Good Mood Food: Chili-Cheese Mac

I was so excited by my Cooking Light Good Mood Food cookbook that I had to make another dinner from it! The first one (Shrimp Taco Salad) was so good and healthy - so I hoped I would strike gold twice. 

This time I went for the Chili Cheese Mac - I was excited about making my own cheese sauce and having it be labeled as "light".

And I got to use my $2 estate sale Dutch oven! First I browned some ground beef & seasonings - then added broth, water and tomatoes. Then I added macaroni and covered until the macaroni was done.

While the noodles were cooking, I had a separate pan with milk & cream cheese. You just keep stirring until it all melts.

Stir stir stir - then take it off the heat and add in shredded cheddar - stir stir stir.  

Once the sauce is ready you add it to your macaroni mixture and stir! Come on - you gotta admit - that looks awesome!

And here's the final product - mine doesn't look as cheesy as the one from the picture but it tasted delicious.

There are a ton of great recipes in this cookbook - it's also got great stories from other bloggers about what some of these recipes mean to them in terms of memories. This one actually reminds me of the Cheeseburger Macaroni that I used to make when I was growing up. This was so much better than the boxed stuff! I hope you enjoy it too!

Chili-Cheese Mac


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil $
  • 3/4 pound ground round $
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth $
  • 1 cup water
  • (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained $
  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese $
  • 4 1/2 ounces finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese $
  1. 1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.
  2. 2. Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.

1 comment

  1. SOunds really good. I like anything with cumin in it - probably one of my favortie spices!