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Vegetable Chili Mac

Serves 4

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike will love this combo of chili seasonings and veggies that add zing to a dinner classic.


  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans (15 ounces), drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin (half a palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ancho (mild) or chipotle (hot) chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup Negra Modelo or other Mexican beer or 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 pound whole wheat or semolina macaroni or elbow pasta with lines
  • A handful of cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped


  1. Pre-heat the broiler.
  2. Place the poblano peppers on a broiler pan and blacken the skins all over (leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow steam to escape). Place the blackened peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cool until ready to handle. Peel and seed the peppers, then chop them.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  4. Heat a heavy pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, a couple turns of the pan. Add the onion and garlic and soften for 5 minutes. Add the chopped poblano peppers and pinto beans to the pot, season with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika and chili powder and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate, then add the beer or stock and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  5. Cook the pasta to al dente, drain and toss with the veggie chili and cilantro, if using. Place in a casserole dish and top with both cheeses. Place under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese.
  6. Garnish with the scallions and serve.

Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.