One pot and only 30 minutes get comfort food with the great taste of chili in cheesy mac and cheese. Two of the tastes of your favorites come together a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Introduction and My Rating
I love a good mac and cheese, but sometimes even the best mac and cheese can be a bit boring. I decided to kick it up a little by adding some chili tastes.
I started with browning and spicing meat, added milk, and tomatoes to the same pan along with uncooked pasta and simmered until the pasta was done. Then add the cheese.
A great use of 30 minutes.
It is a little more complicated than that. I have two plus servings, and it was a 4 for me. The wife pronounced this as "not her thing" but finished her serving. So four plus 3 is seven divided by two is three and a half. I will use four.
I used standard 80/20 ground beef but you can use leaner or even ground turkey. There is so much flavor with the spices and RoTel nobody will know.
A smaller standard pasta works well for this recipe. The cooking time will be the standard time or a bit longer. Cook until the pasta is tender.
The RoTel and Spices
This makes a 5/10 spiciness as written if you add the RoTel instead of just drained tomatoes. Most of the heat is from the RoTel.
You can use a can of drained diced tomatoes to replace the RoTel. This will be a bit bland and you might want to up the chili powder by a teaspoon.
Good stored airtight for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Good frozen for 2-3 months.
Reheats well in the microwave.
Use diced tomatoes or RoTel.
Chop one small onion.
Start browning meat over medium-high heat in a large pan. I used a 12 inch cast iron chicken fryer. Add the chopped onion.
Add spices, two teaspoon chili powder, one teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
After the meat is browned and onion translucent, drain fat.
Add 2 1/2 cup milk along with a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes drained or a can of Rotel undrained. Bring to a boil, add two cups of uncooked dry pasta.
Lower to simmer and cover. Cook until pasta is tender. This will vary by pasta type but will generally be 12-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add 2 cups of cheese of your choice. Mix well and serve.
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One-Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion - small
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 14 oz diced tomatoes - drained or substitute 1 can of RoTel
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups dry pasta
- 2 cups cheese of your choice
- Chop one small onion.
- Start browning meat over medium-high heat in a large pan. I used a 12 inch cast iron chicken fryer.
- Add the onion along with two teaspoon chili powder, one teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- After the meat is browned and onion translucent, drain the fat.
- Add 2 1/2 cup milk along with a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes drained or a can of Rotel undrained. Bring to a boil, add two cups of uncooked dry pasta. Lower to simmer and cover.
- Cook until pasta is tender. This will vary by pasta type but usually 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add two cups of cheese of your choice. Mix in well and serve.
- You can use ground turkey if you want.
- The RoTel will kick the heat up some. It is optional.
- If you want more of a baked casserole dish, cover the top with some cheese at the end and place under a broiler for a few minutes.
- Good refrigerated for 2-3 days and frozen for 2-3 months.
Editor's Note: Originally Published September 28, 2015. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.