I love nachos but I don’t feel like it is enough for me as a main meal. Oh yes, when it comes to main meals especially dinner, I love substance! It is no surprise that some of my peers think that I have an appetite of a man.
One lucky guy at work had nachos at work the other day. Sometimes this is the kind of reminder you need to reignite a craving. Nachos is ridiculously easy to make and needless to say it is one of those dishes that I find to be irresistable on any day. However, I wanted to bulk it up a little as I don’t usually have leftovers when I make nachos for dinner. So my love for substance has led me to this macaroni & nachos bake. Basically it is my attempt of a simple homemade salsa with macaroni and kidney beans on the bottom of the dish. Then top with handcrushed corn chips with gooey blistered cheese.
(Bulked up nachos dish anyone?)
Macaroni & “Nachos” Bake
Feed about 4 people
What you’ll need:-
- 1/2 brown onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 250g/8.8 ounces mince chicken or beef
- 2 green bell peppers (capsicum) – about 400g/14 ounces, deseeded & diced
- 1 x 400g/14 ounces of canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 x 400g/ 14 ounces of canned diced tomatoes
- 500g/18 ounces uncooked macaroni
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Hot water to cook the macaroni
- 2 – 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (feel free to add more should you like it cheesier)
- Corn chips
- 50g/2 ounces of black olives, sliced *optional*
- Picked jalapenos *optional*
- Scallions (spring onions), finely sliced *optional*
(1) In a large pan, saute garlic and onion in olive and a pinch of salt over medium heat. (2) Add mince chicken and brown it over high heat. (3) Then add green bell peppers, saute for a minute and then add red kidney beans. Stir to mix the ingredients together. (4) Pour canned diced tomatoes and cook over high heat until the mixture is bubbling. Then turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer while you start cooking the pasta. (5) In a separate large pot, fill it with recently boiled water and some salt. When the water the boiling, cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions. Undercook the pasta by one minute from the specified time on the packet. Drained and toss the cooked macaroni into the sauce and mix well. Let it cook over low heat until the macaroni achived the texture you desire. (6) Transfer the macaroni to a large baking dish. First top with a little cheese. This is to create a barrier between the crushed corn chips and the sauce, avoiding the corn chips to turn soggy. After you have sprinkle some cheese, add corn chips, hand crushed. Then add more cheese, up to your preferred cheesiness. This is optional but if you have some sliced black olives and pickled jalapenos in the kitchen, why not add them for some flair. Bake under a griller to blister the cheese. Sprinkle some chopped scallions before serving.