I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m tired of the fake taste of boxed mac and cheese. There’s never enough powdered cheese in the package, and the end result never lives up to the expectation of real mac and cheese. Besides, there are just too many alternatives to regular boxed mac and cheese that are much tastier and easy to cook.
One option that comes into mind is chili mac, where you use chili as a sauce for the macaroni and then top with shredded cheddar or nacho cheese (maybe both?). It’s easy and versatile enough that you can revamp the recipe for something new to eat every time.
This recipe is my all time favorite comfort food and I hope you like it as much as I do.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 15-oz. can kidney beans
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 box elbow macaroni
1 pound ground meat
¾ cup salsa (any heat intensity)
1 packet chili seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese
1. Open the can of kidney beans using a can opener. Drain liquid and rinse beans. Grind half in a blender or food processor and leave the rest whole.
2. Sautée onions and jalapeño in olive oil over low heat in a large skillet until cooked (onions will be translucent and shrink.) Add salt and pepper.
3. In a separate pot, add olive oil and boil pasta until it is al dente. Drain.
4. Raise heat in skillet to medium and add ground meat. Stir rapidly with fork until the meat is cooked thoroughly.
5. Add kidney beans, salsa, chili seasoning and garlic powder. Adjust spices until the flavor is to your liking. Tip: If the chili seems too dry, add ¼-½ cup water and stir occasionally until enough water evaporates and leaves chili at the right consistency. You can even use the water that the macaroni was boiling in.
6. Mix pasta into chili and stir. Top with shredded cheese of your choice and cook until it is melted.
Feel like you need a side dish? Check these out: