I am so excited to be posting for Nikki Today and more excited to see her new baby! I am Christy, The Girl Who Ate Everything, and I ran into Nikki’s blog a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with her photography and her taste in food. I’m a mother to 5 kids so I know that when you have a newborn, you have absolutely no time. If you can squeeze a shower in, then that my friends… is a good day!
I was trying to brainstorm kid-friendly meals that don’t take a lot of time and I came up with a delicious version of chili mac. I took my chili recipe and tweaked the flavors a bit for a nice balance between the chili flavor and the cheesiness that we all love.
You can use kidney or pinto beans in this. I actually slightly prefer the texture of pinto beans but had kidney beans on hand so I used those. Another thing to note is that you properly salt and pepper the dish. Just by adding a dash of salt you can take the dish from bland to wow.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15-oz.) can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2½ teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, brown the beef and onion. Add the garlic for the last minute. Drain.
- Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine. Stir in the dry macaroni and bring mixture to a boil. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Be careful not to overcook the pasta. It's better al dente. Add more salt and pepper to taste. I added about a ¼ teaspoon more salt but it depends on your preferences.
- Before serving stir in the cheese until it melts. Garnish with sour cream and additional cheese if desired.
And just a word of advice, kids freak out at anything green. So if you want to garnish with cilantro, leave that for the adults.
Thanks so much for having me!
Thanks so much Christy for being here today! This recipe looks AMAZING!
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