Tastes like beef Chilli Con Carne – with the added cheesy goodness of Mac ‘n Cheese! My Chili Mac and Cheese is on the table in just over 20 minutes – and it’s all made in one pot. It’s truly fabulously delicious!
CHILI MAC AND CHEESE IS THE ULTIMATE MASH UP
I’ve seen plenty of food mash ups in my travels on the world-wide-web. Like pizza – it seems like there is a pizza-everything: tacos, casserole, dips, soup, pie, pasta, cake.
I’m not above doing mash ups. I’ll do them when combining two recipes brings something else to the dish, rather than doing them just for the sake of being “cool” or “out there”. I’m beyond the years of playing with food for the sake of being cool, I just want it to be tasty!
Enter – Chili Mac and Cheese. A cross between Chili Con Carne and Mac and Cheese, all made in one pot. The sauce flavour is like beef Chilli Con Carne, with the addition of macaroni and cheesy goodness stirred into it as well as on top. SO GOOD.
In America, you’ll find most Chili’s are made using a generous amount of what America calls Chili Powder. In actual fact, American Chili Powder is made with more than just ground chilis. It has other flavourings in it, so it’s more like a seasoning than a plain spice.
Because American Chili Powder isn’t sold here in Australia, and also because I have noticed that the flavour and saltiness of American Chili Powder varies from brand to brand, I like to make my Chili using a homemade mix of spices. I can control the flavour better for my own palette, and also more consistency of flavour for those who use my recipes. 🙂
Down Under here in Australia, we spell “Chili” with two l’s – Chilli. Also, it’s more commonly referred to as Chilli Con Carne, and no one knows whether it’s pronounced “Carneeeeeeee” or just “Carne”.
To keep life simple, I chose to stick with one “L”. And I pronounce it “Carne”, without drawing out the “eeeeee”… 😁 – Nagi x
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Chili Mac and Cheese recipe video!
Recipe video above. A homemade Chili with the addition of macaroni and cheese = Chili Mac ‘n Cheese! This is terrifically moorish and a fabulous one pot meal. Super quick too! The key with this recipe is to turn the stove off as soon as the pasta is just cooked - it will keep cooking in the residual heat.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 1 red capsicum / bell pepper , chopped
- 500 g / 1 lb beef mince (ground beef), I use lean
- 800 g / 28 oz crushed canned tomato
- 420g / 14 oz can red kidney beans , drained
- 2 1/2 cups / 625 ml beef broth (chicken broth also ok)
- 250 g / 0.5 lb elbow macaroni pasta (elbow pasta), uncooked
- 2 cups / 200g shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, tasty cheese)
- Coriander / cilantro finely chopped , for garnish
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or pure chilli powder (adjust spiciness to taste) (Note 1)
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder (can sub garlic powder)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp salt
Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute. Then add capsicum and cook until onion is translucent.
Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go.
Once the beef turns from red to brown, add remaining ingredients except cheese. Stir, bring to simmer, then turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook for 10 - 12 minutes or until the macaroni is al dente, meaning just cooked, still a tiny bit on the firm side.
Turn the stove OFF but leave the pot on the stove. Stir through half the cheese – it should be a bit saucy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining cheese, put the lid back on and leave until the cheese melts - about 2 minutes.
Sprinkle with coriander, if desired, and serve immediately.
1. Chili Powder: In Australia, UK and most parts of the world, ground chilli (aka "chilli powder") is plain dried chillies that have been ground. However, in the US, Chilli Powder has other things in it so it is nowhere near as hot as pure Chilli powder. This recipe calls for pure ground chilli for spiciness. Cayenne pepper is a perfect substitute, or any other HOT chilli powder. Chili is supposed to be spicy!!!
2. TIP: The key with this recipe is to turn the stove OFF as soon as the pasta is just cooked. The pasta will keep cooking when you put the lid on to melt the cheese. Don't worry if it's still saucy - saucey is GOOD!!! Plus sauce always gets sucked up by pasta so there will be less by the time you serve it.
3. OTHER PROTEINS: This recipe will also work other minced meat, including chicken, pork, turkey and even lamb!
4. FREEZING: Leftovers freeze fine, thaw then best reheated in microwave. For make ahead freezing, take it off the stove when the pasta is a tiny touch still firm. It should still be saucy. Let it cool, then top with cheese. Cover then freeze. Then to reheat, let it thaw overnight, then microwave is best to reheat (fastest so pasta won't bloat).
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. Very generous servings!
LIFE OF DOZER
Usually when I travel, Dozer goes to stay with his “family” with a golden retriever boarder. He thunders around the house, rumbles with his friends, and generally completely forgets all about me.
Unfortunately, he’s a bit lame at the moment (nothing serious, just pulled a muscle from excessive beach craziness) so I left him with my mother for some quiet healing time.
Apparently, this is how he’s spending his day. 😂