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Looking for a delicious chili cheese mac that the entire family will love, especially the kids? Try this one-pot meal made with corkscrew pasta noodles, cream cheese, ground beef, and cheddar cheese.
One pot meals are my jam! I love them! Not only do they taste amazing, they save so much time cleaning up the kitchen afterwards!
Last night the kids and I went down to a neighbor’s house who was hosting a “Healthy Kid Friendly Meal Sampling” – mom’s competition. I guess I kind of missed the memo compared to the other moms who all brought dishes primarily with only veggies and or turkey or chicken (gag).
I say I missed the memo because I brought homemade Chili Cheese Mac – yup, my recipe had beef, cheese and noodles as the main ingredients. But…I looked at the competition in a different way. Something healthy that MY kids would eat. You all know by now that I have super picky eaters and I sneak in veggies where I can, but if my kids had it their way they would eat noodles, rice and nutella sandwiches for every single meal (and you know what? some days that is what they eat…otherwise they just wouldn’t eat at all). So…rather than serving the nasty powdered box mix of Hamburger Helper I set out for a homemade version…much “healthier” in my opinion.
Guess what? Not only did my kids eat it, but all of the other kids too! AND…at the end the moms and kids all voted and guess who won? You guessed it! My Chili Cheese Mac! (well I actually tied for 1st place with a mom who brought these baked avocados…but if I had voted for my own recipe, I would have won, hahaha!) The kids and I won a cute little cutting board!
Check out these 25 Ground Beef Dinner Ideas!
Doesn’t that just look amazing?!?! I can assure you that it was.
- ground beef – use 85% fat or less
- Rotel – I used the original flavor of Rotel
- beef broth –
- water – regular ol’ sink water is fine
- pasta – I used corkscrews (also called Cellentani) pasta noodles
- milk – I used whole milk for the most flavor
- cream cheese – I’m a brand snob, and only ever use Philadelphia brand cream cheese
- Velveeta cheese – Velveeta melts great and works perfect in dishes like this
Let’s Make Chili Cheese Mac Together!
Here’s a picture tutorial to help you make your own!
Step 1: brown ground beef in a dutch oven and add seasonings
I love my Emile Henry dutch oven for these one pot meals
Step 2: Add Rotel
Step 3: Add beef broth
I added 2 cups of beef broth, but I found that I needed to add more at the end to help the noodles soften up
Step 4: Add water
Step 5: Cover and bring to a boil
Step 6: Add in noodles
Step 7: Cover again and let boil (this is when the noodles cook)
Step 8: In the meantime, in a small saucepan heat 1/4c milk
Step 9: Add cream cheese
Step 10: Add Velveeta cheese and whisk
Step 11: Once the noodles are cooked, stir in the cheese mixture
Sorry the picture is so dark, my kitchen is in extreme need of a lighting makeover!
And there you have it! Dig in!
One more selling point: Lover Boy was at one of his MBA classes while we were at the sampling so he didn’t get dinner…but when he got home that night he asked what we ate because the house smelled really good!
Chili Cheese Mac Recipe
- Brown ground beef in a dutch oven
- Add oil.Add beef and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes.Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil.Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat.Add in cheddar cheese.Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently.Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar.Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.
- Add seasonings and stir
- Add Rotel, beef broth and water. Cover dutch over with lid and bring to a boil
- Remove lid and add pasta. Cover again and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked
- In a small saucepan, heat milk, cream cheese and Velveeta cheese over medium heat until melted. Whisk to avoid burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan
- Pour over noodle mixture and toss to coat. Top with more shredded Velveeta cheese if desired
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