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Chipotle Mac & Cheese

Beefy and bubbly, this Southwestern pasta bake heats up the dinner with a chipotle-pepper kick. Add more cayenne if you like it hot! —Cyndy Gerken, Naples, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 casseroles (4 servings each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 ounces) cavatappi or spiral pasta
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 large green peppers, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onions, green peppers and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; crumble beef; drain.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, soup, milk, chipotle pepper and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain pasta; stir into meat mixture. Divide between 2 greased 8-in. square baking dishes; sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover and bake casseroles for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro.

  • Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked casseroles for up to 3 months. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake for 60 minutes. Uncover; bake until bubbly and cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes longer.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 628 calories, 25g fat (12g saturated fat), 98mg cholesterol, 913mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 7g fiber), 38g protein.

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