Sunday, October 5, 2014

CHILI MAC Casserole - 52 Casseroles

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By definition, it's Chili mixed with Macaroni (that's the "Mac").  And sure enough, that;s what this is.  I left out much of the liquid so the dish is more of a Cut-able Casserole.

AND WOW is this GOOD!  All the tastes flavors and spices of a Chili, Combined with a pasta and you have a traditional School Lunch dish... Just Jazzed so that it shines on any "Pass a Plate" PotLuck occasion.  KIDS LOVE THIS DISH!

Keep scrolling down for this easy to follow recipe...

OK... Here's what I did...

CHILI MAC Casserole 

  • 1 Box Campanelle Pasta (Can use any dried pasta, Elbow Macaroni, etc.)
  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef, Browned and drained
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, Large Dice
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Can (28 Ounces) Diced Tomatoes, DO NOT drain
  • 1 Can (15 Ounces) Chili Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Can (6 Ounces) Tomato Paste
  • 1 Can (4 Ounces) Chopped Green Chilis
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder (to Taste)
  • 1 tsp Cumn
  • Several Turns (1 tsp) Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 5 Green Onions, Sliced thin, white and green parts, save half for Garnish in top
Cooking Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the Campanelle (pasta) according to the directions on the package, EXCEPT cook for one minute less than directed (ad Dente).
  3. Meanwhile, brown the hamburger. Add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Drain the fat and add the Garlic. Turn heat to Low medium and continue to saute every few minutes while you assemble the rest of the casserole.
  4. In a LARGE 9X13 Casserole Pan, Add all of the canned products (Tomatoes (with Juice), Beans (drained and rinsed), Tomato Paste and Chillies. Stir to mix.
  5. Season the casserole pan with the Salt, Chili Powder, Cumin and pepper.
  6. Add the Hamburger/Onion/Garlic mix, HALF of the Green Onions and the drained Pasta and mix with the ingredients already in the casserole dish. Stir to combine.
  7. Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Top the casserole with the cheese. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly. Garnish with the remaining Green Onions.
  9. Allow the casserole to rest for 20 minutes before serving. Serve HOT and ENJOY!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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