A Chili Spaghetti Recipe that the Kids will Actually Eat

Who doesn't love a good chili spaghetti recipe?  My littlest daughter, who will eat virtually anything, hates chili.  She likes every ingredient in chili--and eats similar spices in tacos and burritos--but, HATED my chili.  It didn't matter if I spiced it up--or took the spices down a level--chili was just not her thing.  Then she discovered chili spaghetti and it was a whole different story.  Apparently, anything IS better with pasta and cheese--especially for kids.  I have an arsenal of chili recipes--and I never seem to make chili the same way twice.  This chili spaghetti recipe is one that the kids will eat every time--and is one that the grown ups can easily spice up a bit.

This post was originally created in 2011!  We wanted to update the recipe to show some of the ingredient brands we currently use & some updated kitchen gadgets that we use to make the meal.  

chili topped spaghetti in a white bowl topped with shredded cheddar cheese
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Ingredients for Chili Spaghetti that the Kids Will Eat 
1 pound ground hamburger (or ground turkey)
1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
1 15.5 ounce can of chili beans (I use Bush's Mild Chili Beans)
1 16 ounce can of refried beans (I use Amy's Low Sodium Refried Beans or La Preferida)
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen or Dei Fratelli)
1 16 ounce jar of salsa (I use a Medium, thick and chunky style salsa)
1 quarter teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp. granulated  sugar
1 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded mild cheddar cheese
Jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)

Instructions for Chill Spaghetti that the Kids Will Eat

Brown meat and saute onion.  In a non-stick, dutch oven, crumble the meat and brown over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add onion and saute until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.  Drain excess fat from meat/onion mixture.

Add spices.    Add the black pepper, garlic powder, chill powder, and cumin to the meat/onion mixture, stirring to coat.

Add Additional Chili Ingredients.    Add in the beans, the tomatoes, the salsa, the water, and the sugar--stirring to combine after each addition.

pinnable recipe for  recipe for mild chili spaghetti that the kids will actually eat
Simmer to Blend Flavors.  Bring the chili to a boil, reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer 30-45 minutes.  Be sure to stir frequently as the refried beans cause the chili mixture to become thickened and stick to the bottom of the pan.

Plate and Serve.  Place a serving of cooked, thin spaghetti onto a dinner plate or a soup bowl. (I find our little ones do much better with spaghetti in a bowl than a plate!)  Top with ladles of thickened chili and grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve.  We like to serve with cornbread or garlic bread and green salad--and we often add jalapeno peppers to the grown up serving bowls when desired.

Did you make this recipe?
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  1. This is the chili that the whole family liked and that's never happened before. Thank you for sharing!



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