The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Chili Mac

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Level: Easy

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Description

A mixture of Tex-Mex and down home, this is comfort food at its best. In an effort to make this a *bit* more healthy, we use whole wheat macaroni and substitute turkey for the beef. This feeds a crowd but can easily be halved.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTA:
  • 4 cups Elbow Macaroni (we Used Whole Wheat)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Or Half A Stick
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2-½ cups Milk
  • 2-½ cups Cheddar Or Co-jack Cheese, Divided Use
  • Salt To Taste
  • FOR THE MEAT:
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef Or Turkey
  • 2 cans Rotel (10 Ounce Cans)
  • ½ whole Diced Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Pepper

Preparation

The pasta:
Cook macaroni until al dente, according to package directions, then drain it and set it aside in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium sized microwavable bowl, for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Whisk in flour, then cook 2 more minutes in the microwave, whisking every 30 seconds. Whisk in milk and continue to cook 5 more minutes or until thickened, whisking every 30 seconds. Stir 2 cups of cheese into the hot mixture, stirring until melted and heating for additional 30 second increments if needed. Add salt to taste. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, cover, and let it sit until the meat is done.

The meat:
Brown beef (or turkey) in a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s browned, remove it from the heat and drain grease. Stir in RoTel and onion, then add all of the seasonings. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Combine the pasta and the meat and then pour into a 13×9 glass baking dish. Cover with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, then bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Enjoy!

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