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Total Time

3 hr

3 hr

Prep Time

2 hr 30 min

2 hr 30 min

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

Fried Chili Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites
Total Time

3 hr

3 hr

Prep Time

2 hr 30 min

2 hr 30 min

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

Ingredients

for 4 servings

  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 13 oz Gardein® Plant-Based Ground Be'f (365 g)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes (410 g), drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup canned red kidney beans (75 g), drained and rinsed
  • 6 oz dried small elbow macaroni (170 g), cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (95 g), plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ½ cup half-and-half (120 mL)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (100 g)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (125 g), divided
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (230 g)
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make the chili: In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onions and Gardein Plant Based Ground Be’f until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the red kidney beans and cooked elbow macaroni. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and continue to whisk until the liquid thickens enough to the back of the spoon, 3–5 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the cheese sauce into the chili and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the chili mac ‘n’ cheese onto a prepared baking sheet and let cool for 1 hour at room temperature.
  6. Roll the chili mac ‘n’ cheese mixture into 2- to 2½-inch balls and place on the clean prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour, until solid.
  7. Fill a large pot halfway with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350°F (180°C).
  8. Add the remaining ¾ cup flour to a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Add the panko bread crumbs and remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese to a third shallow bowl, and toss to combine.
  9. Roll the chili mac ‘n’ cheese balls in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the beaten egg, then coat completely with the panko-cheese mixture.
  10. Fry the chili mac ‘n’ cheese balls, about 4 at a time, in the hot oil until golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
  12. Enjoy!

Ingredients

for 4 servings

  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 13 oz Gardein® Plant-Based Ground Be'f (365 g)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes (410 g), drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup canned red kidney beans (75 g), drained and rinsed
  • 6 oz dried small elbow macaroni (170 g), cooked and drained
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (95 g), plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • ½ cup half-and-half (120 mL)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (100 g)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (125 g), divided
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs (230 g)
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make the chili: In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the onions and Gardein Plant Based Ground Be’f until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the red kidney beans and cooked elbow macaroni. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and continue to whisk until the liquid thickens enough to the back of the spoon, 3–5 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and ½ cup of mozzarella cheese and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the cheese sauce into the chili and stir until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the chili mac ‘n’ cheese onto a prepared baking sheet and let cool for 1 hour at room temperature.
  6. Roll the chili mac ‘n’ cheese mixture into 2- to 2½-inch balls and place on the clean prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour, until solid.
  7. Fill a large pot halfway with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350°F (180°C).
  8. Add the remaining ¾ cup flour to a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Add the panko bread crumbs and remaining ½ cup of mozzarella cheese to a third shallow bowl, and toss to combine.
  9. Roll the chili mac ‘n’ cheese balls in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in the beaten egg, then coat completely with the panko-cheese mixture.
  10. Fry the chili mac ‘n’ cheese balls, about 4 at a time, in the hot oil until golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
  12. Enjoy!
Fried Chili Mac ‘N’ Cheese Bites

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