Well goodness, it HAS been a minute since I posted something new on here! Say hello to Beef Queso Chili, my new best friend.
Hope you all are well and feeling like you are getting back into the swing of things after all the beautiful chaos of the holidays. I’ve been wanting to share a recipe with you all, but just haven’t had any new ideas lately until today!
It was cooler and cloudy, and chili sounded so good. I thought it might be fun to play around with it a little and add a cheese sauce to my favorite basic chili recipe, along with some pasta. Everyone LOVED it! Even my most skeptical little man, who was reluctant to try it, declared that if he had to eat it for the rest of his life, he’d be happy. I call that a SUCCESS!
It reminded us of a queso dip we love, but with more of the consistency of a traditional chili. As soon as everyone was finished eating, I rushed to my photography room with bowls in hand to shoot a few pics so I could share it right away.
One of my favorite cooking ingredients to keep on hand is Better Than Bullion bases. You can find them at Costco for a great price, and I find it so convenient to add water to them for a quick chicken or beef stock, rather than buying bulky boxes or cans.
The flavors are wonderful, and I do feel like they add a richness that just isn’t there with other stocks or broths. I like that I can add as much or little as I want, and not feel pressure to use up a whole box so it doesn’t go to waste in my fridge. Have you tried them?
You can use any kind of canned bean that your family prefers. I used all pinto beans in this recipe, but you could do a mixture with kidney beans or black beans as well. I had this on the table in about 35-40 minutes from start to finish on a pretty busy night just in time for everyone to walk in, eat, and then get ready for basketball practice. And bonus, we’ve stashed away some leftovers for lunches tomorrow.
If you are looking for a crowd pleasing, comforting, hearty bowl of chili, give this one a try and let me know what you think!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 14 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 10 ounce can condensed tomato soup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Better Than Bullion (Beef base)
- 3 cups water
- 27 ounce can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 cups dry rotini pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2- 1 teaspoon salt as needed to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it into pieces as it cooks. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
- When beef is cooked through, add fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato soup, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and oregano, stirring over medium heat. Add beef base and water. You can also substitute an equal amount of liquid beef stock.
- Stir in drained pinto beans and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add pasta and continue to boil for 8-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour and let bubble for 1-2 minutes before whisking in milk. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue whisking and cooking until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). Turn off heat and stir in shredded cheese until smooth.
- When the pasta is al dente, stir the cheese sauce into the chili. Taste for seasoning and add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt as needed. Serve with lots of toppings! Our favorites are fresh cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado and Fritos.