Before we dive into this fabulous Spicy Chili Mac, let’s talk for a second about what a dork I am.
If you saw my post first thing Wednesday morning, you probably noticed that it started off with “Today is my birthday”, then it went on to say “While we were in Punta Cana. . . .” Um hello, how stupid did that sound?! When I wrote that post I had originally started to write about how it was my birthday that day and how birthdays just aren’t fun anymore when you’re older. Well, I changed my mind and decided not to talk about that so I deleted what I’d written. Obviously I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t quite delete the whole post. I didn’t even realize it until I started getting texts and emails from readers wishing me a happy birthday. I am so embarrassed! So forgive me for being lame and trying to look like I wanted everyone to know it was my birthday. Frankly, I’d be ok if we just skipped my birthday.
This Spicy Chili Mac rocked our world a couple weeks ago. This dish is totally packed with flavor and can be on your table from start to finish in about 25 minutes. It’s a beautiful thing! Who doesn’t love a meal that can be done in under 30 minutes.
Now let me share with you a few tips about this recipe. The recipe calls for 3 cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes. If you like spicy and can handle the heat, then add all three cans. Buuut, if you prefer something not quite so spicy then I suggest you use the mild Ro-Tel and maybe just use two cans and then one can of regular diced tomatoes. You know what your taste buds can handle, so you decide. I opted for one can original, and two cans mild and it still had kick, but it wasn’t over-the-top spicy. If you don’t want any spice/kick at all, then maybe just use all regular diced tomatoes or 1 can mild Ro-Tel and the rest diced tomatoes. The Ro-Tel does give it such a yummy flavor, so I’d try and use at least one can, even if it is the mild. Does this even make any sense?
You be the judge whether you want this super-spicy, spicy or just completely mild. Serve this with some crusty french bread and a green salad and/or fruit and you’ve got yourself one super quick and delicious meal!
- 1 lbs 85% lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion , finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , seeded and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 1 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 3 cans (10-oz) Ro-Tel tomatoes (original or mild)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Cook ground beef over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the macaroni, tomatoes, broth, and beans to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
Top with cheese and replace lid for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
If you don't want this to be super-spicy, then I suggest using the mild Ro-Tel tomatoes or a combination of mild and original. You could even use only one or two cans of Ro-tel and then a can of just regular diced tomatoes.
Recipe Source: Adapated slightly from The Best Simple Recipes