Skillet Chili Mac

Mixed-Up Macaroni Madness Mondays!

One of my “side” jobs is cooking for a school every week.  I cook on Mondays and Thursdays.  On Mondays, I serve Macaroni.  At the end of last year, I (stupidly) asked the kids if they were sick of Mac n’ Cheese every Monday.  They said “Yes”.  This year I have decided to make five different kinds of macaroni and alternate them.  This was not a smart thing to do from my stand point, but I am a people pleaser by nature (not such a great trait).  Next Monday, I have to make Chili Mac for 100 kids.  Here is my “home” version from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

Skillet Chili Mac

Serves 4 to 6

3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped medium
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
8 oz macaroni (2 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can tomato puree
1 cup water
1 Tbs brown sugar
8 oz Colby cheese, shredded

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the fat.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the macaroni, tomatoes in their juice, tomato puree, water, brown sugar and drained beef. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the Colby evenly over the top, cover until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes.


One thought on “Skillet Chili Mac

  1. This may be just the thing, just in time. I need a dish El Senor can finish and deliver to a potluck/quilt show where I am working from 1:00 pm until the last possible ticket-buyer is out off the premises.

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