Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.
Doubling the recipe: The recipe as is will serve at least 4 large portions, or up to 6 smaller ones. If you need to double it, you can. Make sure to use at least a 5 quart pot to make sure you have enough room for the pasta to expand. 
Keyword sausage mac and cheese, sausage pasta


Calories: 675kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 38gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1710mgPotassium: 498mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 1336IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 355mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Rebecca Genzink says:

    Very tasty! I felt like there was a little too much liquid. I didn’t have apple juice, so I used broth and the. Instead of the white wine vinegar, I used an apple white balsamic vinegar. I will definitely make again, I’ll just cut down on the liquid a bit. I love the chicken apple sausage, but can’t always think of inventive ways to use it! My family all enjoyed it.
    I’m going to try to convert this into an instant pot recipe.

  2. Ally says:

    This was great! I was looking for something to tone down the sweetness of the apple sausage (most recipes pair with with more sweet things-apples, sweet potatoes, etc). This did that perfectly and the flavors really complemented each other. After seeing comments that it was soupy, I gradually added broth as the pasta soaked it up. I only had about a cup of Mexican shredded cheese. It was still super tasty but I know it’d be delightful with the cheddar! Thanks for an easy yummy dinner recipe!

    1. Adrienne - Yellow Bliss Road says:

      Awesome feedback Ally! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Melissa Mathis says:

    Super yummy! Family loved it

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s awesome Melissa! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Kaden Weimer says:

    Far too much liquid to be considered anything other than soup. Followed the recipe to a T, my first tip off should’ve been how little pasta was called for.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Half of a box of pasta (8 ounces, or approximately 2 cups) is the right amount of pasta for 4 servings.

  5. Tom Snellen says:

    Followed exactly and it’s a big pot of cheese soup. Total failure

    1. ERP says:

      Same Tom, too much liquid. This will be probably taste better the next day once the pasta has absorbed more of the liquid.

  6. Lisa Peterson says:

    My husband usually will not eat chicken apple sausage but I convinced him and we made it together . A big win Thank you very delicious

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Lisa! Awesome comment, thanks for stopping by.

  7. Morgan M. says:

    My husband and I loved this! We used gluten free rotini for the pasta and it was excellent.

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you for the awesome feedback Morgan.

  8. Linda W says:

    Wanted to love this recipe and will try it again with modifications. I did not care for the apple juice/vinegar notes, felt the acidity overwhelmed the dish that already had the acidity of the canned tomatoes.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Appreciate your feedback Linda. I would love to hear the modifications you try.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I did this recipe but I added 1/2 a diced green pepper. I think it was a great amount of color with the tomato! I used the recipe amount of cheddar and a bit of pepper jack, but I wonder if it could be even better with white cheddar. Regardless, it was awesome. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I’m sure white cheddar would be amazing.

    2. Shannan says:

      AMAZING! This recipe is delicious and so easy to make! It’s such a wonderful take on mac and cheese. I added a little spice to my liking and it was perfect!

  10. Jessica says:

    Made this once and have been craving it ever since!!! I was so tired of just 1 pan meals with this sausage, thank you for sharing!!! 😋

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Jessica! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. shannon says:

    is that the amount of calories per serving, or total?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      It’s per serving. However you could probably get 6 servings out of this recipe if you add a veggie on the side.

  12. Jess says:

    I made this a few weeks ago and my husband LOVES it. Can’t wait to make it again tonight! 🙂

  13. Renee @ Two in the Kitchen says:

    I made this a few weeks ago while compiling recipes for a round up on Julie’s Eats and Treats and now I’m making it again. This is SOOOOOOO good!!!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Ellen says:

    Looks yummy! Now just come treat us by having it ready for me when I get home. 😉