Chili Mac and Cheese Bake with Crunchy Popcorners Top

Serves 6-8 depending on appetites
Chorizo gives this hearty dish some extra punch and Popcorners add a wonderfully crunchy topping. Everyone loves a casserole!


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons liquid from the canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 dashes cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 36 White Cheddar Popcorners, broken


Put the ground beef, onion, garlic and red bell pepper into a large, deep skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often to break up the ground beef, until the onion is translucent and the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chipotles peppers and their liquid, the oregano, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Bring the filling to a simmer and then reduce the heat to very low. Let cook for 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon the filling into a 9x13-inch baking dish and top it with half the cheese. Sprinkle with the broken Popcorners and the rest of the cheese.

Bake about 40 minutes, until bubbling around the edges and nicely browned all over. Serve hot.