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+ servings
Chili Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the chili:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chilis

For the mac and cheese:

  • 8 ounces pasta shells or a similar shape with ridges
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • chopped green onions for garnish

Instructions
 

For the chili:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef, salt, and black pepper and cook for 5 to 6 minutes without stirring. Stir and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the beef is browned. Use a spoon or potato masher to break up the beef into small, bite-sized pieces. Drain any excess grease.
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it turns deep red and begins to release its oils.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder to the beef mixture. Stir well and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, drained kidney and pinto beans, and green chilies. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the mac and cheese:

  • Cook the pasta in a large stockpot in salted water according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate saucepot, heat 1 cup of the milk over medium heat. When the milk begins to steam, whisk the flour into remaining 1/2 cup of milk until there are no lumps. Add the flour-milk mixture to the steaming milk and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the liquid thickens.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the cheddar cheese one handful at a time, stirring until it's melted before adding the next handful of cheese. When all the cheese is added and incorporated, stir in the salt, pepper, and cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  • Add the chili to the macaroni and cheese. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with the additional cheese and chopped green onions.