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What to make for dinner is the question of the day at my house lately. The kids are back in school, extracurricular activities are back in full swing, and I feel like I need to clone myself to get everyone everywhere they need to be on time. I’m sure you can probably relate!
Somewhere in the middle of all these daily activities, I am supposed to be cooking. During the week, I may not even be home from the time we leave in the morning until almost dinnertime. That could be a recipe for disaster. Who wants to deal with 4 hangry kids and a hangry hubby?!? Not me! I get hangry myself.
Quick and easy dinner recipes like this Chili Mac and Cheese can really save the day when my family needs something to eat, and they need it fast. It’s ready in 30 minutes or less.
Besides being fast, one pot dinners can be a lifesaver when it comes to doing the dishes. I am a happy camper when there’s not a bunch of dirty pots and pans to wash. I’m all for easy clean-ups.
You may wonder how I can make Chili Mac and Cheese without needing to use a second pot to boil the pasta. It’s simple. I use Barilla Pronto Penne Pasta. You don’t need to boil or drain it separately for the pasta to cook perfectly al dente. I put the uncooked penne pasta right in the pot to cook along with the other ingredients. Barilla Pasta and Sauce gives busy families a way to eat delicious, home-cooked meals without a lot of hassle.
Barilla Pronto Pasta can be found on the same shelves as the other Barilla pasta boxes at Walmart. Just be sure that the box says Barilla “Pronto” and you’ll know you’ve got the right kind. For every box of Barilla® Pronto™ purchased at Walmart between 7/31/2016 and 10/31/2016, Barilla® will donate 10 meals to kids in need through No Kid Hungry, up to half-a-million meals.*
Some of us like to top our Chili Mac and Cheese with a little bit of sour cream. I usually grate a little bit more Cheddar Cheese than the recipe calls for in case anyone wants to make theirs extra cheesy.
For a quick and easy vegetarian meal your family will love, try this Creamy One Pan Broccoli Cheddar Penne. It’s ready to serve in 10 minutes!
There are lots of simple ways you can take this Chili Mac and Cheese recipe and make it fit your family’s taste buds. My kids like it this way because it’s a fairly mild dish. You could spice it up a bit by adding a little more chili powder.
I like to change up the recipe ingredients just a little bit every now and then. A few variations you may want to try: Switch out the kidney beans for black beans or chili beans; Add in a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles; Substitute plain tomato sauce for the pasta sauce; Use fresh parsley instead of cilantro.
Are you a fan of one pot dinners? Have you tried Barilla Pronto Pasta? How do you save time in the kitchen? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.
*$1.00 can provide a child 10 healthy meals. This amount is based on individual experiences of grant recipients. Contributions will be used to reach the highest number of children facing hunger in America. Share Our Strength is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.