I have this philosophy that anything involving tons of melty cheese has to be at least half good. So a recipe that calls for one and a half cups of cheddar gets a swift shove to the top of the to-cook pile (yea I really do have one). I guess the thing with it is that you actually have to look at it if you wanna knock it down a bit, which means enough magazine tear-outs and epicurious bookmarks - at least for a little while. This recipe, although towards the top of my list, has been neglected since February...I know, poor thing. With my chili-soup cravings this week I dug it out and tacked it on the no-more-excuses board (no I don't really have one of these, but sounds like a good idea...). I don't know why I waited so long to test out such a promising recipe.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground chicken (or beef...or turkey)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/4 C milk
1 1/4 C heavy cream (you can use all milk if you prefer. I was afraid of it being too thin, but think you'll be fine once it thickens)
1-14.5 oz can of low sodium chicken broth
1-10.75 oz can condensed cream of cheddar soup
8 oz elbow macaroni
1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used Del Monte's No Salt Added)
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a 5 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add ground chicken to the pot and cook, breaking it apart, about 5 min or until no longer pink. Add the chili and cumin and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Add milk, cream, broth and soup, stirring until the soup is completely incorporated. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in the pasta and tomatoes, cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cheese to the pot all at once and stir until melted and creamy. Let stand about 5 more minutes or until the pasta is completely cooked. Serve hot and enjoy!