Recipe: Chili Mac Skillet

This recipe for Chili Mac Skillet is a family favorite… it’s not fancy … it’s not gourmet… it’s simple food that goes over big with kids and adults alike…. and for the Blog Snob… yes it is a from scratch version of a Hamburger Helper…

I know… Hamburger Helper… even I wince at it.. at least there are fresh ingredients added and the “from scratch version” is all spices no ingredients that you can’t pronounce or msg added…. it’s real food.. that my kid loved growing up.. and it was pretty good for him too… with the addition of kidney beans… it’s loaded with good stuff.


You can add diced green and red pepper to add even more flavor…

You can substitute ½ medium onion diced for the dried onion in the seasoning… add it after you brown and drain the meat.

As with other spice blends… you can quadruple or multiply the ingredients even more and keep it in an airtight jar so it’s ready to use when you need it… add it to ground beef to spice up burgers… or add some to plain baked beans for some added flavor… there many ways to use this seasoning mix.

I add drained and rinsed kidney beans to this… it makes it even more “chili-like”.

Toppings are optional but they do add lots of flavor so I would recommend you serve them on the side… they include sliced green onions (white and green parts), shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream.

Cornbread makes a nice side dish to this recipe.

I buy large boxes of elbow macaroni and store it in jars, I just scoop out what I need… it’s economical and I always have some on hand for an “emergency” dinner… you know the kind.. when you should have gone to the market 3 days ago and now you’re scrambling to find ingredients for a dinner.

This quick and easy dinner is a great one pan dinner… easy to make.. easy to clean up.. and always a winner with the family.

Recipe: Chili Mac Skillet

All you need:

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups dried elbow macaroni
2 cups water
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup diced green pepper (optional)
¼ cup diced red pepper (optional)

Chili Seasoning:

¼ teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon paprika (sweet paprika is preferred but regular will be fine too)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried minced onion* see tips for substituting diced onion
¾ teaspoon garlic powder


Sliced green onions
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream

All you need to do:

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain off any fat.

Mix the chili seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.

If adding green and red pepper and substituting diced onion… add them now.

Cook for about 3 minutes… stirring a few times.

Add the dried macaroni, kidney beans and chili seasoning mixture.

Add the water and bring to a low boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until macaroni is tender and the mixture is at desired consistency… about 8-10 minutes.

Serve with toppings on the side.

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