Chili and Cheese Macaroni

Good Morning & a Happy Good Friday to all of you wonderful people out there. I don’t have much to say today, can you believe that? I mean, even after yesterday when I proclaimed that I ALWAYS have something to say. I hope I am not letting anybody down. I hope to write a little something special later today, we’ll see how my time management and ambition play out. Yesterday I brought to you all those yummy garlic knots. Well, those were not the only thing we had for dinner. In fact, along with the garlic knots I made a pasta dish. I told you they pair well with pasta – I knew from actual experience.

So today, I present to you… dum, dum, dum…. Chili and Cheese Macaroni. It was an awesome casserole style pasta dish! Nick actually wants to create something similar but instead of what I’m giving to you today, he wants me to cook separately my macaroni and cheese as well as my chili [both dishes that have become very famous in our house]. I think it’s an awesome idea as long as I can modify a couple of things I think will complicate life. So stay tuned for that!!

Here is what you will need for the Chili and Cheese Macaroni:

  • 1 box macaroni noodles – any kind, really
  • Olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded & chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 1 ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fired roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Salt
  • 16 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Bring water [for pasta] to a boil in a large pot over high heat
  • Add salt to the water, if desired
  • Stir in macaroni and cook, making sure to reserve ¾ cup pasta water when you drain the pasta
  • In the meantime, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet. Add the ground beef and break into small pieces. Once the beef is completely cooked, drain and remove to a bowl
  • In the same skillet, over medium heat, add onion, garlic, red pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and cumin
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and begin to brown

  • Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, reserved ¾ cup pasta water and beef to the pot
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until flavors have blended
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and ¾ of the shredded cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper, if you desire
  • Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish
  • Add the remaining cheese to the top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until everything is bubbling hot

  • Remove, let cool slightly and serve with a garlic knot or two!

Recipe Inspired by Blog Critics

I really liked this dish! It was great and packed full of delicious flavor! The next time I attempt something like this I am totally going to try Nick’s suggestion! I think it will be AWESOME! We both LOVE my chili and macaroni & cheese!! I cannot really take credit for my macaroni & cheese skills – I picked those up from my momma growing up. She makes the best mac-n-cheese in the universe! I’m trying to catch up to her!!

Hopefully I will meet you here tomorrow! If not, I send many blessings to you and your families during this phenomenal weekend of life, death and resurrection!

Until Next Time,

Happy Easter!