• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mild sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped sage
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ pounds elbow pasta
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 cups aged white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup Gruyère, shredded
  • 8 Tablespoons Salted Challenge Dairy butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • breadcrumbs, for topping


  • 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  • 2

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion, and apple. Cook until sausage is browned and onions are translucent, about 5–7 minutes. Add herbs and garlic. Cook just until garlic is fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.

  • 3

    Prepare pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pot; reduce heat to low. Add cream, cheeses, and butter. Stir well to combine and ensure that all cheese has melted. Transfer sausage mixture to pasta; stir. In a small bowl, dissolve flour into the reserved pasta water, careful to break apart any lumps. Gradually add pasta water to pasta mixture. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the mac and cheese until thickened and creamy, about 8–12 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • 4

    Grease a 9”-by-13” casserole dish and transfer the contents of the pot to the dish. Top with breadcrumbs and additional cheese, if desired. Cook uncovered for 25–30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.