Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Talk about the need for comfort foods… continues here in the Northeast where forecasters are predicting more snow.  A blizzard at sea they’re saying with howling winds and snow along the eastern seaboard and islands.  Oh, no!!  Is this an early April Fool’s Day joke??

Luckily I found this recipe to try and keep us warm.  It is just a little different from my usual way of making chili.  It uses ground turkey and includes macaroni, making a hearty, filling, family-friendly meal with enough to freeze for another meal if you want to.  You can crank up the heat with ground red pepper, or keep it mild if there are sensitive palates at your dinner table.


Departing from my usual -make  half a recipe- I made the whole amount with the intent of freezing half of it.  This works well for a future meal when you  are in a hurry.  If you do plan to freeze part of it, be sure that the container you use fits in the freezer and also what you’ll be using to reheat it.  You can also  use a zip-lock bag and lay it flat in the freezer so it will stack nicely with other contents of the freezer.  Include the name of the dish, date made and frozen, and instructions for reheating.  Ideally use within 2 months to avoid freezer burn.  To reheat, first thaw somewhat in the microwave until its pliable,  then pour into a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes to reheat.  Melt some grated cheddar cheese on top for a “just made” look that no-one would suspect had been frozen.


Yield:  Serves 8IMG_6921


  • 12 ounces uncooked rotini, spiral macaroni, or wagon wheel pasta
  • 2 cups red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 8-ounce package small mushrooms, chopped
  • 20 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin

    All the seasonings

    All the seasonings

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium marinara sauce
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese


1.   Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2.  Cook pasta in boiling water until almost al dente.  Drain.  Combine pasta with beans in a large bowl.

3.  While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.  Add to bowl with pasta and beans.

Sauté the vegetables.

Sauté the vegetables.

Add turkey, cook for 5 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble.

Cook the turkey, stirring to crumble.

Cook the turkey, stirring to crumble.

Add seasonings. (cumin through ground red pepper); Stir in marinara sauce.  Bring to a boil.

4.  Add marinara/turkey mixture to pasta and beans, toss to coat.  Pour desired amount into prepared baking dish.  Top evenly with grated cheddar cheese.

All mixed together.

All mixed together.

5.  Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.


Freeze the remainder, as described above, for another meal.



SOURCE:    Cooking Light


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