SLOW COOKER CHILI MAC AND CHEESE

YIELD: Serves 6

The marriage of chilli and cheese in this ultra-comforting slow cooker dish is simply perfect. If you have trouble choosing which one to serve, this recipe is your answer. You’ll have the best of both worlds in one bowl mixed with a hearty mixture of spices, meat, and beans. Incredibly delicious and to die for!

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 lb lean ground beef

2 tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste

1 1/2 c. low-sodium beef broth or water

8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked

1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 oz.), divided

1 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 oz.), divided

4 medium scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

How to make Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese

Step 1: Set to low a 5-quart or large slow cooker and heat.

Step 2: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Cook the onion in the hot oil for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally until soft. Then, add the ground beef and continue to cook for another 6 to 8 minutes until cooked through and brown, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Add in the chilli powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cook for a minute more. When done, transfer the ground beef mixture to the slow cooker.

Step 3: To the slow cooker, add the tomatoes and their juices along with the beans, tomato paste, and broth or water, then stir well until everything is incorporated. Cover the slow cooker, set on low, and cook for 7 to 8 hours. Or cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Step 4: To the mixture, stir in the pasta and half of each cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses. To with the rest of the cheese, cover the slow cooker, and cook on low for another 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Step 5: To serve, spoon into bowls and if using, top with scallions. Enjoy warm!

NOTES:

To make this ahead, cook the beef and pasta, place them in separate containers, and store them in the fridge until ready to use.

Transfer any leftovers in a covered container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.