All right; confession time! My mom occasionally used Hamburger Helper for dinner during my younger years. There were times when I didn’t love it, but I must admit that those times were rare (I know . . . can you believe it!?). Now that I have a strong addiction to cooking from scratch, combined with the addiction of making things healthy, I will probably never buy a Hamburger Helper box/mix again. However, I’m not scared to try to create my own. With that being said, this is a keeper! Whether you love or hate Hamburger Helper, this is bound to please us all! It has a slight resemblance to my younger years, but is SOOOOO much better. Just the tiny detail that this recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated (30 Minute Best Recipe Book) means that it is nearly guaranteed to be delicious. Ground turkey (instead of beef) will also work well in this. Additionally, the initial recipe adds corn and that is a lovely addition . . . if you can afford a few more calories and carbohydrates in your menu. I love the fact that you can make this all in one skillet in 30 minutes or less. This also means fewer dishes, folks! Let’s pull out that skillet!
Skillet Chili Mac with Green Chiles
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café & 30 Minute Best Recipe
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef (93% Lean)
1 onion, minced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
1 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 cups water
4 ounces (1 cup, dry) whole wheat penne pasta
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup shredded low fat cheese (just about any kind of cheese is delicious)
Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat or grease. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer, until the macaroni is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, green chiles and cilantro and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top. Cover and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Fat: 14.4 g (5g = Sat.)