Four-Way Chili Mac

“Copy cat” recipes seem to be all the rage as of late. I can’t get onto Pinterest without seeing at least one pin proclaiming to have found the secret ingredients to some sauce or batter. Now this is not a copy cat recipe below, but more of a vegan tribute to something I remember fondly from childhood.

It has been several years since I last ate Three-Way Chili at Steak and Shake, but it was brought to mind when some of the beloved diner chain’s coupons were put (in vain) in our mailbox. I don’t really know exactly when I first tried the dish, but what I do know is that my young self was in awe of the meal because it was a combination of two of my favorite foods: chili and spaghetti. I still love both of those to this day, so a vegan update to the meal was a necessary one.

Four-Way Chili Mac

Serves 6


  • 12 oz. package whole-wheat thin spaghetti
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans red beans
  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup diced white onions


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions and drain.
  2. In a large pot combine red beans through salt. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer. Combine cornstarch with cold water and pour into the chili mixture. Stir well and continue to simmer until a thick saucy texture is achieved.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce.
  4. Divide cooked pasta among serving plates, topping each with a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce, a hearty scoop of chili, and a sprinkle of white onion.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories: 383 Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Protein: 18g Carbohydrates: 78g Sugars: 11g

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