Easy Slow Cooker Recipe: Macaroni Chili Cheese Casserole*** For back to school busy try this simple recipe for a slow cooker the whole family is sure to enjoy.
From Denny: With our busy lives, whether it's working or raising children, it's always great to run across easy recipes that actually taste good too. Always pull out the slow cooker when you are feeling stressed for time. You can make just about anything in a slow cooker while you are away at work or running errands.
Our local newspaper ran this recipe recently and it is a really hearty version of the traditional man 'n' cheese comfort food family favorite. Soon the weather will be cooling down for fall, the kids are returning to school, and this chili meat version of the family standard may also become a bit hit at your house! Mac and cheese adapts quite well to the slow cooker casserole idea.
This recipe changes the familiar by adding chili seasoning and ground beef. You could try it with other ground meat to your taste. Making chili in a slow cooker is a traditional standby easy recipe for family cooks. Adding pasta to the dish where it can absorb all those awesome flavors from the chili is just a foodie bonus! You don't even have to pre-boil the pasta noodles. Remember: when you use the thinner pasta varieties they do work best by not pre-boiling before adding to the slow cooker. Otherwise you can end up losing the proper texture of the noodle.
Do make sure to brown your ground meat before adding to the slow cooker and scrape into it all those wonderful browned bits known as "fond" on the bottom of the pan. Those browned bits give so much flavor to the slow cooked dish.
Macaroni Chili Cheese Casserole
From: Julie Kay, local food writer and editor at The Advocate
Serves: 6 to 8
1 lb. ground chuck
1 (1.25-oz.) chili seasoning packet
1 (14.5-oz.) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16-oz.) can pinto beans
2 (14.5-oz.) cans Hunt’s Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups Mexican taco cheese
Brown ground chuck in skillet on stove-top over medium-high heat. Mix in chili seasoning packet.
Put beef into slow cooker. Add kidney and pinto beans. Pour in diced tomatoes.
Mix in macaroni and cook on Low for 6 hours. Add cheese. When cheese is melted, serve.
*** Photo by Liz Condo at The Advocate
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