Lightened up comfort food at its finest! This Chili Mac n’ Cheese is vegetarian, gluten-free, and lower in fat & calories than a traditional version. Easy to make and a total crowdpleaser, your whole family will love this hearty, healthy meal.
This post was sponsored by BUSH’S® Chili Beans as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We’ve survived another SNOWPOCALYPSE here in good ol’ Buffalo NY!
Though I often think Buffalo’s weather is a bit overexaggerated (we’ve actually had pretty mild winters the last few seasons!), this latest blizzard was NO JOKE. We beat our snowfall amount from last year in the span of about 4 days and the temperatures were subzero for a week. Needless to say, there was a lot of inside time.
For someone like me who loves being active and staying busy, having to find things to do inside was a little bit of a challenge. You can only clean the floors, vacuum, and dust so much, ya know?!
So, as you can imagine, a lot of cooking got done while we were snowed in. Luckily I had gone to grocery store before the really bad weather hit, so I was pretty stocked up on essentials. I also used this time to use up some of the pantry items I’d been holding onto for a while!
Chili and soups have been my jam lately….basically anything warm and comforting to take the chill out of my body! But I was also craving some sort of pasta dish or casserole. I’ve never really made homemade mac & cheese before, so I thought a snowstorm would be the perfect time to experiment. And while I was at it, why not combine two of my favorite warm meals?!
With Chili Mac & Cheese on the brain (is that even a thing?), I started rummaging through my pantry to see what ingredients I could add to my creation! I found two cans of BUSH’S Chili Beans that I bought after seeing them in the store and decided they’d be the a wonderfully flavorful addition to my dish.
I’ve loved BUSH’S beans ever since I was little and my mom would make me frank n’ beans….AKA sliced hot dogs and BUSH’S baked beans. ? Anybody else have that when they were little?
Now, BUSH’S has really expanded their line of bean products and the Chili Beans are AWESOME! They’re made with real, simple ingredients and the highest quality beans for flavor you can count on every time. Plus you can’t beat BUSH’S satisfaction guarantee: If you’re unsatisfied with the BUSH’S® Chili Beans product you purchased, you can register to receive a coupon for a free BUSH’S® Beans product up to 16 ounces.
The beans added the savory, saucy component to this recipe making it the perfect mix of classic chili and cheesy mac! The best of two amazing comfort foods combined for the ultimate feel good meal.
Light and Easy Chili Mac n’ Cheese
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main Meals
- 1 bag frozen mixed peppers
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about a tbsp)
- 2 cans of BUSH’S Chili Beans (black and red)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 20 oz diced tomatoes with chilis
- 8 oz chickpea pasta or other gluten-free pasta
- 1 cup of water
- 1 ¾ cup low-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp cumin
- Olive oil
- In a large pot, heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and peppers, saute until cooked through and translucent. Add in beans, spices, and diced tomatoes. Stir until mixed together. Add in water and pasta. Stir again and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pasta is cooked through (about ten minutes). Remove pot from heat and stir in cheese until well dispersed. Serve hot with crushed cheddar crackers, tortilla chips, cilantro, and/or avocado, if desired.
Not only will this meal make your tummy happy, but it’s not half bad for you either! Gluten-free, full of protein from the beans and chickpea pasta, and low in fat. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make and is totally kid-friendly for all you parents out there. ?
Looking for some other chili goodness? Try these favorites!
Chili or Mac n’ Cheese? Or both? ?
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