It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my kitchen forays, and this week, I’ve got a doozy for you. Work has been swamped the past few weeks. We’ve been steadily approaching the end of a grading period, which always adds to the normal day-to-day grading grind. On top of that, I’ve been knee deep in advisory stuff that has taken much of my time. Needless to say, time in the kitchen has been spent out of necessity much more than it has been out of the love of cooking. Luckily, this week’s recipe combines flavor and convenience in a meal you can have on your table in minutes. If you’re just ready to see the recipe card, feel free to jump to it. Otherwise, enjoy the story of how this easy, cheesy bowl of comfort was created.
I was inspired this week to create a meal in honor of Fleetwood Mac, and what better way to do so than to create something that is as comforting and palatable as their music? So many of these ingredients are pantry staples I already had on hand, so it also clocks in as one of the most affordable recipes I’ve included on the blog, too.
Chili mac is one of those recipes that just about everyone has a recipe for, and it’s also fairly versatile. You can play around with different types of ground meat, different (or multiple) beans, the addition of veggies, different cheeses. Find a combination that works for you and your palate. For me, this is a pretty basic and fairly healthy option that’ll please just about anyone.
I already had a box of elbow macaroni in the pantry, and I always keep a few yellow onions around the house, so the only items I had to pick up from the store were the kidney beans and Ro-Tel. I used the original Ro-Tel, but there are different varieties that vary in their degree of spice that you could easily sub in if you’d like a little more heat. If you’re not into the processed cheese flavor of Velveeta, you could probably also go the old fashioned route and make a cheese sauce with a roux and some cheddar and whatnot, but remember…we’re going for convenience here, and nothing is more convenient and classic American than a big old block of Velveeta. The same could be said of the chili seasoning mix. If you want to make your own, go off, sis! I’m all about the easy.