Chili Mac is an amazing comfort food that merges two popular side dishes into a fabulous main course. Between the creamy cheese and the savory chili, what's not to like? Using Ivar's Ultimate Chili takes a lot of the work out of making this dish, making it a perfect choice for an simple-to-make but thoroughly satisfying weekday dinner.
- 4 cups Ivar’s Ultimate Chili
- 4 cups dried macaroni
- 1 whole egg
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
- 1-pound sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated, plus more for baking
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme
- Preheat the oven to 350º F, and boil a pot of salted water for the macaroni. Use another pot to heat the chili over medium until it reaches 160º F, then simmer and hold at that temperature. If you don't plan on baking the mac and cheese in step 5, start heating the chili 10 minutes before you start boiling the macaroni.
- Boil the macaroni in the salted water until they're just short of al dente, still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg. In a large pot, melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour gradually. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, whisking constantly. Don't let it burn. Pour in the milk, add the mustard and whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
- Take ¼ cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into the beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the egg into the sauce, still whisking constantly until smooth. Add in the cheese and stir to melt. Add ½ teaspoon each of salt, seasoned salt, and pepper. Add the optional spices if desired. Taste the sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed—take care not to under-salt it.
- Pour in the cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately, topped with chili, or pour into a buttered baking dish or cast iron skillet, top with extra cheese and bake until bubbly and golden on top, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Pour the heated chili over the top and serve.