Chili-Cheese Mac

Have you ever had a car that was close to 100,000 miles?  You tell yourself that you are going to watch it get to that milestone, but the next time you look at the odometer, it is at 100,007.  That has happened to me a couple of times, and I swear to myself, the next time I will pay more attention.  I am still not sure what the allure is, maybe subliminally you think that confetti will come out of the sky, and there will be a band playing in the background, all because of this big milestone.  Well – I have been looking at my page views lately, as I edge towards one million…yes, that is a very large number.  I was so excited to reach that milestone.  Of course, I forgot about it though, and the next time I looked, I was a thousand over.  Would you believe I was actually disappointed that I missed it?  Like I would actually sit at my blog and keep refreshing the dashboard until I reached the magic number?  Maybe if I had nothing else to do with my time, but certainly that should not be my priority with the life I currently lead.

Back to why you are here in the first place…food.  Yes, my husband was away again, and I was back to making another variation on macaroni and cheese – this time the chili version.  I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and when I saw the cream cheese in the list of ingredients, I knew it would be a winner.  I am edging my way towards my college roommate’s orange pasta with this recipe, and I knew it had to be awesome.  I loved how creamy this was – and the meat was a welcome addition.  The kids actually loved it – but then again, I am not sure I have ever made a mac-n-cheese that they didn’t like.  For a super easy recipe, this was definitely a keeper.  Here’s to a million more…


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3/4 pound ground round
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1  (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 4 1/2 ounces finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chili-Cheese Mac

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4 thoughts on “Chili-Cheese Mac

  1. I am so glad you shared this recipe as my kids always like for me to add the chili spices sprinkled on top of M and Ca but now can add meat and beans for a higher protein meal.

  2. We actually saw 123,456 on the odometer this past summer. I snapped a picture. :) This chili-mac would make Mr. N so happy! And congrats on surpassing 1,000,000! That’s incredible! :)

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