Chili Mac – Traditional Comfort Food, Non-Traditional Recipe
December 16, 2015
This is one of our favorite winter time recipes. This might not be what you typically think of when you think of chili mac, but it is really, really delicious. 🙂 There is something about the tang of the vinegar combined with the spice of the chili powder that makes this dish stand out. Obviously you could use macaroni noodles, but the spaghetti noodles work so much better because they simply add a layer of flavor because they aren’t as thick as macaroni noodles. It is also a one pot dinner where we use a short cut to make it easier, but you certainly could make the chili from scratch if you’d like. If you’re willing to give it a try, we think it might become one of your favorite recipes as well.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 3 – 15 oz Cans of Chili (you’re favorite brand)
- 4 tbsp Chili Powder (half hot and half regular if available)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 8 oz Thin Spaghetti Noodles (half of a 1 lb package)
Add the ground beef, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a large sauce pot and brown the ground beef on medium-high heat. Browning the ground beef with the spices will allow the meat to absorb the flavor as it cooks. Add the three cans of chili, retaining the cans. Stir the ground beef with the chili. Fill each chili can three-quarters of the way to top with water, swirling the water as you fill them to get any additional sauce from the sides of the can. Add the vinegar and the water from the three cans to the pot. Stir in the cayenne pepper and bring to a boil and then reduce the heat low. Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Increase the heat to medium-low and add the spaghetti noodles in small batches to the pot (you can break the long noodles into shorter pieces, if you prefer), stirring them in as they are added. If you add the noodles all at once or in large handfuls, they will stick together and not fully cook. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the noodles, add enough hot water to ensure that the noodles have enough liquid to absorb. Cooking the spaghetti noodles in the liquid from the chili will allow them to absorb all of the spices and flavors from the chili while they cook. Cook the noodles until they are at the desired tenderness.