I love macaroni and cheese. Ever since I was a child I could always eat mac and cheese every day. About a year into my marriage, I think I wore my husband out with mac and cheese. So I decided to mix it up. My husband’s favorite food is chili, and that’s when it came to me: chili mac and cheese. Chili mac and cheese has been a hit in my household ever since. I make it ahead of time and freeze it so we can have chili mac and cheese any time we want.
1 box macaroni (4 cups) (I used a mix of Penne and Rotini)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp ground mustard
1 pound cheese (shredded and mixed, whatever types you like)
1 can of your favorite chili
1. Cook macaroni till it is Al dente, drain and set aside.
- Al Dente means that the pasta is not fully cooked and is still a little hard. This is because after you cook the pasta it will keep cooking while it’s cooling and you don’t want it to be too soft.
- When you make any type of pasta you want to make sure your sauce is not to heavy for your pasta. Since there is chunks of chili in this mac and cheese penne and rotini are heavy enough pasta that it will hold the sauce.
2. Crack the egg in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large pot, melt butter, sprinkle in the flour on medium low heat, whisk together and cook for 5 minutes.
- This is called a roux. A roux is when you take a fat (butter or bacon grease) and mix in the flour. This will form a thick paste which will thicken your sauce.
4. Add the milk slowly, and mustard whisk 5 minutes and reduce heat to low.
- I am not a mustard person, but it is the seasoning that will make or break the sauce. I’m telling you, the ground mustard is perfect for this sauce. It gives a nice kick to the cheese.
5. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and add it to the egg. Pour it slowly in so the egg does not turn to scrambled eggs.
You add some sauce to the egg so that the egg heats without cooking. If you added the egg to the whole sauce it would not meld correctly.
6. Pour egg mixture into the sauce and stir till it is smooth.
7. Add the cheese in increments so it can melt and not clump.
- I use sharp cheddar and mozzarella.
- You can always make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it. This way you can have sauce on hand whenever you need it. That what I do, I make a big batch and freeze it in serving size containers. Once it is re heated it will go back to a nice sauce form.
8. In a large separate bowl add the chili and cooked pasta, then toss with the cheese sauce.
9. Mix till everything is covered. This serves 6 people.
This is one of the best combos of food I have made. I was never a chili person, but when it’s in macaroni and cheese it works. The combination of the hearty chili and the creamy cheese sauce is a hit. I serve it for all my party meals. Add some garlic bread and the meal is done. Plus, for all the married women out there, a simple meal that makes your husband happy is nice to have in your back pocket.