This Easy Chili Mac recipe combines thick and flavorful chili with homemade macaroni and cheese, a classic mashup that’s sure to warm you from the inside out! This comfort food meal will become a family favorite made in just one pot in about half an hour.
Serve a warm bowl of chili mac alongside Creamed Corn Cornbread Muffins, then satisfy your sweet tooth with Cinnamon Sugar Pizza. YUM!
Whether you call it American goulash, chili with macaroni, or homemade hamburger helper, this easy one-pot Easy Cheesy Chili Mac recipe is a winner! It’s loaded with beef, beans, and tender pasta all in a cheesy, rich sauce. I don’t know about you, but the combination of those ingredients screams cozy and delicious to me!
Chili Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- Ground beef: I like using lean ground beef with less fat. You can also use ground turkey.
- Onion: A small chopped onion adds the perfect flavor and heartiness.
- Olive oil: This is used for cooking the ground beef and onion mixture.
- Garlic: Like Bloody Mary Chili, every good chili recipe must have freshly minced garlic.
- Tomato paste: I like to use concentrated tomato paste to give extra tomato flavor.
- Stock: You can use vegetable or chicken stock. Both taste great.
- Chopped tomatoes: Grab a can to make it easy and have the perfect amount.
- Beans: Add to the heartiness a can of white beans and a can of pinto beans, both drained and rinsed.
- Seasonings: chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper is the winning flavor combination for seasoning your chili mac.
- Macaroni: Elbow macaroni noodles are cooked in the chili mac instead of pre-cooked and added.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: A must-have for optimal cheesy goodness.
Variations and Additions
- Spice up this hearty chili mac recipe, like my Jalapeno Popper Sausage Dip, by adding diced jalapenos (seeds will add even more spice), red pepper flakes, or hot sauce.
- More cheese, please! If you want your chili mac to be cheesier, add more shredded cheddar or switch it up with Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, or mozzarella.
- Adding diced bell pepper and kidney beans can also make it heartier.
How To Make Homemade Chili Mac And Cheese
Dutch Oven Instructions: A One-Pot Meal
- In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and ground beef and cook until meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add stock, tomatoes, and beans, stirring until mixed. Add chili powder, salt, and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, add pasta, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is done.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve immediately.
Crock Pot Instructions: Easy Hands-Free Cooking
- Cook beef, onion, and garlic in a skillet, then add them to the slow cooker.
- Add tomato paste, stock, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir to incorporate.
- Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, or 4 hours on LOW (or until ready for mealtime).
- Add pasta and cook for 30 minutes until the pasta is done.
- Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese, and serve.
Often Asked Questions And Answers
Chili Mac is quite a bit thicker with traditional chili flavors, whereas goulash is typically made with ground beef, macaroni and doesn’t have beans.
Yes. You can make it 1-2 days ahead and store it in the fridge (in an airtight container) until you’re ready to serve. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the oven until heated through.
No. The macaroni cooks in the same pot as you make the chili mac. It’s a great time saver and helps with cleanup.
Yes, you sure can! Let the chili mac cool, place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm it on the stove top.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Sour cream, hot sauce, chopped scallions, and avocado are some of my favorites.
What To Serve With Beefy Cheesy Chili Mac
This dish is a hearty meal on its own, but I’m a fan of serving it with a fresh green salad along with Garlic Parmesan Skillet Rolls or Green Chili Cheese Cornbread.
Hearty Chili Mac also makes a great dish to serve when you’re feeding a crowd. Pair it with Fruit Salad, and Parmesan Cheese Straws and you’ll see lots of happy people at your table!
More Comfort Food Recipes You’ll Love
If you tried this Easy Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe or any other recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks!
Recipe Card With Instructions
Easy Cheesy Chili Mac (One Pot Recipe)
This Easy Chili Mac recipe combines thick and flavorful chili with homemade macaroni and cheese, a classic mashup that’s sure to warm you from the inside out! This comfort food meal will become a family favorite that’s made in just one pot in about half an hour.
How to Prepare in a Dutch Oven
How to Prepare in Slow Cooker
- Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- To freeze: Let the chili mac cool, place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm it on the stove top.
- Toppings: Sour cream, hot sauce, chopped scallions, and avocado are some of my favorites.
Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used.
Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1300mg | Potassium: 557mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 834IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 3mg