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Easy Chili Mac & Cheese



Well, I guess the count-down is on now, only four more days until Christmas Eve.  Are things feeling pretty crazy yet?  I can remember how busy those last few days would be when I was raising my children. It was always a panic to get all the things done that I would need to have done!   



Cooking supper was just another chore in a long list of things to do, so I relied on quick and easy favourites, that I knew the family would enjoy, but that wouldn't take a lot of work.  Simple dishes like this Easy Chili Mac & Cheese. 



It might seem like a bit of a cheat, and yes it is.  But "needs must" as they say. There are times for recipes like this, and these hectic busy last few days before Christmas certainly qualify as one of them! 



It uses store cupboard ingredients.  In the main boxed Macaroni and Cheese dinner.  Over here you can find it in the shops and its called Cheesy Mac, in North America you can use Kraft Mac and Cheese, or the equivalent. One box will do. 




You will prepare it exactly as it says on the box.  Easy peasy.  With the milk and the butter and the packet of cheese powder.  Simple. 



Then it is just a matter of stirring in some tomato salsa. I use the mild, but you can use as hot or as mild as your family enjoys.  I also stir in a can of beef chili con carne.  I use Stag brand because that is what we get over here and I use the one with beans.


You can use whatever kind of chili con carne you have. ( Its the 425g/14 oz tin size.) Just stir it into the mix of mac and cheese and salsa. 



I also like to add some chili powder, but by that I don't mean the full strength chili powder that is sold over here in the UK, I mean the milder North American kind of chili powder which is mixed with other things so that it is not quite as hot. (I give you the equivalent in the recipe if you are living over here in the UK.)



The chili powder you buy over here is just ground dried chilies and it would blow your head off.  It is not as mild as the North American stuff, which I learnt very early on after arriving here when I made my chili fries for Todd.  YOU COULD NOT EAT THEM!  They were that spicy.  Don't make the same mistake! Trust me.


That is basically it.  You have your casserole mix now.  You can use chili without beans if you like, or vegetarian chili . . .  its your choice. 



This gets layered in a buttered baking dish with some four blend cheese. You can use the Mexican blend if you want hot, or you can use a milder blend if you want to play it safe. 



I like to play it safe.  I like a bit of spice, but I don't like a lotta heat in things. My older tummy can't take it!  Funny how things like that change as you get older!


In any case this is delicious.  Simple.  Quick and easy to make.  A real family pleaser.  All you need is a salad on the side and maybe some crusty bread!


Yield: 4

Easy Chili Mac & Cheese

prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins
This is quick, easy and really delicious.  Its a store cupboard meal that is a bit of a cheat, but nobody seems to mind!

ingredients:

1 package of macaroni and cheese dinner mix (Here in the UK, I use
Cheesy Mac, in North American use Kraft Mac and Cheese or the equivalent)
1 tin of Chili Con Carne (I use Stag)
1 small jar of tomato salsa (I use mild, about 1 cup)
1/2 TBS mild chili North American style powder (or to taste)
(Over here I would use 1/4 tsp chili powder,
blended with 1/2 tsp each oregano, ground cumin, onion and garlic powder)
250g four cheese blend (2 cups)

instructions:


Prepare the mac and cheese as per the package
directions, using the butter and milk required.  Stir in the can of
chili. the tomato salsa, and the chili powder.

Preheat
 the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a casserole dish.  Spread
half the macaroni mixture in the dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. 
Top with the remaining half of the macaroni mixture and sprinkle the
remaining cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated
oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and the cheese has melted and
is lightly golden brown on top.  Let stand for about 5 minutes prior to
serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator




Any leftovers can be reheated in a skillet the next day (If there are only two of you like there is in our house, there will probably be leftovers.)  I have always thought the leftovers taste even better than the casserole does on the first day.  Also if you are feeding a crowd, the recipe is very easily doubled! Olé!!!

 

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Marie Rayner
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2 comments:

  1. Our grandsons like the boxed Mac and cheese..bet they would like this:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know its all a bit of a cheat, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do! xo

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