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Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheesecakes

kept byShelby
recipe byeatdrinkandrun.com
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Ingredients: 

2 C (dry) whole-wheat elbow macaroni or other small-shape pasta
1 lb mild Italian turkey sausage
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP flour
1 15-oz can pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 C milk
2 TBSP cream cheese or neufatchel
3/4 C grated cheddar
1/2 C panko or finely crushed cracker crumbs
Salt and pepper


Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375*. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to al dente according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
  3. If sausage is encased, remove and discard casing.  In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, cook turkey sausage until just cooked through, breaking in to small clumps.  Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
  4. Lower heat to medium low and drain any excess oil from pan.  
  5. When pan has cooled a bit, add butter.  When melted, add flour and stir vigorously to create a roux.  Add pumpkin puree and milk and stir gently until blended in to a thick sauce.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until just bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add cream cheese and stir until incorporated.
  7. Fold in sausage and cheddar cheese.
  8. Divide evenly among muffin pan cups and top with panko.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until bubbly and brown around the edges.
  9. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Using a spatula, gently extract each cake from its cup.  Serve immediately.

Tips / Substitutes: Skip a step and use precooked turkey sausages or turkey hot dogs - or omit altogether.

Servings: Makes 12 appetizer-sized cakes (or dinner for 4)

Preparation Time: 30-40 min

 

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