Looking for a super simple, yet nutritious and delicious family meal? This Veggie Chili Mac checks all the boxes!
Easy Veggie Chili Mac
I’m just going to say it: Cooking dinner at the end of the day, when everyone is a little cranky and often a lot hungry, is HARD. I do not handle it well when the girls are whining at my feet (sorry kids!) and I too often feel like when I finally sit down at the table, my shoulders are in knots and I’m anything but relaxed. Because of that, I try really hard to have recipes in the mix that are both easy to make and easy to make-ahead—because the more I can have done before 5 pm when we walk in the door, the better. This Veggie Chili Mac is one of those meals.
The sauce makes enough for two dinners and it’s hearty without being complicated. It packs vegetarian protein, as well as a nice mix of veggies, and can be served in all sorts of ways. You can stir it into pasta, puree it into more of a traditional sauce and then stir it into pasta, or even serve it straight up as chili.
My girls like it pureed and my husband will happily eat it any which way—a compliment if there ever is one since he is a total carnivore. You can change up the veggies and beans depending on what your family likes most and use whatever kind of pasta you prefer. And if you or someone in your family needs to avoid dairy, simply omit the cheese on the top.
You can play with toppings too. Try sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, slices of avocado, or even chopped fresh tomato. The options are endless and totally open to interpretation!
A vegetarian and veggie-loaded family dinner that’s easy to customize for toddlers and picky eaters.
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 4 cups finely chopped sweet potato, carrot, and/or bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2–1 teaspoon salt
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14.5-ounce can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 ounces pasta
- shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese, optional
- Warm the oil over medium heat in a wide saucepan or pot. Add the vegetables and spices and stir to coat. Cook 5-7 minutes or until starting to soften.Add the tomatoes and beans, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions.
- Serve 1/2 of the warm chili over pasta, topped with cheese if desired.
- Let the remaining half of the chili cool completely and store in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and serve as chili with cornbread or with pasta as desired.
You can puree the chili before tossing with the pasta and/or top adult portions with crushed red pepper or hot sauce, as desired.
Note: This recipe makes enough sauce for two meals that serve 4-6 each.