i’m always looking for new quick-to-make dinners, so when i saw a recipe for Skillet Chicken Chili Mac on my friend Georgia’s blog, i had to try it. i love pasta, i love comfort food AND i love anything southwestern/mexican, + since this recipe combines all three, i had a good feeling about it. not surprisingly, it turned out absolutely wonderful – as predicted, totally my type of meal.
basically, what you have is a tangy chicken, black bean + kidney bean chili, cooked in a skillet with pasta + chicken broth to make an awesome, flavorful chili mac. and as an added bonus, this meal is actually pretty darn healthy – it has about 300 calories per serving, is full of lean, low-fat protein + high in fiber. you can certainly serve it as is, but i like mine topped with a little sour cream, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, + a bit of shredded cheddar. so, if you’re looking for a meal that both tastes delicious AND can help you squeeze back into those pre-holiday jeans, give this a try!
Southwestern Skillet Chicken Chili Mac
serves 6-8, adapted from The Comfort Of Cooking
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. (2) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks OR 2 cups shredded, already-cooked chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15oz. can kidney beans, rinsed + drained
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed + drained
4 cups (32 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups short pasta, like elbows, bowties, or cavatappi (use whole grain pasta for an extra healthy addition!)
shredded mexican blend or cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream or plain yogurt
in a medium bowl, combine chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt + pepper. add chicken (either uncooked chunks, or already cooked/shredded, depending on what you’re using) + toss to coat.
heat a large skillet to medium-high. once hot, add the vegetable oil to the pan, then add the seasoned chicken + onion. if using uncooked chicken, cook until chicken is no longer pink. if using already-cooked chicken, cook for about 5-7 minutes, until spices are toasted + onions are translucent. add garlic + cook 1 more minute.
add diced tomatoes with chiles, tomato paste, black beans, kidney beans, + chicken broth. bring to a boil. add pasta + cover pot, stirring occasionally. cook until pasta is al dente, according to package directions.
serve + top with desired toppings. enjoy!