Cheesy Rotini with Smoked Sausage, Cabbage and Apple

We’ve had roofers here all week, and I am about to go bonkers.  Between the pounding on the roof, and the dogs barking at the pounding on the roof, I feel I may very well go insane (or hard of hearing–at the very least).

So I need comfort, and what better comfort than Mac and Cheese!  My Cheesy Rotini with Smoked Sausage, Cabbage and Apple absolutely fits the bill.  The creamy cheese sauce, combined with chewy pasta, smoky sausage, sweet apple and cooked cabbage definitely provides respite from the construction zone above my head.

When I make the cheese sauce, I don’t do a whole lot of stirring to melt the cheese, so that there are pockets of cheesy goodness threaded throughout the dish.  If you don’t want those pockets, then by golly, stir away!

Here’s hoping that this recipe may help you cope with life’s little construction zones.  Oh, and if you leave a comment, be sure to use all caps, since I am now a bit hard of hearing!

Cheesy Rotini with Smoked Sausage, Cabbage and Apple
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nothing says comfort like chewy pasta, smoky sausage, sweet apple and cooked cabbage, smothered in a creamy cheese.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • ¾ teaspoon – salt, divided
  • 12 ounces – rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon – extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – medium onion, diced
  • 8 ounces – cole slaw mix
  • 1 (14 ounce) package – smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 – medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ¾ teaspoon – seasoned salt
  • 6 tablespoons – butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons – flour
  • 2 cups – milk
  • 8 ounces – sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces – white medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces – grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 ounces – cream cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon – ground white pepper
  • 2 cups – crushed cheese-flavored snack crackers
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and, while stirring, add the rotini. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 8-11 minutes, or until rotini is al dente. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and slaw mix. Saute for 10 minutes or until tender. Add smoked sausage, apple and seasoned salt; saute for 5-6 more minutes or until apple is tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a separate large pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Cook until thickened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; add cheeses, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in cooked rotini and cabbage/sausage mixture.
  5. Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Pour pasta mixture into buttered dish. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. In small bowl, combine butter with crackers. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Jazzy Gourmet Cooking Studio at
© 2012 Sherry Klinedinst
All rights reserved. Repost with permission only.

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