Quick Recipe for Busy Days: Chili Con Carne on Pasta

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July 26, 2013

Summers are very hectic at my house.  I juggle the normal work and home responsibilities that are always part of my routine – but now I’m also dealing with the kids hanging out in the living room (which is my office).  In the summer, I also get to play mom’s taxi service and drive the kids all over town to friends’ houses, the pool, and the mall. I find myself getting up a little bit earlier each morning and staying up a little bit later each night hoping to catch up on work I cannot do while the kids are awake.

When it’s a particularly difficult day and dinner is looming in the schedule, I need a quick, healthy recipe that everyone will love. This Chili con Carne on Pasta recipe is a huge hit in our home.  It is healthy, inexpensive to prepare and absolutely delicious.

Chili Con Carne on Pasta


  • 1 pound of ground beef (ground turkey or chicken to cut fat)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can of red kidney beans
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Cooked pasta


  1. Saute the chopped onions in olive oil in a large pot with a lid.
  2. Add ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) to the pot and cook until browned.
  3. Add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add chili powder, paprika, oregano and tomato paste.
  5. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. You can add a bit of water to the mixture if it gets too thick.
  6. Add beef broth, tomatoes, and kidney beans.
  7. Simmer over low heat until it thickens. This took me about an hour.
  8. Serve the chili con carne over pasta.
  9. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese, scallions, or sour cream as you prefer.

To make this recipe gluten-free, serve over rice instead of pasta.

Do you have a quick recipe for busy days that your family loves?

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