Happy Monday. If you haven’t been following for a while – every Monday, I make a recipe from a cookbook called Thug Kitchen 101. You can see the whole collection of recipes I’ve made so far by clicking here – Thug Kitchen posts.
Today’s post is Skillet Beer Chili Mac. This is a one pot pasta that combines the ingredients of chili with mac and cheese. It has lots of Mexican spices, beans and vegetables. And since this cookbook is vegan, there is no dairy like what would be commonly found in mac and cheese.
I haven’t made a one pot pasta in quite a long time. This one starts by sauteing the vegetables, then adding a bunch of spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika) and tomato paste. So that is quite the flavourful base already but then tomato sauce, beer and broth get added. At that point it seems like a lot of liquid but you need that large amount to cook the raw pasta.
Once the pasta is tender, the final ingredients are added. Those are black beans, nutritional yeast, maple syrup and lime juice. The nutritional yeast gives a little bit of “cheesy” flavour and the maple syrup helps to cut some of the acidity of the tomato sauce. I needed to add a little extra maple just because it was still too acidic for my taste.
Technically, the dish is ready at that point, but garnishes are always a fun extra. I added cilantro and avocado which gave more colour and freshness. I think other good toppings would have been shredded cheese or sour cream/greek yogurt (vegan or non-vegan options). Those would do a really good job at cutting the acidity from the sauce.
This was quite a tasty meal. It was very hearty with the beans and veggies and I like the smokey flavour from the spices. I will say though, I couldn’t tell there was beer in the sauce. Obviously the alcohol cooked out but I thought I would still be able to get the flavour of it. So maybe you could just increase the broth content if you didn’t want to use beer, I’m sure that would have worked well.
If you’re looking for a meal to feed a crowd, I’d try this pasta recipe.