The Washington Post

Chili Pasta Casserole

Chili Pasta Casserole 6.000

Photo by Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; styling by Nicola Justine Davis for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Sep 20, 2022

Love chili? Then you’re likely to enjoy this crowd-pleasing dish from “Seriously Good Chili Cookbook” by Brian Baumgartner, who portrayed chili-loving Kevin Malone on NBC’s “The Office.” The recipe calls for making this in an ovenproof skillet. If assembled in a casserole pan, however, it may be made ahead, too, so it’s ideal for parties or game-day festivities. If you’re not a meat eater, omit the beef or substitute with a plant-based meat or another can of beans.

If you do not have a skillet large enough to accommodate this dish — it makes about 14 cups — or if you want to assemble it in advance, transfer the meat and bean mixture from the skillet to a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch casserole dish (see Make Ahead).

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 40 mins

Make Ahead: To make in advance, transfer the meat, bean and pasta mixture to a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. If frozen, allow the casserole to defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.


Servings:
6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings; makes about 14 cups

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces short pasta, such as orecchiette, small shells or elbows
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion (5 ounces), chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90 percent lean or higher) or 12 ounces plant-based meat, such as Beyond Meat brand
  • One (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • One (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • One (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, for serving

Directions

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente, then drain.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, water, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the pasta to the skillet and stir to combine. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and bake for about 20 minutes, or until bubbling and heated through.

Divide among bowls and serve with the sour cream and scallions on top or on the side.

NOTE: If you do not have a skillet large enough to accommodate this dish — it makes about 14 cups — or if you want to assemble it in advance (see Make Ahead), transfer the meat and bean mixture to a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Add the pasta and stir until well combined. Top with the cheese and bake as directed.


Recipe Source

Adapted from “Seriously Good Chili Cookbook” by Brian Baumgartner (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2022).

Tested by Ann Maloney.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 3/4 cups), based on 8: 471


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 20g 31%

Saturated Fat: 10g 50%

Cholesterol: 74mg 25%

Sodium: 568mg 24%

Total Carbohydrates: 44g 15%

Dietary Fiber: 8g 32%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 29g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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