We always keep ingredients for Chili Mac in our cupboard, and it’s often our go to dinner recipe! Not only is it delicious, but on a busy night it’s a super quick and easy meal to get onto the table. It’s great if you have a bunch of veggies you need to use up before they spoil. And there are so many ways to vary the basic recipe it never gets old!
Here’s what you need:
- 2 boxes of mac and cheese
- 3/4 large white onion, diced
- 3/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cilantro
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can turkey or chicken chili
Here’s what you do:
Prepare the mac and cheese according to the instructions on the box. In a large skillet, saute onion and pepper in olive oil for about 3 minutes (or until slightly softened).
If you have any softer veggies, you can add them to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. For this batch of chili mac, we had some mushrooms we needed to use up, so in they went! Add frozen corn and black olives, and cook for another 3 minutes or until the corn has defrosted.
Add spices, garlic, and chili into the pan and cook until heated through. Add the chili to your prepared mac and cheese, and you’re done!
Ordinary mac and cheese…
For Daniel and I, this usually lasts about 4-5 dinners if we don’t have a side dish. We often pair it with a salad though, so it ends up yielding A LOT more. Bonus: Chili mac freezes extremely well! We always have too much to eat and end up freezing about half the pot, which is great for nights we don’t feel like cooking!
We prefer to use either turkey or chicken chili, but you can certainly use any chili you like. We’ve seen a tofu chili at Trader Joes, which would easily turn this meal into a vegetarian friendly dish! Some other ingredients we’ve added in the past: beer, diced canned tomatoes, canned green chilies, extra shredded cheddar cheese, and we’ve substituted regular mac and cheese with white cheddar shells.
We have topped it with bread crumbs and parmesan, and popped it in the oven to turn it into Baked Chili Mac!
We’ve also added it on top of a hotdog with jalapenos to make a Chili Mac Dog!
Trust me, you’ve got to try it!