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!
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!
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.