My black bean chili mac recipe is the perfect gluten free pasta recipe for Fall. This version of vegetarian chili mac is full of veggies and warming spices – healthy and delicious!
When people think of “health food,” they tend to think of boring salads or plain poached chicken but that doesn't have to be the case!
I think this misconception is a big stumbling block when it comes to healthy eating. Black bean chili mac is the perfect example. It's full of bold flavor, super filling, and packed with veggies.
This crowd pleasing (and kid pleasing!) recipe is made with healthy ingredients but it's every bit as delicious as your typical comfort food. Make this one for the non-believer in your life!
Black Bean Chili Mac Recipe
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 zucchini
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 15 oz cans black beans
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 10 oz can tomatoes w/ green chiles*
- 8 oz tomato sauce*
- 8 oz gluten free macaroni noodles*
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- Chop 1 zucchini, small yellow onion, and 1 red bell pepper.
- Mince 2 garlic cloves.
- In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.
- Once onions are soft add the following:– 1 chopped red bell pepper– 1 chopped zucchini– 2 cans drained and rinsed black beans– 1 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder– 1 1⁄2 tsp cumin– 1 1⁄2 tsp chili powder– 1 tsp smoked paprika– 1⁄2 tsp salt– 1⁄2 tsp oregano– 10 oz can tomatoes w/ green chiles– 8 oz tomato sauce– 1⁄2 cup water
- Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for ~20mins. Add up to 1⁄2c more water as needed for consistency (should be thick like chili).
- Cook gluten free noodles according to package directions.
- Mix pasta into chili mac or serve chili mac over pasta.
- Option to sprinkle 1⁄4c shredded cheddar over each serving.
How can I vary this chili mac recipe?
This chili mac recipe is pretty flexible! Make it your own, but here are a few variations I think would be delicious:
- Add ground beef or bison: If you're looking for more protein, add some ground meat (or sub ground beef for the beans and omit pasta to make this Paleo!)
- Vary the beans: Use pinto or kidney beans in place of some or all of the black beans if you prefer.
- Spice it up: Add some serious spice with some diced fresh jalapeño, or some mild spice with diced pickled jalapeños!
- Top it off: Feel free to go wild with the toppings! If you eat dairy, some plain greek yogurt would be a tasty topping, or try fresh cilantro or avocado.
- Nix the noodles: If you don't feel like pasta, try this chili mac on top of baked sweet potatoes (or swoodles!) or in some gluten free corn tortillas for taco night!
What are the nutritional highlights for vegetarian chili mac?
This vegetarian chili mac is comfort food at it's finest, that is comfort food you can actually feel good about eating! Here's why:
- Zucchini: Zucchini is rich in many vitamins, but is especially high in Vitamin A, which supports vision and immune function. In addition, the zucchini skin is high in antioxidants. Super low in carbs, zucchini is also a great choice for those following a Keto or low carb diet.
- Bell Pepper: Loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber, bell peppers are a great addition to a healthy family dinner recipe.
- Garlic: Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and some types of cancer.
- Black Beans: High in folate, protein and fiber, black beans are super filling and nutritious. If beans don't agree with your stomach, try soaking and cooking yourself rather than buying canned, as soaking can aid in digestion.
- Tomatoes: Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Furthermore, they contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and potassium, many of which most people don't get enough of.
Pro tip: Make sure to look for low salt varieties of canned beans and tomatoes, and choose BPA free cans if you can find them! (Thrive Market is a great source for this.)
What are some other gluten free pasta recipes?
Pasta gets a bad rap, but it doesn't have to be unhealthy! When you choose gluten free and load it up with veggies, it can make quite the healthy dinner. Here are a few of my favorite gluten free pasta recipes!
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