I do, however, believe it’s a sometimes food. Not an all the time food. Just sometimes. Sometimes I just get the hankering for chili mac. And the fact that it’s fast, cheap, easy, and contains 3 ingredients sure doesn’t hurt anything either. So I caved. And made it. And it was delicious and has satisfied the need for at least another 6-18 months. Amen.
You can ABSOLUTELY use leftover homemade chili. Heavens, yes. It would be amazing with homemade chili. You can also feel free to use low-fat or vegetarian chili. I did this every time I made it until I married my husband. He’s one of those dashing, mildly carnivorous types. You know. Bold. Handsome. Meat-liking.
So, I cheat.
I use half “original” chili and half turkey or vegetarian chili from the same brand. The seasonings are the same, and it’s the best of both worlds. Not so much meat that I gag, and enough meat to satisfy The Mighty Warrior. Perfect.
**As a side note, look for a chili with few ingredients. You’re less likely to get wonky preservatives or additives. It’s interesting to note that many commercial brands of canned chili include TVP (textured vegetable protein) which is a vegetarian meat look-alike. These make me happy inside. Because people buy the “meat” kind and get vegetable protein. Hehe.
Side note over.
12oz small dry pasta (I use “large shells”) but you chould use large macaroni–just use the bigger size of whichever you choose.*
2 (15oz) cans chili, or about 4c homemade chili*
1 1/2-2c grated cheese (or more depending on preference)–I used 1c cheddar, but you could certainly use something else.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping about 2 minutes before the cooking time suggested on package. Drain and return to pot.
Stir in chili and coat well. Pour into 2qt baking dish (11″ x 7″ or round) and top with grated cheese.
Bake 10-15 minutes or till cheese is bubbly.
Makes 6 generous servings.
*Gluten Free Notes: Use your favorite GF pasta and be sure your chili is gluten free.