Chuckwagon Chili


I actually made this before the baby was born. And of course, froze the extras. Because there were lots of extras. And we are eating those leftovers tonight!

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Chuckwagon Chili

Yield – 4 servings plus leftovers

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Cooking Time – 30 minutes (plus time to soak and cook dried beans)


  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans ($.40)
  • 1.5 lb. ground beef ($2.09) On sale for $1.39/lb!
  • 1 onion, chopped ($.30)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes ($.29)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste ($.19) Used $1 coupon on can that cost $1.19!
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder ($.10)
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder ($.25)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta “wheels” ** ($.25) Bought with $1/2 coupon when on sale for $1…used half the box! (Use GF pasta, if needed)
  • Shredded cheese to top in each serving bowl (optional) Omit if dairy-free
  • 4 small apples ($1)

**Use rice pasta for a GF meal


  • Soak and cook dried beans in large pot. Drain and rinse the beans.
  • In the same pot that you cooked the beans, brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Drain and rinse. Return to pot.
  • In small saucepan, cook 2 cups uncooked pasta wheels as directed on package.
  • Combine the ground beef/onions, cooked red beans, diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste PLUS 4 cans of water, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, allowing time for flavors to mingle.
  • Slice or dice apples.
  • Serve Chuckwagon Chili with sliced apples.

Cost $4.86

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  1. says

    My kids would love this. A lot.

    How do you freeze the cooked pasta and then reheat it without it getting mushy? I’ve taken to only cooking the rice/pasta for soups that we’ll need that night, freezing the soup without the carbs and then making some more on the night we reheat it. Is there some way I’m missing? If I cook the pasta/rice to taste right that night, it always is waaaaay overcooked after reheating.

    • says


      The wheels were “broken” after freezing and reheating, but not mushy. I don’t often freeze pasta. You could always divide the chili portion and add fresh pasta when you eat it, freeze the other chili portion and then add fresh pasta when you eat it the second time. That would solve the “mushy pasta” dilemma.

  2. Gina says

    The meat could have been skipped here, too, and maybe another variety of bean tossed in the pot instead.

    Vegan chili is totally filling and totally cheap. You’d probably come in UNDER $5 for a meal by skipping the meat.

  3. says

    My kids totally LOVED this I called it Farmer Wheel Soup for them……and they ate it up. They really like farmers now and thought that I made this up just for them.

    And, I did not season my beans, I just boiled in water after soaking over night. I thought they had great flavor. LOVED this!

  4. Carey says

    I have a recipe similar to this one, but you add chili beans (with the sauce in them) … so flavorful & downright yummy!


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