My Cajun mac and cheese is the kind of super comfort food meal that you'll want to reserve for the most specialist of occasions, y'all. Seasoned shrimp and sausage, browned down with garlic and the Cajun trinity. Then, half and half and three types of cheeses melt right into the skillet right before you stir the hot, al dente GF spiral pasta into the pan. A quick oven trip to hot and bubbly yum-deliciousness, this over-the-top cheesy dish makes the perfect year-round main dish or holiday side standout. Yep and yay...
Oh Cheesy Deliciousness, I Just Can't Get You Out of My Head...
Ever since I created my Louisiana style white lasagna soup, I haven't been able to get the cheesy deliciousness out of my head. But, when I finally gave into the shrimp, sausage and multi-cheese craving, I wanted something just a bit different for dinner this time.
So, I went big with my spin on beloved Cajun mac and cheese so we could have a stick-to-your-ribs meal that would fill us up just as much as it would shake the south Louisiana November chill out of our bones.
And, I really wanted to turn up the cheese factor on this one, y'all. So I pulled the only-use-twice-a-year Velveeta box out of my pantry. Because this is definitely the time of year for food indulgence. And because I knew that mixing Velveeta with cheddar and pepper Jack would give me just the luscious, luxurious finish that I was looking for this amazingly heart and soul-warming dish.
This Cajun mac and cheese definitely hits all of your tummy hot spots. It's rich, it's creamy and it's super flavorful. And it's an ace-in-the-hole recipe for impressing guests with rustic charm and multi-dimensional seafood, meat, pasta, and cheese scrumptiousness. Indeed.
How to Make Cajun Mac and Cheese
Start by seasoning the shrimp and chopping the Cajun trinity veggies. Boil the gluten free spiral pasta til al dente, then drain and keep warm.
Preheat your oven. Then, gather the other main recipe players:
Now, heat a few tablespoons of butter or oil in your deep 12-inch cast iron skillet, and add the chopped Cajun trinity veggies:
When the vegetables are starting to brown:
Add the sliced sausage to the pan:
And when the sausage and veggies are browned:
Add the garlic to the skillet:
Cook for one additional minute, turn down the heat a bit, and cook the seasoned shrimp for just a few minutes:
Get your tapioca flour ready:
And pour it into the pan:
Then, stir it into the veggies, shrimp, and sausage:
Next, pour in the half and half:
And, add the three cheeses:
Now, let the cheeses melt, and stir the cooked gluten free pasta in right before you slide the skillet into the oven:
And that's it y'all!
The feisty smoky/cheesy flavor combination of this Cajun mac and cheese is addictive upon the first bite. The mix of cheeses along with the spices injects alternating high and low notes onto your tongue and roof of the mouth simultaneously. And as the pasta melts in your mouth, the seasoned shrimp and sausage come together for a final meaty bite that takes the whole ecstatic experience alllll the way down the bayou, y'all!!
Share this Cajun mac and cheese with those in your life who are just as good at being your faithful sidekick as they are at being the center of attention. And see y'all on the yum side...
Cajun Mac and Cheese
For the Seasoned Shrimp
For the Cajun Mac and Cheese
- 3 cups dry gluten free spiral pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 12 ounces gluten free beef sausage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 3 cups half and half
- 1 8-ounce block Velveeta cheese
- 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Season the shrimp with the hot sauce, dried paprika, onion powder and parsley flakes. Set aside.
- Boil the gluten free spiral pasta to al dente according to the directions on the package. Set aside and keep warm.
- Melt the butter or oil in a well-greased, deep 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped Cajun trinity of onion, red and green bell pepper and celery to the pan.
- Cook down the trinity until almost browned, then add the sliced sausage.
- Continue cooking until the veggies and the sausage are browned.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Turn the heat down to medium low.
- Add the shrimp, and cook until they turn opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the half and half into the pan and stir until all of the ingredients are well-combined.
- Add the cheeses to the skillet one by one, stirring the mixture until well-combined.
- Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Stir until well-combined, and continue cooking over medium-low heat until all of the cheeses have melted.
- Add the cooked gluten free pasta to the skillet, and stir until all of the Cajun mac and cheese ingredients are well-combined.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.