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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!
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.
Table of Contents
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 s 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.
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 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.
Most chicken sausages, like the chicken apple sausage in this recipe, are fully cooked. You should check the package though, to be sure.
While you can cook this one pot meal in advance if you really need to, it’s much better served fresh.
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: 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.
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.
More One Pot Meals to Try
- One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta Skillet
- One Pot Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Chicken Taco One Pot Pasta
- Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- One Pot Taco Macaroni and Cheese
One Pan Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta
- 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
- 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.