I’m always scouting ideas and recipes for covered dish dinners, whether it’s for a church social or a party. I want to contribute food with universal appeal yet healthful. Here’s one such recipe: Chili Beef Casserole. It’s reasonably low-fat, and the whole grain pasta is “smart-carb.” The chili seasoning gives it a Tex-Mex flavor. Choose your heat level based on the Rotel® you buy. We prefer medium, but you can choose either mild or hot.
CHILI BEEF CASSEROLE
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. chili seasoning
- 8 oz. dried whole grain pasta, cooked al dente (I like farfalle)
- 1 10 oz. can Rotel® tomatoes and green chilies
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- nonstick cooking spray (Pam®)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet (sprayed with Pam®) over medium heat, saute the onions until softened.
- Add the ground beef and brown, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic and chili seasoning and cook for 30 seconds, just enough to “bloom” the spices.
- Add Rotel® and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet.
- Cook just until the mixture is warmed through.
- Meanwhile, spray a 10″ X 14″ baking dish with Pam®.
- Spread the cooked macaroni into the baking dish.
- Pour meat mixture over the macaroni. Gently toss with tongs.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top, tent with aluminum foil (do not allow foil to touch the cheese), and allow cheese to melt. Serve.
- To make ahead, you can cover and refrigerate after step 8. Add the cheese right before heating, and cook the next day in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Note: I’ve made this dish with lean ground turkey, and it’s delicious. 😉