This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence. It has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili. Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make. They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners. #macandcheese #chilirecipes #familydinnerideas #easydinners #comfortfood
Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves.
Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.
If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.
At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days!
Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.
When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.
Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)
Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it's all immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.
In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).
Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.
Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken. You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it. If it leaves a trail, you're set.
When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.
Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta
Simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!