Ye be looking fer some Pirate party food ideas and chose to look me up? I be honored.
Ye’ll be findin’ some more real good ones close by on this site. The recipes here do follow authentic Pirate food in that the ingredients could be found on board Pirate ships, and in ports of call during the Golden Age of Pirates, 1650-1725.
These recipes span the different areas where Pirates roamed… the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, both sides of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and even India and Asia.
And since ye be searchin’ for good food ideas for a Pirate party, here be a recipe for the best chili mac ever.
Traditional Pirate Food… Not?
Okay, Chili Mac could be Pirate fare. Meat, dried beans, spices, vegetables were the mainstays in those days. And macaroni and cheese has been in recipes since 13th century Italy. No one is really even sure where Chili Mac came from. But probably from the US. It be comfort food at its finest…. Chili, Macaroni, and Cheese.
Perfect as Pirate party food ideas go, no matter the size of the party.
And after all, all food is Pirate food where thar be drinkin’, aye, maties?
Spicy Chili Mac – Good Pirate Party Food
OK, ye be needed somethin’ simple enough to prepare, easy enough to serve, somethin’ all the rabble will scarf with noisy admiration, and be a fast clean up afterwards. Right? Gotcha.
This recipe makes a big batch of smoky, cheesy, spicy chili mac. Just delicious healthy comfort food. I like to pair the smoky chipotle and bacon… and the chili peppers with the fire-roasted tomatoes… and when you add in the heat and tastes of fresh onions, garlic, and jalapenos!… with the melted extra sharp cheddar CHEESE. Mmmmmm.
And if you can find Mexican Oregano, it’s perfect for this, and you’ll need it for similar dishes. It’s a little more pungent and sharper than the softer, more familiar Greek Oregano we know from especially Italian food.
- Chipotle peppers be smoked jalapenos, medium hot, smoky be what ye be seekin’.
- Guajillo be just the best tasting chili for beef. It be medium hot, too.
- California peppers be mild and very tasty.
- Chili Arbol be a sizzling, fiery-hot.
- Black Pepper offers a dull hot.
- 2 T Smoky Bacon drippings
- 2 medium Onions small diced, about 3 cups
- 2 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt, plus more for pasta cooking water
- 2 pounds Extra Lean Ground Beef
- 3 T Ground Chili Peppers (Chipotle, Guajillo, California*)
- 1 tsp ground Chili Arbol
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 T Mexican Oregano
- 1 (28 ounce) can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes, with juices
- ½ C fresh Jalapenos, stemmed and minced
- 2 T minced fresh Garlic cloves
- 2 16 oz cans of Dark Red Kidney Beans
- ½ C Low-Sodium Beef Broth
- 1 pound Elbow Macaroni
- 1 pound Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
- Sour Cream for serving, if desired
* These are the chili peppers that I used. Ancho, Pasilla, and New Mexico chili peppers work great for this, too.
btw: a Tablespoon (T) be equivlent to 2 1/2 tsp.
- Heat bacon drippings in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1 tsp of the salt and cook until soft, 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef, chili powder, oregano, and cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, beans (with or without the liquid), ½ C of beef broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer uncovered until thickened to chili consistency, about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
- Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in boiling salted water, drain, and set aside to cool.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place a 4-quart casserole dish (or a disposable aluminum pasta/turkey roasting pan) on a baking sheet. Once the chili has finished cooking, fold in the cooked macaroni and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
- Transfer Chili Mac to the baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, lime, cilantro, fresh diced jalapeno, if desired.
Looks dazzling and tastes awesome, right?
Notes – Substitutions and Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Now if ye be Pirates drinking, ye can turn up the fire by making substitutions: ground New Mexico chili pepper vs the California, fresh Serrano peppers vs the Jalapenos, and you could double the amount of Chili Arbol, if ye be the daring sort.
Also, if this not be a formal sit down dinner party, you could make slow cooker chili mac. Starting with #5…
- Turn your 6-qt slow cooker to High, pour in the steaming hot chili, then stir in the macaroni and 1/3 C Cheddar
- Cook on High for about an hour or so, until the tastes marry.
- Turn to Warm, leave on the counter with dishes of Garnish: cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and fresh diced serranos…. and let the rabble forage at will.
Whenever I can, I use organic, non-GMO, whole grains, no hormone, grass-fed, no nitrate, no herbicide, etc., ingredients and do all I can to substitute these for processed foods. I find that organic foods are handled better to retain more nutrients, and they taste cleaner, truer to what the food is supposed to taste like.
I also like to use the colored salts instead of white salt. Note that I use the Pink Himalyan Salt. It does not have iodine, which the body can’t use anyway, and it is saltier than most white salt. For this reason, I buy ingredients with low or no salt/sodium. That way I know what salt is being used and can control the right level of salt to finish to my desired taste.
Normally I use dried beans instead of canned, but I modified this for the purpose of easy prep for your party.
I am glad you stopped by. I hope that you chose this recipe for Best Chili Mac Ever for your party. If you did, drop me a comment below and let me know how your party went. Especially, the grog stories.
Also, leave a comment if you have any questions about preparing for this, or about what did Pirates eat.
And stop back by for more Pirate party food ideas. Thank you.
Cooking for Pirates, where every meal is a party for a Pirate.
Party on, me hearties, yo ho.