Convenience Foods - Chili Mac

One of the convenience foods that I keep stocked in my pantry is "Chili Mac", and consists of a can of stewed tomatoes, elbow macaroni, a pound of ground beef (in the freezer), and some spices. It's my go-to meal, good for nights when I can't think of anything to make.

The ground beef can be thawed ahead of time, thawed in the microwave, or cooked from a frozen state. My usual method is to brown several pounds of ground beef right after I go grocery shopping, package it in meal-size portions, and freeze.

The recipe was originally given to me when I was a new bride by a long-time neighbor, Mrs. Thompson (even when I was grown up I could never call her by her first name, even though she asked me to. I'd known her for too many years as "Mrs. Thompson".) The original calls for sauteed onions and green peppers, etc., but I took the shortcut of using stewed tomatoes instead of plain canned tomatoes to eliminate some extra steps when I'm in a hurry.

Chili Mac

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 can stewed tomatoes (or diced)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp chili powder (I use a "packet" of my chili seasoning)

Heat and serve. If it's too dry, I add either some tomato sauce or ketchup. The ketchup adds a little touch of sweetness that I like.

Serve with crackers or corn muffins, and a side vegetable or salad.

Part One

Please leave a comment about your favorite convenience food!

1 comment

  1. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I think my favorite "go to" meal is similar to yours. We call it goulash. In a big pot throw in 1/2 lb cooked ground beef, 1 can tomatoes with extras (italian, mexican, whatever), 1 can beef broth, 1 can tomato sauce, 1-2 cans water and 2 c uncooked pasta. Cook over medium until it boils. Put on the lid and cook over low until it's done.

    This is really forgiving and you can make it with all kinds of substitutions.



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