What can make a big bowl of chili even better? A cheesy bean chili with pasta, of course! This is an easy to make hearty meal!
Both John.e and McKenna love chili, so this Cheesy Chili Macaroni was right up their alley. Me? Well, I’m not a huge fan of chili, but I am at the same time. Let me explain…
For some odd reason, I cannot stand the taste of cumin. Yet, both John.e and McKenna love it. So, I usually cook for their tastes anyway, and added it to this recipe. If I were making this for myself, I’d completely leave it out! If there are three things in the food world that I cannot bring myself to like the taste of, it’s cumin, cilantro, and olives.
If I were ever in a situation where I was being forced to divulge sensitive information, I’d completely cave and spill the beans if one of those food items were introduced to the negotiation process. #truestory
I must confess though, I did taste this chili – one cannot properly cook without tasting! That is the sacrifice I make to bring you, Dear Reader, recipes like this! You’re most welcome! It was actually quite delicious. I think the pasta and the cheese diffused the flavour of the cumin. Hey, that works for me!
I absolutely love how the pasta turned out in this chili. I’m always nervous when adding pasta to a sauce and then allowing that already cooked pasta to sit in the piping hot sauce for a few minutes. I’m always afraid that the pasta will become over cooked and end up a gluey mess. In this case, the pasta wasn’t overcooked at all and took on the flavour of the chili. This was certainly a win!
This dish was the result of back to school weeknight dinner research, which resulted in foods that I could cook ahead of time and freeze. It makes weeknight dinners easier, especially when both John.e and I work full time and McKenna is one of those genius students who pours her heart and soul into homework. I love that about her!
Other than the fantastic taste, there’s another really cool feature with this Cheesy Bean Chili with Pasta. It’s freezable!!! Now, to eliminate the risk of your pasta becoming a little gluey, be sure to allow the Cheesy Bean Chili with Pasta to thaw complete at room temperature first. I will usually take the frozen dish out of the freezer before I go to work in the morning and place it on the lowest shelf in our refrigerator.
When I get home from work, I’ll toss it into a skillet with a little bit of olive oil and reheat it over high heat – quickly and again, on a very high heat so that the pasta isn’t cooking for too long in the skillet. The pasta will certainly lose that freshly cooked texture, but it won’t be overcooked. I’m not a trained chef, but my educated guess is that the very high temperature helps to eliminate the moisture content, preventing the pasta from cooking any further.
We are learning all kinds of mealtime shortcuts since McKenna came to live with us. Hey, here’s a thought… maybe I should blog about that! I’ll store that idea in my blog book for future use. In the meantime, you go make a pot of this Cheesy Bean Chili with Pasta and make weeknight dinners fuss-free at your home too!
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Cheesy Bean Chili with Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 19 ounces red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 19 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 450 grams macaroni, cooked and drained
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
- In a large sauce pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and tender – about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the kidney and black beans. Stir to combine and simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Next, add in the cooked pasta and chopped parsley. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes or until the pasta is warmed through.
- Turn off the heat and stir through the cheddar cheese.
- Serve immediately and top with with more cheese, sour cream, and parsley for garnish.
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