Chili Mac and Cheese
8 ounces pasta (you can use macaroni or here I used GLUTEN FREE penne)
2 pounds ground beef
1 to 2 Tablespoons oil
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 Tablespoon cumin
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water (or pasta water if you can remember to keep it)
8 ounces Mexican blend cheese, shredded
In large pot bring water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
In large skillet add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain, remove to bowl.Add oil to same skillet and cook veggies until soft. If you use nonstick you won't need much oil.
and then tomatoes and water. Simmer for 25 minutes. I top mine with my Pampered Chef splash guard since tomatoes can pop big bubbles and make a mess.) Stir occasionally.
Add pasta and stir. Mix in 1/2 cup cheese.
Spread into 9"x13" baking dish.* Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Top with cheese and return to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until it is melty.
If you like your cheese crispier you can add it at the beginning and cook for just 30 minutes total. That is how I cooked mine.
*Note...I used a 2 quart 8"x11.5" baking dish and put half of the meat mixture in it. I froze the other half for another time.