Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Today I'm going to tell you how to take a simple, one pot recipe and make it more complicated. No, I'm not kidding but I can totally explain. It's only going to get a little bit more complicated but it's going to get a whole lot more good. And the ratio of complication to goodness makes it very worth it.

Chili Mac
Have you ever tried chili mac, that perfect marriage of beef chili and macaroni and cheese? And yes, the whole concept of hamburger helper was really a chili mac. But no need for boxed mixes because the scratch version is easy and way better.

Most of the recipes I've seen, though, consider it a one pot style dish where the pasta and water are added to the beef to cook and then a bunch of cheese is tossed in.

Hmm. That's fine, I'm sure, but it's not the way I make a good mac and cheese. To me, that requires a real cheese sauce and that's the "complication" I've added. Trust me, it's so worth it. Enjoy!

Chili Mac
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ingredients (6 Servings)
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1 Onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Can (approx. 15 oz. ) tomato sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 lb. Elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
Chili Mac
Brown the ground beef in a large saute pan, add the onion and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Add the tomato sauce, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

To the same pan, add the oil and garlic and saute for a minute just until the garlic begins to soften. Mix in the flour and whisk in the milk. Continue cooking on low to medium heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the cheese, scallions, salt and pepper.

Add the prepared macaroni to the cheese sauce and then fold in the cooked beef mixture. Serve topped with a bit of extra cheese and scallions, if desired.

Powered by Recipage


  1. The other half and I would both go nuts for this. I'm sure it's worth the tiny bit of extra work. Also, I LOVE that bowl!

  2. This is the epitome of comfort food... I definitely am craving a bowlful - so perfect for the chilly weather right now!

  3. I could not agree with you more about the homemade version being so much better than that boxed stuff. Great recipe and pinned too.


We'd love to hear from you!