The main content



  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

  • 1 ½ lb. g round beef (80% to 90% lean)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 rounded tbsp. chili powder (I like Gebhart)

  • 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander

  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin

  • 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 red or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 small red field pepper, bell pepper, or green Cubanelle pepper (or any mild, sweet pepper), chopped

  • 1 large jalapeño chile or 2 serrano chiles, seeded and chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 can (about 15 oz.) red or black beans, drained

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) tomatoes with green chilies

  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 lb. cavatappi (corkscrew pasta with lines) or elbows with lines

  • 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema

  • 1 small lime, juiced (about 1 1/2 tbsp.)

  • 1 cup each shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack, or about 2 cups shredded pepper Jack

  • Chopped scallions or fresh chives and pickled jalapeño slices (mild or hot), for topping


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

  • Step 2

    In a large deep skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 8 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin, and paprika. Stir the seasoned beef until aromatic, a minute or two. Add the onion, field pepper, chile, and garlic. Stir until the vegetables soften, a few minutes more. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, and Worcestershire. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let the chili cook, stirring occasionally, while the pasta boils.

  • Step 3

    Preheat the broiler.

  • Step 4

    Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

  • Step 5

    Stir the sour cream and lime juice into the chili. Mix in the pasta, adding the cooking water if the chili is too dry. Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish. Top with the shredded cheeses. Broil the casserole until the cheeses melt and browns in spots, about 2 minutes. Top with scallions and pickled jalapeños.