Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chili Cheese Dog Mac n' Cheese

This is a kid-friendly recipe if I ever saw one. Mac and cheese is a favorite of many kiddos! Kids also love hot dogs .... so you see where this is going, right? We're making Chili Cheese Dog Mac n' Cheese, folks! I know what you're thinking - she's gone and made another "blue box" recipe? Yes, I sure did .... I have 5 kiddos who love the stuff. Homemade mac and cheese is more my thing, but I'm ok with taking shortcuts every now and then - and those blue boxes of mac and cheese do help me out on occasion! :) 

I have a few variations of the "amped up" blue box mac n cheese recipes - I've shared two others with you (you can find them at the bottom of this post!) and I still have a few more to share at a later date! 

I know some people shy away from using convenience food, and that's ok - I have other posts you may love! :) I wish I had the patience and time to cook strictly from scratch - but I don't - my life is just too hectic sometimes - and I'm guessing that there are many other families in the same boat as me. I would rather have meals that are semi-homemade versus hitting the drive-thru ... so I make sure I have things that are easy to make! :)

I came up with this recipe a few years ago when I intended on making regular chili dogs - ya know the kind with hot dogs and chili sauce on buns - but I forgot the buns. I had one of those "a-ha moments" and wondered if I could just mix the chili dogs into the mac and cheese we were having on the side - and just skip the buns altogether. Needless to say, this was a huge hit - and there are times, we don't mind skipping the buns on purpose now!

If you're really pushed for time, you can substitute cans of hot dog chili sauce for the homemade chili sauce in this recipe. You'll need 2 cans for this recipe!

Chili Cheese Dog Mac N' Cheese

Chili Cheese Dog Mac n' Cheese
Printable recipe
Yield: 6-8 servings

2 boxes (7.25 oz. each) Mac and Cheese dinner
1 lb. lean ground beef
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 pkg. (14-16 oz.) hot dogs, chopped
A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. can of water (use the empty tomato sauce can)
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup milk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the cheese packets from both boxes of mac and cheese and set them aside. When the water comes to a boil, cook the mac and cheese dinners according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble the beef with the salt, pepper, onion and hot dogs until the beef is no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Return the mixture to the skillet. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, tomato sauce and water to the skillet. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency. (I like ours the consistency of Sloppy Joe's, but make yours how you like it).

After the pasta has been drained, return it to the pan and add the butter, milk and cheese powder. Stir to combine. Add the chili dog sauce to the mac and cheese and stir well. Serve.

LBGC other posts you may enjoy
For more "amped up" blue box mac n cheese recipes, be sure to check out:

Easy Tuna Mac n' Cheese
Easy Tuna Mac n' Cheese

BBQ Beefy Mac
BBQ Beefy Mac

I hope you enjoy! Shared at thesefun parties!

Featured at Home Maid Simple, Susie QT Pies Cafe and The Country Cook

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