How to make chili mac with leftover chili

From chili to slow cooker soups , I crave comfort food pretty much year round! For instance, even in the heat of July, we have this baked Mac and cheese every 6 weeks or so and my kids would happily eat it weekly! But when I moved out of their house and in with my husband, and could barely boil water, we ate a LOT of it! One of my favorite varieties was the chili Mac. Essentially, this meal is a combination of a spicy Mac and cheese and a salsa ground beef mixture. You can make the cheese sauce while the oven is preheating, and you can have this comforting meal in no-time!

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Alternatively, you could also skip the baking step and have this be a stovetop chili mac. For the cheesy topping in that version, sprinkle the cheeses over the top, cover the skillet or dish for a few minutes and it will be gooey! When I follow these tips, my kids gobble this up and ask for seconds!


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As the weather starts to cool down over the next month or so, and the kids go back to school making weeknight meals a full on stress-zone , keep this hearty comfort food meal in mind. With my prep ahead tips, it can be on the table in less than 30 minutes! Classic chili mac, made from scratch, with plenty of cheese and spiced beef crumbles, is ready in about 30 minutes. It's a big dish of pure comfort food! Preheat oven to degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or 3 qt baking dish and set aside.

Boil pasta, according to package directions, in a large pot of water. Be sure to add a generous pinch of kosher salt to the water, as it will flavor the pasta. Lightly drizzle drained pasta with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking and add it to a large mixing bowl. While pasta is boiling, add ground beef and brown over MED-HIGH heat, breaking up the meat into crumbles, until cooked through, about minutes.

Chili Mac 'n' Cheese » LeelaLicious

Add onion and chili powder to the ground beef and cook another minutes. Depending on how much fat is rendered from the beef, you may need to drain it at this point. Add salsa to ground beef skillet and stir to combine. Add to the cooked pasta in the mixing bowl. Add butter to a medium saucepan and cook over MED heat. When butter is melted, add flour and whisk to combine. Cook 30 seconds, then slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time, whisking as you add it.

Cook until thickened, then stir in 2 cups of the cheddar cheese and 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese. Stir in black pepper, kosher salt and oregano. Pour cheese sauce into the large mixing bowl with the meat mixture and pasta. Stir to combine. If mixture seems too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water. Bake for minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. To add spiciness, use medium or hot picante sauce, use pepper jack cheese, and add a can of drained diced green chiles to the onions and beef mixture.


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  • Your email address will not be published. Recipe Rating. Chili Mac is one of our Thursday night favorites around here. Thanks for the posting. My entire family is gonna go crazy over this chili mac bake!

    Chili Mac and Cheese

    The only problem with chili's longevity, however, is the risk of chili fatigue. Even the biggest chili fan might get a little tired on day four of eating the same thing. Leftover chili doesn't have to be boring, however. There are countless ways to spice up your chili pun intended to make leftover meals seem new.

    You can always go the traditional route and make a chili dog , and spooning chili over nachos is always a good idea. And that's just the beginning.

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