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Comfort with Cheesy Potato

Indulge in Comfort with Cheesy Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole

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Welcome to a world of comforting flavors and hearty goodness with our Cheesy Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole recipe. Perfect for cozy family dinners or potluck gatherings, this dish combines tender cubed potatoes, savory smoked sausage, and a creamy, cheesy sauce that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Whether you’re craving a satisfying weeknight meal or searching for a crowd-pleasing dish to impress your guests, this casserole is sure to hit the spot. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to create this irresistible comfort food classic.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups peeled cubed Russet potatoes, boiled until soft but not mushy
  • 1 lb smoked sausage*, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups half & half or milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Prepare Potatoes and Sausage: In a large bowl, combine the boiled cubed potatoes and sliced smoked sausage. Mix well and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour to form a roux. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it becomes golden brown and fragrant.
  4. Add Half & Half/Milk: Gradually pour in the half & half or milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Cook the mixture until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Season and Add Cheese: Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to taste. Add the cubed Velveeta cheese and shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour Over Potatoes and Sausage: Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the potatoes and sausage in the baking dish, ensuring that everything is well coated.
  7. Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly, and the top is golden brown.
  8. Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley or green onions, if desired, and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Sausage Variation: Feel free to use your favorite type of smoked sausage for this recipe. Whether it’s kielbasa, Andouille, or chorizo, the choice is yours! You can also use turkey or chicken sausage for a lighter option.
  • Vegetable Addition: Add some extra veggies to the casserole for added flavor and nutrition. Sautéed onions, bell peppers, or spinach would be delicious additions. Simply mix them in with the potatoes and sausage before pouring the cheese sauce over top.
  • Crunchy Topping: For a bit of extra texture, consider adding a crunchy topping to the casserole. Crushed crackers, breadcrumbs, or French fried onions can be sprinkled over the top before baking for a deliciously crispy finish.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

  • Keto-Friendly Option: To make this recipe keto-friendly, substitute the potatoes with cauliflower florets. Simply steam or boil the cauliflower until tender, then proceed with the recipe as directed. You can also use heavy cream instead of half & half or milk for a richer, lower-carb sauce.
  • Low-Carb Variation: For a lower-carb version, reduce the amount of potatoes used or replace them with a low-carb vegetable such as turnips or radishes. These vegetables have a similar texture to potatoes when cooked and can be used as a tasty alternative in this casserole.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I make this casserole ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the casserole up to one day in advance and store it in the refrigerator, covered tightly with foil. When ready to bake, simply remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as directed.
  2. Can I freeze leftovers? Absolutely! Allow the casserole to cool completely, then portion it into individual servings or larger portions and transfer to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake in a preheated oven until heated through.
  3. Can I use different types of cheese? Yes, you can customize the cheese sauce to your liking by using different types of cheese. Gouda, Swiss, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack would all be delicious choices. Get creative and mix and match your favorite cheeses for a unique flavor profile.
  4. What can I serve with Cheesy Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole? This casserole pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as steamed vegetables, a crisp green salad, or crusty bread for soaking up the cheesy sauce. You can also serve it alongside coleslaw or pickles for a classic Southern-inspired meal.
  5. Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker? Yes, you can adapt this recipe for the slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker, except for the shredded cheddar cheese, and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese during the last 30 minutes of cooking until melted and creamy.

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In conclusion, our Cheesy Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole is a deliciously comforting dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its creamy cheese sauce, tender potatoes, and savory smoked sausage, this casserole is sure to satisfy even the heartiest appetites. Whether you’re serving it up for a cozy family dinner or sharing it at a potluck gathering, this recipe is guaranteed to be a hit. So, gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy the irresistible flavors of this classic comfort food dish. Your taste buds will thank you!

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