Monday, July 25, 2011

Cheesy Chili Mac

If you enjoy cooking, you need this recipe. If you cook out of necessity, you need this recipe. If you have hungry persons in your life who demand more than PB&J, you need this recipe. If you are a newlywed with a hungry husband, you need this recipe. If you like to eat, you need this recipe. The point is, you need this recipe in your life!

Move over Hamburger Helper, because once you try this recipe, you'll never go back! It's simple, inexpensive, and much healthier for you; not to mention it tastes 100 times better! Tender pasta in a sweet tomato sauce with melted cheese. It all cooks in one skillet in 30 minutes! What's not to love, my friends? I served it with some Mexican seasoned zucchini squash, which I will have to share with you in the near future. And I know that the first picture looks like it has nasty little greasy pools, but they're actually delicious puddles of tomato sauce. My husband absolutely loved this meal and even talked about it for a few days after I made it! The leftovers are fantastic too, if you're lucky enough to have any that is.

Cheesy Chili Mac
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 medium white onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound ground turkey or beef
2 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
8 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a large skillet (It called for a 12-inch skillet but I only have a 10-inch. Use a 12-inch if you have it, but if not, a 10-inch will be very full but will work just fine) heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt. Cook and stir frequently until the onion is transparent, 4-6 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground turkey or beef and brown completely.

3. Once the turkey is browned, stir in the water and the tomato sauce. Mix in the pasta. Cover and cook on medium-high for 10-13 minutes, stirring occassionally to prevent sticking, until the pasta is to your desired tenderness. The sauce should be thickened by this point.

4. Remove from heat and add 4 ounces (1 cup) of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with fresh or dried parsley if desired and serve.

Print this recipe!

Recipe adapted from tracey's culinary adventures

My Review

  • Preparation: 5
    • A great meal in 30 minutes!
  • Taste: 5
    • While we were eating dinner, my husband requested that I make this again! If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will!
  • Cost: 5
    • It makes a large, filling batch. And you'll have enough pasta to make it again.
  • Clean-up:5
    • One skillet! Woo hoo!!!
  • Changes
    • You could substitute other types of cheese. The blog I saw this on used Mexican cheese blend but I don't like the pre-shredded stuff. I'm in love with Monterey Jack right now so I chose that one.
    • Add some red pepper flakes or actual peppers if you want a little added heat.
  • Summary
    • This recipe is sure to please almost anyone. I promise you, it's fantastic!


  1. Yum! Looking forward to enjoying this weekend.
    I should print this off for Roberts family!

  2. That cheesy chili mac looks like some awesome comfort food! I'd love for you to come by and show off your recipe at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight today. Have a blessed day :)