The other day was really cold and dreary and all I wanted was a big bowl of chili but I didn’t have a ton of time to spend on making dinner. Enter Cheesy Chili Mac. A similar recipe has been passed around the blogosphere like hotcakes with many rave reviews, and now you can add me to the list as well. It was the perfect chili substitute and was so easy to make that I’ll definitely be making it again in the future.
What I loved most about this recipe is that the pasta is boiled in the sauce in the skillet. It is truly a one-dish meal! I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of black beans as well as a few ounces of cream cheese to make it extra creamy and cheesy. I really wish that I had thought to pick up some sour cream and green onions to top it off, but it was still good without.
Cheesy Chili Mac – adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
- 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 1 Onion, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 Lb. Ground Beef
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 15 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
- 2 Cups. Pasta (I used Pipette)
- 1 15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
- 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
- 2 Cups Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium and add the oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin and salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook an additional 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook through.
Stir in the water and tomato sauce then add the pasta and stir again. Cover and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until al dente, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and black beans, then the cream cheese and stir until the cream cheese is incorporated.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 cup of cheese. Stir until combined. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and cover. Let stand for 2 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and garnish with sour cream, if desired.