This hearty one dish meal tastes just like your favorite Chili recipe with the addition of cheese and pasta! Chili Mac is the perfect dinner recipe when you need a quick and easy meal. It’s done in about 20 minutes and cooks on the stove top in one pot!
Craving comfort food? Homemade chili mac is the answer! It combines the best of mac and cheese with homemade chili for a delicious, hearty, and filling dinner. My family loves this dinner, especially when it’s cold – it will warm you up!
You Will Love This Easy One-Pot Recipe
- Yes, it’s a one-pot dinner! Everything, including the macaroni, cooks together for an easy-to-clean-up meal.
- What I love best is that it only takes about 20 minutes to make so it’s perfect for weeknights.
- It’s family-friendly! It’s not spicy so it’s great for the kiddos, but you can always add a little heat for the grown-ups. It’s easy to adjust!
- The leftovers keep well and you can also make it ahead and freeze it for later.
This is a great recipe because all of the ingredients except for two are pantry items! I usually keep them all on hand so it’s super easy to throw together for those busy nights.
The chili part is a simple homemade chili with ground beef and pinto beans. The mac part is elbow macaroni and lots of cheddar cheese. It’s the best combination!
Make It in Three Easy Steps!
Brown: Cook the ground beef in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the garlic and then drain off the excess grease.
Simmer: Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, brown sugar, seasonings, beef broth, and macaroni. Bring the pot to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Uncover the pot and simmer for a few minutes more.
Make it Cheesy! Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top, let it melt, and then serve!
What Goes with Chili Mac?
There are a lot of side dishes that go with this dinner! Here are few we love:
- Add a salad – my Seven Layer Salad would go great!
- Add a healthy veggie like cooked Asparagus or Slow Cooker Carrots.
- Make a batch of Dinner Rolls!
Add Some Heat: Want your chili mac a little spicier? Add some chopped jalapeno or your favorite hot sauce when you simmer the chili.
Ingredient Swaps: Switch the pinto beans for black beans. Cheddar cheese is classic, but you can switch it for Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese. Or do a combination of cheese.
Leftover Tips: Store your leftover chili mac in airtight containers in the fridge. It will keep for three to four days. When you reheat it, add a splash of broth if it’s too thick.
Does chili mac freeze well? Yes, it does! Once you’ve made it let it cool. Store it in freezer-safe containers for up to two months. Thaw it in the fridge before warming it on the stove or in the microwave.
Making chili mac from scratch is so easy you’ll want to make it every week! Stock up on the ingredients so you have them on hand for that next crazy busy weeknight. You will love it!
More One-Pot Dinners
- Chicken Spaghetti is a Mexican-inspired dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes!
- Skip the boxed stuffed and make Homemade Hamburger Helper! It’s hearty, cheesy, and a family favorite.
- My American-Style Goulash recipe is classic comfort food with beef, pasta, and cheese combined with seasonings. It’s so easy to make!
- Have a pressure cooker? Make Instant Pot Chili Mac! It’s just as good as the stovetop version.
Try it and love it? Rate it, please!!!? Seriously though, a five-star rating below will make my day!
If you snap a photo, please be sure to tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy dinner!!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 clove minced garlic
- ½ c. finely chopped onion peeled
- 14 oz petite diced tomatoes
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 16 oz kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 ½ c. beef broth
- 2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 c. Shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and chopped onions to the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula.
- Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain off any excess grease and discard.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, beef broth and macaroni. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot and cook for 12-13 minutes or until pasta is tender. Uncover the pot and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese over pasta and let melt. Serve immediately.