This one pot chili mac & cheese is super simple and delicious. I combined two classic recipes for one fabulous dinner!
I would like to request a do-over for this week.
I’d like to go back and not take out the garbage, so I wouldn’t slip on the patch of ice in the driveway and nearly break my ankle. Then on Tuesday when I “thought” I left my phone at the market by my house and their employees dropped what they were doing to kindly help me find it. Searching high and low, in the produce, by the bread… but (tee-hee) it was in my car the entire time.
While we’re at it, I would definitely like to redo Sunday, when I didn’t lock my doors of my car because we live in the middle of nowhere (sort of) and in such a safe neighborhood and yet someone went into my car at night and took an Amazon box that had 4 of my cookbooks in it. I’m sure whoever-it-was was hoping something majorly exciting or valuable going on under those cardboard flaps. Like a hoverboard or something. Nope. Cookbooks.
I’m totally going to assume it was some neighborhood kid, because my husband had one of those variety bags of chips in his truck (he was going to take them into work to have with his lunches) and the thief stole those too. Chips and cookbooks? Seriously, I get the chips… but who steals COOKBOOKS? They’re probably in some trash can or worse on Ebay. UGH! It’s okay, I’m alright. I’m over it. Sort of. Not really.
So yeah, let’s redo allll of that. Can we? But I’ll tell you what I don’t want to redo… this chili mac and cheese.
Holy Yumsville! You guys it’s chili and cheese in the most glorious one-pot masterpiece. It’s magical cheesy fingers wrapped around my heart and consoled me. It almost erased the feeling of violation I have from someone being inside my car. Cheesy-carb-coma-to-forget-my-horrible week here I come!
To make This One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese You Will Need:
- olive oil
- white onion
- ground beef
- chili powder
- kosher salt
- celery salt
- red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- low-sodium chicken broth
- elbow macaroni
- sharp cheddar cheese
- colby jack cheese
- parsley, for serving
- sliced green onions, for serving
- sour cream, for serving
- hot sauce, for serving
I decided to take my chili recipe and turn it into a chili meets mac and cheese. It’s so ridiculously simple and super darn tasty too.
Start by sautéing 1 cup of diced white onions in 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Once they’ve softened up a bit, add in the 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for a minute or two.
Drop in the 1-1/2 pounds of ground chuck and break it up into crumbles.
Once fully cooked, drain out the fat and discard.
Add in 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of both sugar and cumin, and an 1/8 a teaspoon of both celery salt and cayenne pepper.
Add in 1 cup of both pinto and red kidney beans. I know what you’re thinking why not the entire can? Well, because there’s so much going on in this chili-mac with the pasta and plus the meat, that 2 cups of beans is just the right amount. 🙂
Add in 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes.
One 8-ounce can of tomato sauce (or 1 cup).
And 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth. I add the broth to the cans and swirl them around to get any extra tomato goodness out and into the chili.
Bring the chili to a boil and add in 1-1/2 cups of elbow macaroni. Reduce temperature to low, cover and cook for about 14 minutes or until the noodles are al dente.
Add in a heaping 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese to the chili-mac.
Stir it in and then sprinkle 1-1/2 cups of freshly grated colby jack over top. Cover and wait a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle the top with minced fresh parsley and sliced green onions for a burst of freshness and some green.
This one-pot chili-mac and cheese dream of a recipe is so easy and takes no time whatsoever!
In my bowl, I like this with a little extra green onion on top. Pat put sour cream and a little Frank’s Red Hot on his. It’s a choose your own adventure sort of situation.
What it doesn’t need is cheese. It’s got plenty of that.
How To Freeze Chili And Reheat Later:
- COOL: make sure the chili is completely cool before freezing. Never place hot or very warm items in the freezer (or fridge!) as it can thaw and negatively affect the nearby food.
- PORTION: when cool, divide chili into portions. Whether it’s a single serving, two or four, portion the cooled chili into either freezer safe bags or air-tight containers. I prefer using freezer safe bags and removing as much air as possible, this helps with storing.
- FLATTEN: once portioned, lay flat on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Like in this post.
- STORE: stack the flat frozen chili portions vertically or horizontally saving so much freezer space. Store chili in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- REHEAT: I prefer to thaw frozen chili overnight in the fridge. However you can soak in a sink of lukewarm water for 20 to 30 minutes – flip every so often and change out the water at least once or twice. You can also defrost in the microwave until thawed. Lastly, add thawed chili to saucepan or dutch oven and heat until thoroughly heated throughout.
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