Living on my own and with my partner, I came to love a few dishes that were quick and easy to make my just throwing some boxes or cans of food together. One of these was Chili mac. Simply put, a box of mac & cheese, and a can of chili in a pot. Simple, and tasty, but probably not too healthy to enjoy often. So I ended up finding a recipe that may take longer, but has a lot less salt and other preservatives. While the recipe calls for chicken broth, I personally like to keep my broths in line with meats when I cook, so I ended up using beef myself.




  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces uncooked elbows pasta
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Legumes such as kidney beans are a great source of folate. A serving of this dish will give you nearly a full day’s recommendation for folate. Folate is a B vitamin that is needed for proper red blood cell development. Consuming adequate folate is associated with lower cardiovascular disease, lower risk of cancer, and a reduced risk of neural tube defects for pregnant women.


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