Sometimes I get weird cravings. Yesterday I got a craving for Hamburger Helper. I haven’t had it since I was a kid, and then I only ate it maybe 3 or 4 times. It wasn’t that great, but I started thinking yesterday there’s got to be a way to make it really good. Since yesterday was also my son’s first day of preschool, I wanted to make him a dinner he would love. Since he also loves macaroni and cheese, I knew this dish would be a hit. I added most of the same spices i would to a homemade chili recipe. Then I added macaroni and shredded cheese. It was really easy, and I loved that it was a one pot meal. He doesn’t like chili because it’s too spicy, so I left out the chili powder.
Chili Mac Recipe
- 1 lb lean ground hamburger
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- Chili powder to taste (optional)
- 1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 – 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 cups mild cheddar shredded cheese
- 2 cups chopped fresh roma tomatoes, or 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Freshly chopped cilantro, as garnish
- Preheat a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil. Add ground beef, onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until beef is browned and vegetables are tender.
- Add cumin, paprika, oregano, cilantro and salt and pepper to ground beef. Add chili powder at this step if you want a spicier dish. Add tomato paste, kidney beans, diced or canned tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to a boil and add macaroni.
- Turn to a simmer and cover. Cook until macaroni is tender, about 10 minutes. Add cheese and mix until blended.