Around our house, cold weather means comfort food, and one of my family’s favorite meals is homemade Southwest Beefy Mac. This dish satisfies the both the mac and cheese lovers and the meat lovers in our gang, so when I make it, everyone is happy. Growing up, we always had the boxed version, but since I cook for a crowd, it costs a lot less to make my own. Plus, it tastes better too!
Queso gives this beefy mac some extra tang, and you can use jarred queso or make your own. I like to make enough so that we have plenty of leftovers. The first night, I serve it straight from the pan, but after that, I add some extra cheese and panko bread crumbs for a super cheesy, crunchy baked version.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend or cheddar cheese
- 1 15.5-oz jar queso ( I like On The Border brand, but you can use your favorite.)
- 2 pounds of cooked pasta. ( I usually use macaroni, mini penne or medium shells.)
- A little milk if you find the mix is too thick