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Bacon Chili Mac
short noodles of choice
cubed cheddar cheese
Panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Strain when cooked and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
In a large pot (you can use the same one used to cook the pasta), melt the butter over medium heat. When completely melted, add the flour and stir continuously. Cook for about a minute.
Add 1 cup of the milk to the butter and flour. Reduce the heat just a bit. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
Add the cheese and pepper to the milk mixture and turn off the heat, but leave on the burner. Stir until the cheese melts. Add the remaining milk a bit at a time to thin out the sauce if necessary.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cooked pasta, tossing to coat the noodles with the cheese sauce.
Add the chili and 7 strips of the bacon to the macaroni and stir until combined.
Spread the macaroni mixture into the prepared baking dish. Crumble remaining bacon strips over the top and sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated completely through and the top is crunchy. You can broil for a couple minutes to brown the top.
I recommend using fusilli or elbow noodles.
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