Fall is upon us y’all! I don’t know why I’m saying y’all, I’m from New Hampshire, but it just felt right.
When it comes to Fall dinners, I lean HEAVILY on one-pot/crockpot recipes. They are easy to make, fast to cook, and easy to clean. This Chili Mac n Cheese is ALL THAT.
My favorite way to cook this tex-mex chili mac n cheese is in a dutch oven on the stovetop, tho it can also be done in a crockpot.
What makes this Chili Mac n Cheese healthy?
It’s all in the sourcing baby! Let me explain…
The health of this recipe isn’t really in the ingredient list, as much as it’s in the sourcing of the ingredients.
Because when you look at the list it’s all real food:
- ground beef
- bell pepper
That’s why ingredient sourcing plays a big role in how healthy you want to make this meal.
Below is a breakdown of good, better, and best for each ingredient. Do the best you can, but don’t break your back over it.
- Ground Beef: Conventional beef is injected with hormones, antibiotics, and a boatload of other pharmaceuticals; which means when you eat it you’re ingesting hormones, antibiotics and a boatload of other pharmaceuticals. Conventional cattle are also fed mainly GMO corn, which is not a natural food for cattle, which causes stress and inflammation in the body. It gets a lot worse, especially when you look into the sanitation of these feedlots, the treatment of the cows, their environment, and more. It’s not good. A good option is to opt for organic & pasture raised at the supermarket. The better option is to connect with your local farmer. More likely than not, the living conditions will be far superior, they won’t be injected with growth hormones & pharmaceuticals, and they will be fed a species appropriate diet, which means better, more nutritious meat for you.
- Onion & Pepper: Conventionally grown onions and peppers are picked before ripening, grown in nutrient depleted soil, and likely sprayed with toxic chemicals including glyphosate (round-up), then blasted with a gas to make them ripen in time before they’re put on grocery store shelves. A good option is to reach for organically grown onions & peppers. A better option is to get them from your local farmer. The best option is to get them from your own garden.
- Canned Tomatoes: Since tomatoes are very acidic, some amount of the can and liner will leach into your tomatoes. I personally just look for tomatoes that are organic and in a BPA free lined can. Of course a better option would be to get fresh tomatoes from your farmer and stew them yourself or to use your own canned tomatoes.
- Taco Seasoning: A taco seasoning packet will likely contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). There’s also a good chance the salt will be stripped of its nutrients and “fortified”. A good option would be to look for taco seasoning that is organic and only contains dried herbs and no MSG. A better option would be to make the seasoning yourself (get my recipe HERE).
- Pasta: Conventional wheat is one of the most heavily sprayed products out there. If you can, opt for organic. If you’re gluten free, watch out for pastas that contain beans… some companies will vaguely state “beans” on the ingredients and will likely contain some, if not all, soy beans.
- Cheese: Conventionally processed cheese is pasteurized, stripped of nutrients and enzymes, then fortified with synthetic vitamins. It’s also created from cows who have been injected with growth hormones, antibiotics, and other pharmaceuticals. Just like when consuming meat, when you are consuming milk from an animal that is injected and is ingesting this stuff, you’re getting a dose of it too. A good choice would be to opt for cheese that is organic and has the smallest and cleanest ingredient list. A better option would be to get cheese from your local farmer. If you’re dairy free, be mindful of the ingredient list and watch out for soy and canola/vegetable oils. We are currently diary free and our favorite brand is Vio Life.
How to Make Chili Mac n Cheese
The best part is how simple and fast this chili is to make.
- Sautée the meat, onions, and peppers in a pot until meat is no longer pink.
- Add canned tomatoes, taco seasoning, pasta, and cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Then serve!
How to Store Your Chili
Fridge: Cover with lid and store in the fridge for 7 days
Freezer: Store in mason jar, plastic gallon bag, or aluminum foiled casserole dish. When ready to eat, bake at 350 for 1-2 hours. Internal temperature should be 160F
More Healthy Dinner Ideas
Chili Mac n Cheese
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2, 14oz cans stewed tomatoes
- 2 TBSP taco seasoning
- 3 cups pasta shells, cooked
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- In a dutch oven, sautee ground beef, onion, and green pepper over medium heat until beef is no longer pink (about 5 minutes)
- Stir in remaining ingredients and let simmer for 5-10minutes
- If making in crock pot, place all ingredients in crock pot PLUS 2 cups of chicken or bone broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-3.
Oh my goodness that looks good. I love chili.
it’s incredible! i hope you like it!
this looks delicious! making tonight!!
i hope you love it!
made this last night for the family and everyone loved it! my toddler who is super picky asked for seconds! and i love that it makes enough for Ieftovers! More dinner recipes like this pleeeeeease ❤️
That’s awesome! I feel honored that your toddler approved. they are the toughest critics!
What is 1 serving? 1 cup, 2 cups?
the nutrition info is great but it says “per seving”.
The recipe says “8 servings” but how much per serving?
That would be helpful, wouldn’t it? LOL If I had to guess it would be about 2 cups, but let me measure it out next time i make it. I’ll come back here in about a week and give you an update 🙂
I have an update for you! One serving measures out to be 1 1/2 C