Chili Beef Casserole

I’m always scouting ideas and recipes for covered dish dinners, whether it’s for a church social or a party. I want to contribute food with universal appeal yet healthful. Here’s one such recipe: Chili Beef Casserole. It’s reasonably low-fat, and the whole grain pasta is “smart-carb.” The chili seasoning gives it a Tex-Mex flavor. Choose your heat level based on the Rotel® you buy. We prefer medium, but you can choose either mild or hot.



Serves 8


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili seasoning
  • 8 oz. dried whole grain pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1 10 oz. can Rotel® tomatoes and green chilies
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • nonstick cooking spray (Pam®)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. In a large skillet (sprayed with Pam®) over medium heat, saute the onions until softened.
  2. Add the ground beef and brown, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and chili seasoning and cook for 30 seconds, just enough to “bloom” the spices.
  4. Add Rotel® and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. 
  5. Cook just until the mixture is warmed through.
  6. Meanwhile, spray a 10″ X 14″ baking dish with Pam®. 
  7. Spread the cooked macaroni into the baking dish.
  8. Pour meat mixture over the macaroni. Gently toss with tongs.
  9. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top, tent with aluminum foil (do not allow foil to touch the cheese), and allow cheese to melt. Serve.
  10. To make ahead, you can cover and refrigerate after step 8. Add the cheese right before heating, and cook the next day in a 350° preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Note: I’ve made this dish with lean ground turkey, and it’s delicious. 😉


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