Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chili Macaroni & Cheese

Fall came on like a force in Boise, with one crisp morning after another and a much appreciated weekend of rain. I’m welcoming the new season with its changes in activities, wardrobe, recipes, and more. While I’m not always so happy to wake up in the dark, I love the scent in the air, being wrapped in a scarf, and curling up with a big bowl of something delicious. After a summer of salads and grilling, I am so excited for comfort food! To kick things off, I made an easy favorite – Chili Mac. This is one of those meals that comes together in a snap and uses plenty of pantry staples that you may have on hand. It's hearty, filled with protein, and hits the spot on a cold evening. Enjoy!


 Recipe:
(Serves 6+)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
15 ounce can low sodium tomato sauce plus ½ can saucy water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
12 ounce can low sodium black beans, drained
3 cups dry pasta (I used brown rice penne)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Toppings: Black olives, green onion, salsa, sour cream or yogurt

In a large, deep pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and ground turkey, breaking up turkey with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink and onions have softened.
Add to the pan the tomato sauce, water, cherry tomatoes, and spices, and stir to incorporate fully. Continue heating over medium until tomatoes begin to soften.
Add black beans and stir to incorporate. Leave heat on medium until it comes to a slow boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Cook pasta per directions and drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour pasta into a large casserole dish (I used a 9x13 glass dish). Add ½ cup cheddar cheese to sauce and stir until melted. Pour sauce over pasta and mix together.
Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese over the top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Top with your favorites! I put sliced black olives and a dollop of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Yogurt Dip on top and it was outstanding.


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