One Pot Cheesy Chili Mac


I LOVED Hamburger Helper growing up so I was super pumped to revisit this dish as an adult. I bought a box, prepared it, and was absolutely disappointed! Why didn’t my childhood favorite taste the same? Was it always this salty and otherwise bland? I was so devastated… It’s not their fault, my tastes have changed as I’ve aged and I’ve tried to stay away from boxed and frozen meals. Then I found this recipe on Pinterest and I am in love!! One pot dishes are always a winner, less dishes = more cuddles with my son before bedtime! It’s just as delicious as a leftover meal as well!


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. package of mexican cheese shreds
  •  salt & pepper to taste

-Heat oil in dutch oven . Add onion & ground beef.

-Mix in chili powder, cumin, & pepper. Cook until beef is browned.

-Add garlic & brown sugar. Cook for an additional 30 seconds-1 minute.

-Add water, dash of salt, & tomato sauce. Mix well then stir in pasta & cover.

-Increase heat to maintain a vigorous simmer (medium-medium/high heat).

-Cook until pasta is tender, about 9-12 minutes.

-Remove from heat & stir in 1 cup of cheese. Top with remaining cheese & serve.




Author: Cooking in Kentucky

A lil' bit southern

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