You just cannot stop at one bite of this Super Easy Vegetarian Chili Mac n Cheese !!! This is what we call a complete comfortfood delight but with a healthier-hearty twist. It’s super easy to make especially if you’re going through the Back-to-School time as it makes putting together dinner for the whole family a breeze. It’s especially good if you have a picky eater as you can hide most of the (must have) veggies in it 🙂
Breeze also reminded me of the change in season and many of us have already experienced a slight chill in the air during morning and night. That only means that we are finally going to step into this fall/winter season, which means all things festive, comfortfood and lots of hot food like soups, chili and what not.
Hence, I decided to combine two of the favorite American classic recipes ( Chili & Mac-n-Cheese) and create this delicious Vegetarian Chili Mac n Cheese. For an even quicker recipe, I’m using my favorite S&W Beans (ready-made Chili Beans & Black chili Beans mix) as they are absolutely versatile and can be used in various dishes like ‘Healthy Mediterranean Buddha Bowl‘ or ‘Black Eyed Pea Chili‘ (many more – just search beans on the blog).
They also have the highest standards in the industry, delivering premium quality for over 120 years – nobody does beans better than them.
Since I’m using an already cooked variety of Chili beans with most of the spices and sauce included, this recipe becomes even easier to make. All I had to do was cook the pasta (you don’t need a rue/white sauce) and then lightly cook the fresh veggies you need to add.
Once that’s done, add some more seasoning if needed, mix the chili beans, macaroni and simmer the dish for 10-15 minutes.
That’s about it. Now, the only thing that you need to decide is whether you want a ‘breaded-cheesy top’ or a ‘cheesy-herb top’ as then you can add the topping and bake for 5 minutes or simply add cheese on top and simmer for 5 minutes (for that ooey-gooey cheesy effect).
I decided to go with a cheesy-breaded top, so mixed some chedder+parmesan cheese along with bread crumbs and baked the Vegetarian Chili Mac n Cheese for 5 minutes in the oven. The result was this bubbly and insanely delicious smelling chili mac-n-cheese and it was really hard to control my hunger till it reached the table 🙂
I had thought I’d keep the leftover for next day lunch but, we didn’t have any leftovers 🙁 So, I guess, this is being made very soon again!
Before, you go and try this recipe, I wanted to say that this is just another example of using these beans for a quick and delicious family meal and they come in many varieties including organic and 50% less sodium. They are a staple in my kitchen pantry as they are so convenient, especially when I’m time constrained and can be swapped with any meat for healthier food options.
———————————————— COUPON Alert ———————————————–
—> Now through 12/31/2017 – S&W Beans is offering $1 off 2 cans of S&W Beans. Get (and print) your coupon from the S&W Beans website <—-
As always, I Looove when you try my recipes and send me pictures & feedback. You can tag my recipes tried by you using #easycookingwithmolly on any of the social media below:
- 1 Can S&W Black Chili Beans
- 1 Can S&W Chili Beans
- 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
- 4 Cups Water - to make macaroni
- 1 Medium Red Onion - chopped
- 1 Large Green Bell Pepper - chopped
- 1 Large Red Bell Pepper - chopped
- 2 Medium Tomatoes - chopped
- 1/4 Cup Cheddar - shredded
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan - shredded
- 1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs - or any other breadcrumbs of choice
- 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce - any hot sauce you like
- 4 Tbsp. Canola Oil
- Cilantro, for garnish
- 1 Tbsp Green Bell Pepper - chopped
- 1 Tbsp Red Bell Pepper - chopped
- 2 Tbsp Mix Shredded Cheese
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Taco Seasoning - optional
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cheeses and bread crumbs together.
Cook the Macaroni:
- In a large pot, heat 4 cups water, add elbow macaroni and cook as per packet instructions.
- Once the macaroni is cooked, drain the excess water (except 1 cup) and keep the macaroni separate.
Make the Chili Mac-n-Cheese
- Heat 4 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan.
- Add bay leaf, chopped onion and saute for a minute over medium heat.
- Now add both the chili varieties and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.
- Finally add the chopped *bell peppers, tomatoes, macaroni, macaroni water, seasoning, hot sauce and saute everything together.
- Simmer this for another 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Turn off the gas.
For Plain Cheese Top:
- Add the cheeses and let it simmer for another 2 minutes over medium heat.
Breadcrumbs+Cheese Top in Oven:
- If you want to add breadcrumbs and cheese, then transfer the chili mac-n-cheese to a serving dish (oven safe) and sprinkle the cheese+breadcrumb mix on top.
- Bake for 5 minutes on 200 C.
- Turn off the oven and serve hot.
* Adding Bell Peppers + Tomatoes in the middle makes sure they don't mush up and still adds their flavors.