What makes it “Family Friendly” chili? An easy one-pot cooking method, fun shaped pasta and (of course!) cheese! What makes it “super”? All four food groups are crammed into this one-pot wonder (Grains: Pasta, Dairy: Cheese, Protein: Beef & Kidney beans, Veggies: Onions and tomatoes). The spices are mild enough for the whole family and spicy enough for a little flare but (as always) feel free to adjust the seasonings to your own taste. Only you know what your family will actually eat, after all! I like to use different kinds of pasta too (but always whole wheat!). I’ve noticed that letting my three-year-old son pick out the pasta at the grocery store has a huge influence on whether or not he’ll actually eat the meal come dinner time. Besides, everyone can use a little more bow-tie, wagon-wheel, curly rotini or Mac in their lives, right?
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans
1 can (32 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (4 oz) diced green chili peppers
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
8 oz whole-wheat macaroni or rotini
1/2 cup water
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
Special Splurge Ingredients:
Sour cream and fresh corn bread
1. In a large pot, brown ground beef or turkey. Drain fat.
2. Rinse and drain kidney beans, then add them to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT CHEESE. Note: Do not drain tomatoes or green chilies.
3. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, covered for about 20 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring frequently.
4. Add in cheese and cover for about 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted. Stir until well-blended.
If using the Special Splurge Ingredients:
Serve with hot cornbread and a dollop of sour cream …I usually cheat and use boxed cornbread mix! If you pop the cornbread into the oven right when you cover the chili to simmer, they are usually done around the same time.
6. Eat. Yum!