Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stove-Top Chili Macaroni

Stove-Top Chili Macaroni

I completed two internships in college.  One was during the summer between my junior and senior year in Kansas City. Since I was going to school in Southeast Kansas and I was a poor college student, my grandparents graciously took me in over the summer.

Let me tell you, I was treated like royalty for those 12 weeks.  My grandma would do my laundry for me, she always kept the pantry stocked with my favorite breakfast and lunch items, she always had iced tea on-hand and she cooked.  Every. Single. Night.

Great meals, too.  Meals that she spent time planning and preparing, and when I worked late, she saved a plate for me.  This meal – Stove-Top Chili Macaroni – was one of those meals.  I loved this meal.  So much flavor, my favorite flavors, pasta…what’s not to love!

Stove-Top Chili Macaroni

But somehow I totally forgot about this meal until about three weeks ago when I was browsing the aisles of the grocery store and I spotted wagon wheel pasta.  It instantly clicked.  Grandma “Jeana” (as our nephews call her; her name is Jean), always uses wagon wheel pasta in this recipe.  It’s probably embarrassing how quickly I grabbed the box and it’s even more embarrassing how much I craved this meal until a few days later when I had the chance to make it.

And it took me back about six years (yikes!)  This stove-top meal is so simple.  It’s done in about 30 minutes and the flavors develop is it sits, meaning leftovers are amazing!  I’m so glad I came across that wagon wheel pasta because this meal is going to become a regular in my house!

PrintPrint Recipe

Stove-Top Chili Macaroni

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Total Time: 20 min

One of my favorite weeknight meals - Stove-Top Chili Macaroni - big flavor and super simple for busy weeknights.


1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. wagon wheel pasta (or other short pasta)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, small diced
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes and onion and basil
1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. chili seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
Salt & pepper to taste


Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, brown the ground beef until done. (If you have a lot of excess grease, drain some of it, but leave a teaspoon or two.) Add the onions, garlic and bell pepper and cook until fragrant and soft, about 8 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin and sugar. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened slightly. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stove-Top Chili Macaroni


34 Responses to “Stove-Top Chili Macaroni”

  1. #
    Tieghan — October 23, 2013 @ 7:18 am

    Your grandma pretty much sound amazing and so does this chili! Perfect for quick, but hearty and satisfying weeknight meals!

  2. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — October 23, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    Making grandma’s recipes warms the heart! It think it makes us remember the people we love, and it sounds like your grandma knew her way around the kitchen. What a sweet story and tasty recipe. Thanks Cassie!

  3. #
    kelley {mountain mama cooks} — October 23, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    I didn’t grow up eating chili mac but I love the comfort and simplicity of it. Grandma knows best!!!

  4. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — October 23, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    Looks cozy and comforting!

  5. #
    Ruthy @ Omeletta — October 23, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    Even more proof that a Grandm’a cooking is always the best 🙂 what a great treat you had, spending all that time with them!!

  6. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats — October 23, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    I love wagon wheel pasta! This chili looks amazing, but the wagon wheels make this dish even better 😉 What a sweet grandma you have….

  7. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 23, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

    I haven’t had wagon wheel pasta in forever, this looks so good!

  8. #
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} — October 23, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Chili and pasta is such a good idea! AND I love those wagon wheels!

  9. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — October 23, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

    OMG! Wagon wheels pasta! Adorable. P.S. have fun in Oregon!

  10. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — October 23, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    God bless Grandmas! This looks incredible, Cassie. Pure comfort food!

  11. #
    Shaina — October 23, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

    Love it! Grandmas are the best for taking care of us, aren’t they?

  12. #
    Joanne — October 23, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    First of all, grandmas are the best. Definitely. And their food just sits in your memory like no other. This is some serious comfort food!

  13. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — October 23, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

    Yay Grandma! Love the wagon wheel pasta. This sounds so yummy!!

  14. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — October 23, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    looks awesome. grandmas are the best!

  15. #
    Tracey — October 23, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    Awwww grandparents are the best, aren’t they? I love everything about this dish, especially those wagon wheels – haven’t had them in forever!

  16. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — October 23, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

    My kids love wagon wheels. I so need to make this!

  17. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — October 23, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    I love this recipe 🙂 so full of flavor, I can’t wait to get myself a bowl full!

  18. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — October 24, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    I’m so glad that someone else puts corn in their chili. My dad does this and of course I do, and people think I’m weird. This looks so good!

  19. #
    Gaby — October 24, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

    Looks like a big bowl of perfect comfort food!

  20. #
    Kathryn — October 25, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    I love dishes like this that are part of their history – love the look of this pasta, what a great weeknight dinner.

  21. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — October 25, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

    It’s so chilly here today, and this looks like the perfect thing to warm us up!

  22. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — October 25, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    I feel so deprived, we never had anything like this growing up or at Grandma’s. It sounds like pure comfort food. I will definitely be making this soon!

  23. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — October 25, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    Love recipes that remind us of family! Perfect comfort food!

  24. #
    Courtney @ Neighborfood — October 25, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

    I love when certain foods trigger memories like this. What a great recipe to pass down in the family! Now I’m seriously craving some wagon wheel pasta.

  25. #
    DessertForTwo — October 27, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

    I hope to be the type of grandma that Grandma Jeana is one day 🙂

  26. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver}} — October 28, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    That is an amazing grandma and I would totally let her make me this EVERY. DAY. I wouldn’t be able to stop!

  27. #
    Johlene — October 29, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    This looks really tasty, I´m officially hungry now 🙂 Xx

  28. #
    Angie — October 30, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    This looks so good! My son would love it!

  29. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — October 31, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    This sounds and looks so good right now!!! I love when food immediately transports you back in time with loved ones. xoxo

  30. #
    katie — November 1, 2013 @ 9:20 am

    Awe how sweet and what special memories you were able to create with your grandma! This sounds so good! I love making “chili mac” but this one is much different than what I make… must try your recipe soon!

  31. #
    Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste — November 2, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    This looks so insanely delicious, Cassie! And love the story behind it, too 🙂

  32. #
    Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon — November 5, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    Meals with memories rock! Some of the best ones 🙂 Love,love, love!

  33. #
    Kristy @ Sweet Treats & More — November 5, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

    Grandmas are da bomb! This looks so good Cassie!


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