Open Arms of Minnesota

WEEKLY RECIPE: Blended Mushroom Chili Mac

Blended Mushroom Chili Mac

Image by Cassidy Sloot

With cooler weather on the way, the leaves are beginning to change and comfort food cravings are returning! There is no doubt that our palates change from season to season, and Minnesota’s four distinct seasons give us the perfect reason to embrace a wide variety of culinary tastes. However, since comfort food often gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, many people end up rather uncomforted because it is eaten with a heaping side of guilt. Enter: Blended Mushroom Chili Macaroni! In this recipe, half of the beef is replaced with minced mushrooms that match the texture and umami (savory) flavor of ground meat while also adding fiber and antioxidants, and reducing calories and fat. Sour cream is replaced with plain Greek yogurt – an alternative rich in probiotics that promote gut health – and avocadoes provide a serving of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat! Finally, although the type of pasta can be adapted to any preference, choosing a whole grain option improves the fiber and micronutrient without an ounce of extra prep work!

With a few simple modifications that retain all the comforting goodness of the original dish, Blended Mushroom Chili Mac has the nutritional and emotional power to get you through all of the winter blues. Open the pantry and throw this dish together in only 30 minutes on any weeknight, or try meal prepping on the weekend and freezing it in pre-portioned containers that can be pulled out to pack lunch for up to 3 months!

Blended Mushroom Chili Mac

Recipe modified from Monterey Mushrooms

8 servings
½ lb white mushrooms
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 pkg low sodium chili seasoning
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium beef broth
1 can (15.5 oz) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste, unsalted
1 cup medium salsa
2 cup whole grain penne pasta, uncooked
Garnished: shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, cilantro, sliced avocado


  1. Place mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. In a large sauce pan, brown meat, mushrooms, green peppers, and onion with chili seasoning.
  3. Add broth, kidney beans, tomato paste, salsa, and penne pasta to saucepan; mix well.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and cover. Continue to simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve topped with garnishes.

Nutrition Information
For 1 Serving: 240 calories; 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat); 19 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 500 mg sodium

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