Raise your hand if Chili Mac (or Chili Macaroni to be exact) was one of your childhood favorites. When I was a kid, my Mom could’ve made anything with any kind of pasta and I would’ve been happy. We ate chili a lot as kids. It is budget friendly and you can make a lot for a crowd without going broke. And any leftovers are fantastic for work lunches the next day. So when you add another cheap ingredient like macaroni then you have a meal that is not only affordable but very filling and kid-friendly as well.
My six year old absolutely adores this meal. He loves to eat chili with ham sandwiches. He and my husband also love to dip their ham sandwiches into chili. Do any of you do this? It’s not my favorite combo, but they love it. And they have the nerve to look at me funny when I dip my cornbread into my chili. his is what happens when you are raised in the south and you marry a man from northern Indiana. You are bound to give each other funny looks across the dinner table every now and again. That man can make a hot dog seem like a gourmet meal. He is very specific about the kinds of hot dogs he will eat. It’s an art form to him. Kinda like pork BBQ is to me. So I get that. But still..it’s funny when he talks about certain hot dogs like some folks talk about fine wines. Anyhow, back to the Chili Mac. If you haven’t made this in a while. Give it a go again. Remember your childhood and enjoy a warm and filling meal. Perfect for those cool days ahead!
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)
Drain excess grease from beef and put back into pot
Add remaining ingredients (minus the cheese) into beef mixture.
Now, how much chili powder you put in is to taste. We like 1 1/2 tbsp, but if you want, start with a tablespoon, give it a taste, and then go up from there with what you enjoy.
Add in cooked macaroni and stir.
Heat to boiling, stir occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.
Make sure to give it a taste test at this point. I usually find I need to season with a bit of salt. Then serve and sprinkle each serving with shredded cheese.