CHEESY CHILI MAC — When you’re craving comfort food, it doesn’t get any better than curly pasta in a cheesy tomato sauce with savory seasoned ground beef. You can’t go wrong with this all-time favorite recipe.
As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that can compete with classic macaroni and cheese is a big bowl of this Cheesy Chili Mac.
This comforting pasta dish always hits the spot. Especially on chilly fall and winter nights. It’s filling, satisfying and delicious. And everyone always goes back for seconds.
Not only is this stuff super easy to make, it’s loved by young and old alike. Trust me, if you’ve got picky eaters at your house, this is going to become one of your favorite recipes.
No matter how often I serve this beefed up mac and cheese for dinner, no one ever complains, or says, “Ugh! Not Cheesy Chili Mac again!”
As the name suggests, good old elbow macaroni is traditionally used to make this pasta dish. But my very favorite type of pasta to use in this recipe is cavatappi.
I don’t know how a certain shape of pasta can make something taste so much better, but it does! Another favorite, if I don’t have cavatappi handy (because it’s not the most common pasta on the grocery store shelf), is small or medium shell shaped pasta.
I definitely recommend using a short pasta, although even if you made this with spaghetti noodles, it would still be delicious.
If you want to sneak in some veggies, go for it. And no one is going to be upset if you throw in a little extra cheese.
This Cheesy Chili Mac is the kind of recipe everyone needs in their recipe box. It’s delicious, easy comfort food at it’s best, and it never gets old.
Be sure to save this Cheesy Chili Mac recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Tips for Cooking Pasta
Use a big pot: Cook pasta in a large pot–big enough to hold 6 quarts of water per pound of pasta.
Salt: Generously season your cooking water with salt. A few teaspoons per quart of water is a good place to start. Although a little more or less is fine, depending on your preference.
Don’t overcook: Boil your pasta to until it is al dente, which means it’s cooked, but still a bit chewy. You’ll want to test your pasta for flavor and texture every 20 seconds or so during the last few minutes of cooking.
If you’ll continue cooking the pasta in a sauce, or baking it in the oven, remove the pot from the heat a few minutes before it’s done to prevent overcooking.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Cheesy Chili Mac
- Macaroni, cavatappi, or other short pasta
- Olive oil
- Produce: onion, garlic, parsley
- Spices: chili powder, cumin, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper
- Brown sugar
- Ground beef
- Beef broth
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces short pasta, such as elbow macaroni or cavatappi
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant.
- Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Stir in the chili powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the beef broth and tomato sauce and stir to mix well. Stir in the brown sugar.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauté pan and mix well. Stir in the cheese until just melted. If needed, add more broth or water until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Garnish with fresh parsley before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 784mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 51g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Gonna Want Seconds