Chili Mac with Black Beans

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December 28, 2012 by Jason Rice MD

Time for another easy comfort food recipe – chili mac. This is NOT my “real” chili recipe, which I am saving for another post, but it is a “quick” chili recipe that I like to serve over elbow noodles. It’s a fairly easy recipe and makes plenty of servings for leftovers. It’s an easy recipe to adjust to your tastes, as well, by adding more or less spice, different beans, turkey or chicken in place of beef. I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same way twice – so here’s tonight’s version with corn and black beans…


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans of tomatoes, chili ready seasoning
  • 1 can of low sodium black beans
  • 1 can of sweet corn, NOT creamed
  • 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 package of elbow noodles

photo 1


While you’re chopping up your onion, get a pot of water boiling large enough to cook your pasta. Whenever the water comes to a boil, salt to taste (optional) and cook your pasta.

In a saute pan (or your favorite pan), heat up a little olive oil and start browning your beef. Add the garlic and onion to the mix once the meat has started to cook, and season with a few shakes of cumin and some black pepper.

I like to get all the raw ingredients cooking first before I add any of the canned ingredients.

I like to get all the raw ingredients cooking first before I add any of the canned ingredients.

Once the meat is browned and the onions are soft, add your beans, corn and tomatoes (including tomato juice) and bring up to a simmer. At this point, I don’t add any further seasoning. I let all the flavors mingle for about 5-10 minutes and then reserve a small amount for my little guy. One-year-olds aren’t generally into spicy chili, so I pull his serving(s) out first.

photo 3

A small portion of mild chili set aside for younger eaters

Once the mild portions have been set aside, I season the chili to add more spice. Obviously, if you prefer milder chili, you can just let things simmer and serve. If you want to spice it up, keep following the rest of the steps. I add about 2 tablespoons each of Mexican chili powder and cumin. I also add a few splashes of worchestershire sauce and several shakes of hot sauce. Let simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes to concentrate the flavors and reduce the fluid to thicken the chili.

"Quick Chili" reducing in the pan

“Quick Chili” reducing in the pan

Serve the chili over the elbow noodles in a big bowl. Top with cheese, sour cream or any other toppings you enjoy with your chili.

photo 5

This is no substitute for true slow-cooked chili (which I will be writing about in a future post), but you can develop some pretty tasty flavors in a relatively short time and still have plenty of leftovers for another chilly (chili) night. Enjoy!


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© Jason Rice and "Eats For All Ages" - 2012 to present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that full credit and citation is given to Jason Rice and/or "Eats For All Ages" with appropriate links or direction to the original content being used.
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