Crowd Pleasers

Chili Cheese and Beer Bread Mac and Cheese

This recipe combines classic chili and mac and cheese flavors for a spicy, creamy dish perfect for fall football games. 

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Servings: 8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons + 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce(or 6 ounces tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pound macaroni pasta
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + divided
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 ounces beer
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375°F. In heavy bottomed oven safe pot, sauté chopped onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook, stirring until onions are softened, about 5-10 minutes. Push onions off to side of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to center of pan and crumble in ground sausage. Cook without stirring for 3 minutes and then begin breaking up meat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic, powder, cayenne and salt. Cook another minute or so.

To same pot, add tomatoes, tomato sauce (or paste), chicken broth and milk. Bring sauce to boil and then add uncooked pasta, cook 5-8 minutes or until pasta is cooked and sauce thickened. Stir in heavy cream and 2 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make beer bread, add self-rising flour, brown sugar, beer and salt to medium sized bowl. Mix until dough forms.

Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over top of chili mac. Spread beer bread dough over cheese in even layer. Pour melted butter over top of dough.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until beer bread is lightly golden on top. Serve in bowls with fresh chopped green onions and cilantro if desired.

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Semi-soft and semi-hard cheese, like Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella, should be very cold for easy grating.