I’m wiped, and it’s only Tuesday.
I pumped up the incline on my treadmill this morning and sweat BUCKETS. Literally buckets were pouring off of me. I don’t know why I really wanted to push it to the max this morning—maybe because I’m working all week? Literally. I work 7 days this week! It’s okay though, because I truly do love my job.
It’s the busy season at work with football going on and fall premieres. We’ve got a full slate of sports on 4 days of the week—TNF, WWE Smackdown, college football and the NFL on Sundays. All of those things are big money makers, so we’ve got more eyes on us right now than ever before. That means we’ve got to be on point!
While I can’t wait for fall to be over because of all the work, I’m LIVING for fall at home right now. I’ve got apple scented candles and air freshners in every room, twinkly lights intertwined with fake fall leaves, and big batches of soup ready to eat. I was feeling very inspired by fall this weekend while meal prepping, too.
This weekend it was all about comfort. Warm soups, warm apples, and big batches of stick-to-your-ribs meals. This chili mac is just one of the comfort foods I indulged in this weekend, and I was craving it bad. I’m not usually a fan of chili-anything, but something about chili mac was just calling to me…
This is a one-pan, all-in-one meal. No need to boil the macaroni separately from the chili sauce, just throw it all in one big, deep skillet. The mac soaks up all of the spicy flavors and the starch leaching out makes the sauce thicker and bind to the pasta better. You go through a whole gamut of flavors and textures in the one-pan meal.
The Watonga cheese festival was last week and one of our reporters brought back a whole boatload of cheese. I snagged a gigantic half-wheel of longhorn cheese and have been using it as much as I can. The cheese was so fresh the cheese cloth was still attached to it! Freshly grated cheese is the best way to cap off this chili mac. It will melt down into the nooks and crannies of the pasta adding cheesiness to every bite.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It’s perfect for these cool, autumn nights.
Pro-tip: It’s best to use a large cast-iron skillet recipe like I did. However, most cast-iron skillets don’t come with a lid—and you need to cover this chili mac while it simmers. My solution? Use a baking sheet—especially if it’s round. It should have a big enough diameter to (mostly) cover the skillet!
Easy Skillet Chili Mac
A hearty one-pan chili mac that's spicy, cheesy, and delicious.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 2 (15 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 TBS. tomato paste
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 TBS. chili powder
- 1 (15 oz.) can chili beans in sauce, undrained
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- Shredded cheese, for topping
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and crumbled and onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and beans, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
- Stir in beans and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Top mixture with shredded cheese and serve.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and crumbled and onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and beans, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
Stir in beans and heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Top mixture with shredded cheese and serve.