We have had an inexplicable bout of cool weather lately. Yesterday (July 29th!) our high temperature was 68 degrees. It has been unbelievable and totally awesome! I have to remind myself that it isn't fall and we are going to see 90 degrees again this week.
Since it's not actually fall, it's not really chili season. This is the season where I like something I can throw together quickly, and stove top recipes fit the bill. But thanks to this chili macaroni recipe, I can enjoy the flavors of chili (tomatoes, beans, spices, oh my!) without waiting for hours, and without a ending up with a hot bowl of soup. Chili, meet summer. I think you guys are going to like each other!
This recipe is one that I came up with purely out of experimentation and not knowing what to fix for dinner. I found myself one night without anything prepared and no plans. I just threw some things together, and what I came up with was much better than I could have ever hoped for!
Although I enjoy cooking, I usually have a box of Hamburger Helper in my pantry for busy nights when I don't have time or brainpower to do anything more than brown hamburger and put some dehydrated stuff water. On this particular night, I guess I had Hamburger Helper dancing through the back of my mind. This chili macaroni is similar to a Hamburger Helper meal, minus the pouch of dehydrated stuff.
And while this homemade chili macaroni is a little more involved than a Hamburger Helper meal, it is still pretty simple and it doesn't take much more time. I browned and drained the hamburger, and while the hamburger was draining I sauteed an onion for an extra boost of flavor. I cooked the macaroni separately, then added the hamburger, onion, some seasoned tomatoes, salsa, beans, and an array of spices that you would typically find in chili. Just let that simmer for about 10 minutes and stir in some cheese, because every meal is better with some cheese in it!
Just follow those simple steps and before you know it you will have a delicious meal that your family will love. And you can feel better about it knowing that it doesn't have a bunch of mystery ingredients in it, and it contains some veggies. You don't even have to tell anyone that it was almost as easy as opening a box!
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 lb ground hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 can chili ready diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni in large pot according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
While macaroni is cooking, brown hamburger. Drain thoroughly.
While hamburger is draining, saute onion over medium heat. Add hamburger and onion to macaroni pot. Stir in the rest of the ingredients other than the cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Serve.