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As good as granny’s

It’s Texas, so October doesn’t mean much to the temperatures. Everybody is talking about fall and leaves, but we know we’ve still got a while left with hot weather. Dream with me, though, and keep this recipe to make on one of those first cool days!

From Texas Slow Cooker, by Cheryl Alters Jamison, 2017                                                     


Chili Mac                                                                                                                                         

Vegetable oil spray

3/4 pound lean ground beef


1 medium onion, minced

8 ounces (1/2 pound) uncooked elbow macaroni

3 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferably, or chicken broth

1 can (15 ounces) chili beans, undrained

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Ro-Tel

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Shredded mild Cheddar cheese for garnish, optional


  1. Generously spray the inside of the slow cooker with oil.
  2. Sauté ground beef in a heavy medium or large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it apart with a spatula while it cooks. As soon as it loses its raw color, mix in the onion and continue cooking about 5 more minutes, until the beef is just cooked through and the onion has softened.
  3. Scrape the mixture from the skillet into the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except the optional cheese) and stir together, making sure the macaroni is covered with liquid.
  4. Cook on high for approximately 3 hours, until the macaroni is tender. The mixture should remain a bit soupy.
  5. Serve hot in bowls. If you wish, top each bowl with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cheese.