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

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

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.
  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:50 minutes


  • 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.