I was looking around for a new, healthy pasta dish and finally found it. This Chili Mac With Elbows recipe comes together in minutes and is now a family favorite.
When I was a kid, Hamburger Helper was all the craze, and my family ate it very frequently. Sometimes I miss those pasta dinners, and that is what prompted me to play around with this recipe from Physicians Committee. Their version was good, but I felt it needed a little more punch of flavor. To accomplish that, I have added a lot more spices and seasoning.
It’s loaded with onions, celery, and bell pepper, kidney beans, chili powder, smoked paprika and more.
I always use spelt, quinoa, or brown rice pastas that are egg-free. They are readily available in most grocery stores. Make sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy. For this recipe, I used rice pasta.
Years ago, some of the rice pastas were difficult to cook without becoming too soft and turning to mush. That isn’t the case anymore. Evidently, the companies have gotten smarter and made their product much more user-friendly.
Nutritional benefits of whole grain pastas
Whole grain or whole wheat pasta, such as spaghetti, is made from flour that contains the entire grain kernel, the germ, endosperm and bran. Whole grain pasta is rich in many nutrients essential for human health and is high in dietary fiber, which promotes regularity and may help lower cholesterol and aid in cancer prevention.
The Harvard School of Public Health reports that whole grains, such as whole grain pasta, contain compounds called phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. These substances may help to reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers — particularly in conjunction with the minerals found in whole grains — such as copper, selenium, magnesium and manganese. — LiveStrong
This is a pasta and bean dish that makes a hearty meal the whole family will enjoy. Serve with a tossed green salad or corn on the cob for a simple and fast dinner.
Recipe adapted from Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, Breaking the Food Seduction.
To adjust the serving sizes of any of my recipes, simply go to the ‘Servings’ listed in the recipe card right above the ingredients list. Hover over the number of servings, and a sliding bar will appear. Slide to the number of servings you would like, and the ingredients will automatically adjust the amounts.
Other Plant-Based Pasta Dishes:
- 1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni, dry use whole grain pasta
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced or any color
- 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
- 1 15 oz can red kidney beans or fresh cooked
- 1 15 oz can white kidney beans (or pintos) or fresh cooked
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp basil, ground
- salt to taste, if desired
Cook macaroni according to package directions.
I always use spelt, quinoa, or brown rice pastas that are egg-free. They are readily available in most grocery stores. Make sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy.
Drain well and set to the side.
Dice onions, celery, and bell pepper.
In a sauce pan, add vegetables and 3 Tbsp of water or veggie broth. Saute until they are slightly tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add more water or broth as necessary.
Stir in all other ingredients (except macaroni). Mix well and allow to cook 5-7 minutes.
Add cooked macaroni, stir, and cook 1 minute longer.
Serve immediately with tossed green salad or corn on cob.