Pasta Chili Bake

This pasta chili bake is the perfect stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. It's easy, the kids love it, and we always have enough left overs for a couple lunches the next day, score! It's one of those meals that you almost always have the ingredients lying around and has therefore rightfully earned it's place in our dinner rotation. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 yellow onion- chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper- chopped
  • 1 jalapenos - chopped 
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (7 ounce) can green chilies
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can red kidney beans (drain then rinse people!)
  • 1 box medium shell pasta cooked per instructions
  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese divided (feel free to shred your own- about 2 cups)
  • Go crazy with toppings- I like a couple sliced green onions and some sour cream but feel free to add your own twist!

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Saute onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno with your preferred cooking oil adding ground beef after ~4 minutes. Cook thoroughly and drain excess fat. Add spices and mix well.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions
  • In a large bowl, mix thoroughly meat, pasta, beans, diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, green chilies, and about half of the shredded cheese and put into 13x9 baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake for ~20 minutes until cheese is nice and bubbly

Sidenote: In hindsight I would leave off the green onions and garnish with them after the dish comes out of the oven, otherwise they look all wilty.