This easy chili mac recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes with simple ingredients that the whole family will love!
I’m thrilled to have Charlotte here from Pretty Mindful Mama Life again, sharing this chili mac recipe with us! Welcome Charlotte!
Chili Mac Recipe
Hi there, Charlotte here!
In my busy household, I’m always in search of quick and easy recipes that the whole family will enjoy.
This Chili Mac is one of those recipes. I even have a hack to accommodate my 6-year-old vegetarian!
Who doesn’t love a nicely spiced chili, lots of ooeey, goeey cheese and macaroni?
You’ll Also Love:
- Simple Chili Recipe
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
- White Chicken Chili
- Vegetarian Chili Recipe
- Venison Chili Recipe
Ingredients for Chili Mac and Cheese
I love that this meal doesn’t take a lot of planning or fancy ingredients. Most of the ingredients are already in your pantry and you can even use frozen ground beef, chicken or turkey if you forgot to thaw!
- Ground Beef (Turkey, Chicken)
- (2) 14 oz cans Beans (We like Kidney and Pinto)
- Tomato Sauce
- Chili Powder
- Elbow Macaroni
How to Make Chili Mac and Cheese
Start by browning your ground beef (chicken or turkey).
I add salt, pepper, and some garlic at this point.
Next, add your beans! We like 1 can of red kidney beans and 1 can of pinto beans.
You can have fun here and just add 2, 14 oz cans of what your family enjoys!
Then add your spices. We like a mix of chili powder and cumin.
Finally add the tomato sauce and let the chili simmer!
While the chili is simmering, start cooking your pasta as per the package directions.
My family likes our pasta al dente, which is why I like to cook it separately and add it in just before serving.
Once your pasta is boiled and strained it’s time to add it to the chili!
Once the chili and macaroni are mixed its’s time to add the delicious cheese. (You can use any type you like.)
Shred it yourself while the macaroni is boiling or buy pre-shredded for even more simplicity. I personally like a blend of sharp cheddar and pepper jack.
Add your cheese to the hot chili and macaroni mixture and stir.
Tips for Customizing and Side Dishes
My family loves to customize our meals, everyone has their favorite add- in’s, toppings, condiments, etc..
For Chili Mac and Cheese, the kids like it as- is, possibly with a little extra shredded cheese on top!
My hubby and I like to add a dollop of sour cream and some fresh jalapeńos.
Side Dish for Chili Mac
Overall this recipe is so versatile it really should become part of the weekly rotation for busy families!
Vegetarian Chili Mac
Remember the vegetarian hack I told you about for my little guy? All I have to do is leave some beans, sauce and spices aside in a small pot for him to mix later with the macaroni and cheese! Voila! Vegetarian version created in seconds!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free
You could use gluten free macaroni or omit the cheese for a dairy free option! Customize to your families taste…the possibilities are endless!
Let us know if you try this recipe and how you like it!
Easy Chili Mac
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1-2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 15 oz can Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 15 oz can Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 3 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
- Brown ground beef with salt pepper and garlic.
- Add beans to ground beef and stir.
- Add spices and stir.
- Add sauce and stir. Allow to simmer on medium low heat.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions.
- Add drained macaroni to Chili. Reduce heat to low. Add shredded cheese. Mix to incorporate.
- Scoop Chili Mac and Cheese into serving bowls. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve hot! Enjoy!