Sauce

how to make a cheese sauce for mac n cheese

To make a cheese sauce for mac n cheese, you will need to melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about five minutes or until it turns light brown. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly

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How to make a cheese sauce for mac n cheese

Classic chili mac, made from scratch, with plenty of cheese and spiced beef crumbles, is ready in about 30 minutes! It’s a big dish of pure comfort food!

Don’t you just love a big bowl of comfort food? This chili Mac bake is perfect for any occasion, is made from scratch, and tastes similar to hamburger helper! Except this version is baked in a casserole with extra gooey cheese!

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

Reading: how to make a cheese sauce for mac n cheese

As Fall is looming on the horizon, I’ve already been thinking about great comfort food meals. It’s definitely my favorite season for many reasons, but the food is high on the list! From chili to slow cooker soups, I crave comfort food pretty much year round! For instance, even in the heat of July, we have this baked Mac and cheese every 6 weeks or so (and my kids would happily eat it weekly!).

Growing up, we didn’t eat Hamburger Helper very often… in fact, I can’t really remember a time my Mom fixed it for dinner. But when I moved out of their house and in with my husband, and could barely boil water, we ate a LOT of it! One of my favorite varieties was the chili Mac. It’s been a while since I’ve had it, but this chili Mac bake tastes similar, except in a family friendly casserole form!

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

Essentially, this meal is a combination of a spicy Mac and cheese and a salsa ground beef mixture. Like most bakes or casseroles, a lot of the prep work can be done ahead (and you know I’m all about working ahead when you can!).

Easy ways to prep ahead for this chili Mac bake:

  • Pre-boil your pasta, drain and toss with a little olive oil (so it doesn’t stick), then keep refrigerated in a resealable bag (just don’t forget to keep the 1/2 cup pasta cooking water in a separate container)
  • Make ground beef mixture ahead of time (beef, onion, spices and salsa), drain and keep refrigerated in an airtight container
  • Pre-grate cheeses and keep in resealable bags in the refrigerator

Read more: how to make your own tomato sauce for pasta | Family Cuisine

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

If you prep ahead, when it’s time to make this meal, all you have to do is make the cheese sauce and combine things before baking. You can make the cheese sauce while the oven is preheating, and you can have this comforting meal in no-time!

Alternatively, you could also skip the baking step and have this be a stovetop chili mac. For the cheesy topping in that version, sprinkle the cheeses over the top, cover the skillet or dish for a few minutes and it will be gooey!

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

I love how ultra-creamy this dish is… and I’m such a sucker for the great flavor combination of the cheese with the spicy meat mixture and the classic pasta. Speaking of pasta, you can use any short-cut pasta you’d like… I just like the classic elbow shape, since it fuels the comfort food factor by bringing back childhood Mac and cheese memories!

Incidentally, if you’re worried about your kids not wanting to eat this dish because it’s too spicy, in the recipe notes section below the recipe, I’ve given some tips on how to reduce the spiciness. When I follow these tips, my kids gobble this up and ask for seconds!

Read more: Vanilla Sauce | Family Cuisine

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

Oh and this chili Mac also is PERFECT for leftovers, since it reheats really well! It’s great for taking to lunch at work the next day, but only if you are prepared for people to constantly be asking you what that amazing smell is as you reheat it 😉

As the weather starts to cool down over the next month or so, and the kids go back to school (making weeknight meals a full on stress-zone), keep this hearty comfort food meal in mind. With my prep ahead tips, it can be on the table in less than 30 minutes!

Homemade Chili Mac Bake | Hearty, cheesy, and comfort food the whole family will love! Perfect for a busy weeknight, and leftovers are just as amazing! | familycuisine.net

Read more: Homemade Fresh Peach Sauce Recipe | Family Cuisine

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