Chili Mac

When I think of cold weather comfort foods, chili and mac and cheese instantly come to mind. I was looking for something to make for a large group recently, and I remembered seeing this recipe in my Google Reader. I made it a day in advance because I’m a big believer that most pasta dishes, and chili, are both better the next day.

On the day it was to be served, we reheated it in the crockpot. It got nice and thick and the flavors really melded together nicely. This makes a LOT of Chili Mac, so either cut it down, or be ready to serve a crowd.

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Chili Mac

Chili mac combines two comfort foods that are awesome on their own. They're definitely even more awesome together!

Yield: Serves 6-8


For the Chili
1 pound ground turkey
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, strained (without the juice)
14.5 ounce can kidney beans
2 tsp chipotle hot sauce

For the Mac and Cheese
2 cups dried macaroni
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded colby jack
1/2 cup pepper jack


For the Chili
In a skillet, cook the turkey, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and garlic powder until meat is brown. Remove meat from the pan.

In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium and cook onions and garlic. Cook until onions start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Cook another 30 seconds then edd meat back to the pan.

Stir in tomatoes, beans and hot sauce.

Reduce heat to low and simmer while you make the mac & cheese. If the chili seems dry, add beer or water until it's not soaked, but not dry.

For the Mac and Cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package.

Strain the mac when it's done cooking and set aside. In the pan the macaroni was cooked in, melt the butter over medium heat.

Whisk in the flour for one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook for one minute.

Slowly add the cheeses, season with salt & pepper, and mix until melted.

Return mac to the pan and stir until evenly coated.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Mix the chili into the mac and cheese until well incorporated.

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error

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