Sloppy Jessica, or Mac-and-Cheese-Chili Pizza on a Bun

Mac-and-Cheese-Chili Pizza on a Bun. [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Inspired by a TV sitcom, the Sloppy Jessica is a gloriously greasy, wonderfully messy beast of macaroni-and-cheese chili stuffed into a pizza-style bun that's dripping with melted mozzarella cheese.

  • While it seems like three recipes in one, this clever, streamlined creation is actually just a sandwich of chili mac with melted cheese.
  • By omitting beans and cheese sauce, the chili mac can be made in under an hour.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Sloppy Jessica, or Mac-and-Cheese-Chili Pizza on a Bun

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:50 minutes
This recipe appears in: Dinner Tonight: Sloppy Jessica, or Mac-and-Cheese-Chili Pizza on a Bun


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped, juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (like Frank‚Äôs)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 French bread rolls
  • 1 pound dry whole-milk mozzarella, grated


  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add onion and green pepper and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and oregano. Stir continuously until very fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice and the hot sauce, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. 3

    Cook pasta in the boiling water according to the directions on the packaging. Drain in a colander and then stir into the chili mac. Cover and keep warm.

  4. 4

    Slice the rolls in half horizontally. Place rolls, cut-side up, on a large baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Sprinkle cut sides with grated cheese. Place rolls in the oven and cook until cheese melts and rolls are toasted, about 8 minutes.

  5. 5

    Spoon the chili mac onto the bottom rolls and crown with the top piece. Serve.


Add a rating with your comment:

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: