This recipe is part of our 6th Costco Meal Plan: 20 Slow Cooker Freezer Packs from Costco for $150!
Before you go any further.
YOU NEED TO READ THESE DIRECTIONS.
(Ok, do I have your attention?)
I don’t want you to miss this.
Do not. I repeat DO NOT. DON’T. DO.NOT. add the pasta when you start the slow cooker in the morning. It will turn to complete MUSH. YUCK!
Please read the recipe directions carefully, as I’ll tell you when you need to add the pasta. (More on that here too.)
Also, a few notes and modifications ideas for this recipe:
- Broth – I wrote in 2-3 cups of broth for this, but you’ll need to make depending on how soupy you want it and how much steam your slow cooker releases. I make closer to the 2 cup range because my boys prefer to eat this ‘chunky’ as opposed to soupy. And my slow cooker doesn’t let too much steam out. Feel free to adjust to your preferences and liking.
- Box vs. Bouillon – it’s much cheaper to go the bouillon route and super simple to add to recipes like this one. If you prefer the box, that works too! See note in the directions about whether or not to add the broth to the freezer bag.
- Gluten Free Modification: Use GF pasta in place of the regular wheat pasta.
- Whole 30 or Paleo Modifications: Omit the black beans and pasta. Add carrots, parsnips or butternut squash (recipe here). Serve with some fresh fruit or oven roasted green beans.
Note: I’ve written the recipe below to be based on the shopping list for the 6th plan in the 20 Meals from Costco for $150 series.
Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Adapted from Chili Pasta Bake
Yield – 4 to 6 servings
Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 Tbsp minced onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 15 oz. can black beans, drained
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups chicken broth (from box or bouillon)
- 16 oz. small shell pasta noodles (Use GF noodles for GF dinner!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional topping: 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Side: Frozen or canned corn
- Brown and drain the ground beef.
- Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker except the pasta and cheese.
- Set slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours, or high for 6 hours. If cooking from partially frozen, you’ll need to cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, depending on how frozen the pack is when you start cooking it.
- When there is 1 hour left in the cooking cycle, add the pasta plus 2 cups of hot water. You might need to add a little more liquid, depending on how much liquid is already in there.
- To pack into gallon size freezer baggie: Label. Then, follow the same directions in the first 2 bullets. Let the browned ground beef cool for a few minutes before adding it to the bag. If you wish to leave the broth out, then freeze without the broth and make a note on the bag that you need to add the broth. Place in the fridge to let the ground beef cool completely before adding to the freezer. (This will help prevent freezer burn.) Remove as much air as you can and seal. Freeze up to 6 months in your fridge freezer or 12 months in a deep freezer.
- To thaw, place the bags in the fridge overnight. Or quick thaw in a bowl of warm water.