For weeknight dinners, I’m all about quick and easy recipes like this Taco Chili Mac! I don’t like to spend a ton of time in the kitchen when my kiddos are clamoring for dinner, and I definitely don’t like to create a lot of dishes to wash later!
One of my favorite things about bulk purchasing meat from a local farmer is that I always have meat ready to be defrosted! So often, I pull out a pound of ground beef from the freezer in the morning without really knowing what I’m actually going to make with it for dinner that night.
Then, around 4:30 I’ll look through my kitchen and see what ingredients I have available. I absolutely love pantry meals where I can just pull everything right out of my fridge and cupboards and throw dinner together without a lot of thought or planning. Meal planning is just not high on my priority list these days.
I’m more of a free-spirited planner – I love this post from Trina Holden on Flexible Meal Planning for the Free-Spirited! Totally meets me where I’m at right now.
Anyway, so I like quick and easy recipes with simple ingredients that I already have on hand. And this recipe is exactly those things! I adapted it from a skillet chili mac recipe and gave it a little taco twist!
Quick & Easy, One Skillet Cheesy Taco Chili Mac
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 can drained and rinsed
- 2 cups tomato juice, or 1 can 15 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup macaroni noodles (we’ve been using brown rice pasta recently)
- Real Salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to taste
- 1 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- If you’re using home cooked beans, you probably want to add an extra 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 cups of shredded cheese – cheddar and monterey jack are our favorites
• Brown ground beef with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet. You can definitely use finely chopped onion and fresh garlic if your prefer, but remember, I’m going for quick and easy. Plus my family is not a big fan of onions.
• Drain meat and stir in taco seasoning. Cook and stir for a minute or two to toast seasoning.
• Add beans, tomato juice, water, macaroni noodles and extra salt if needed.
• Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until noodles are cooked and liquid is reduced.
• Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of cheese and heat to melt.
• Serve and top with remaining cheese.
Enjoy! And be sure the Pin the Recipe to save it for later!
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Looking for more quick and easy dinner recipes? Check these out!
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