Chili Mac (+Video)
Chili Mac (or Chili Macaroni) is the best homemade chili mixed with macaroni. It’s filling, rib-sticking comfort food to the max!
A CLASSIC FAVORITE DINNER RECIPE
Raise your hand if Chili Mac (a.k.a. Chili Macaroni or Mac Chili) was one of your childhood favorites. It is budget friendly and you can make a lot for a crowd without going broke. And any leftovers are fantastic for work lunches the next day. So when you add another cheap ingredient like macaroni then you have a meal that is not only affordable but very filling and kid-friendly as well.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Because it is chili mixed with macaroni.
Yes absolutely! Try my Slow Cooker Chili Mac recipe.
My favorite at the moment is the one made by Spice Islands. It has a good solid flavor and it doesn’t have any cumin added (which can sometimes overwhelm the chili flavor.)
My other go-to (that I have to order online because there isn’t a store near me) is Penzey’s Chili Powder. I love pretty much all of Penzey’s spices. This one has cumin added as well as some Mexican oregano so it definitely gives a deeper flavor profile. Also, if you like heat, they offer this in regular, medium and hot options.
Note: I’m not affiliated with either of these companies and do not earn any income when you click on the links.
It is very popular in most midwestern states. However, it has gained popularity in the rest of the United States.
Goulash has macaroni, ground beef and diced tomatoes and it is made with Italian flavors and seasoning. Chili Mac also has macaroni, ground beef and diced tomatoes but it has the addition of beans and chili powder.
Yes. Place in a freezer safe bag or container and it will keep up to 3 months.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- ground beef
- small onion
- kidney beans
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- salt & pepper
- shredded cheddar cheese (for topping)
HOW TO MAKE CHILI MAC:
Boil and cook macaroni noodles until tender. While macaroni is cooking, cook ground beef along with onion. Stir and cook until beef is browned and onion is soft. Add in garlic during last couple of minutes of cooking (so it doesn’t burn.)
Drain excess grease from beef and put back into pot. Add remaining ingredients (minus the cheese) into beef mixture.Now, how much chili powder you put in is to taste. We like 1 1/2 tbsp, but if you want, start with a tablespoon, give it a taste, and then go up from there with what you enjoy. After macaroni is cooked, drain and add to the pot. Heat to boiling, stir occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.
Make sure to give it a taste test at this point. I usually find I need to season with a bit of salt. Then serve and sprinkle each serving with shredded cheese.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Originally published: October 2012
Updated & republished: February 2020
Chili Mac (+Video)
- 1 cup uncooked macaroni
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
- Boil and cook macaroni until tender. While macaroni is cooking, cook ground beef along with onion.
- Stir and cook until beef is browned and onion is soft.
- Add in garlic during last couple of minutes of cooking (so it doesn't burn). Drain excess grease from beef and put back into pot
- After macaroni is cooked, drain it well. Stir macaroni and remaining ingredients (minus the cheese) into beef mixture.
- Heat to boiling, stir occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.
- Make sure to give it a taste test at this point (careful, it's hot!) I usually find I need to season with a bit of salt. Then serve and sprinkle each serving with shredded cheese.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
It was good but that being said it had a very strong tomato flavor and not enough chili mac flavor. I added quite a bit more cumin and chili powder.
This is delicious. It’s so easy to make and the spice amount/combination is perfect. You’ll want to make it a lot.
This was so good – thank you for the recipe! My kids loved it. Not spicy which was perfect. 🙂
Try this with a spoonful of sour cream and cheddar on the top MMMMMMMMM good!!
This looks yummy!
una receta!!! grandiose y riquisima!!! thanks!!!
Thank you! I'm salivating, just thinking about this recipe. So many memories rushing through my head! My kids and grands grew up eating this food…more times than I can count. :=) Looking forward to cool weather returning to AZ!! Hungry for "Slow Cooker Chili", too. God bless you for sharing your wonderful recipes!!
I grew up in Northern Indiana, South Bend to be exact. My dad used to make this for 7 of us kids that he was raising on his own. I thought it was just a way to get an extra meal out of the chili we had the day before. I still make this when we have left over chili I add the cooked noodles. Thank you Brandi for reminding me about a childhood favorite!
So glad I found your website on Pinterest. I'm cooking it right now. Thanks for sharing.
There are so many recipes you have that I really want to try and this one was the first, making me a believer that every recipe you post will be delicious!!! It was so yummy! My husband loved it! I used a package of chili spices instead of the chili powder and cumin. I also added some Velveeta cheese for a cheesy chili mac! Will definitely be making this again! Love your website!!!
I totally grew up on Mac and cheese casserole.
My mom would through all kinds of things in to the pot, and we always loved it!
I actually didn't grow up eating chili mac…but I like it now! 🙂
Any tips on making this recipe in a crockpot? Thanks!
I'm glad this brought back some happy memories for some y'all. It is always so fun for me to see how people connect with a certain recipe. thank you so much for all the sweet comments!! ~Brandie
Looks terrific – I think we called this dish goulash when I was a kid…I say call it anything you want, as long as you don't forget to call me for dinner. =) MMMM good!
Woo-hooo I know what's for dinner. Thanks!
Sounds like a filling and warming dish 🙂 I have to admit, I have never tried something like that!
Love this stuff, but you made me laugh about the dipping ham sands in chili, we dip grilled cheese sands in chili and my BFF from Dayton,Ohio, dips peanut butter sands in hers, btw, I'm from Tennessee and would have never thought of dipping ham sand….<3 your page…
When my kids were still at home, I sometimes made this with leftover chili, and sometimes with leftover spaghetti sauce. Both are delish. Makes me almost wish my kids were still younger and living at home! Maybe I will make this as a side dish when they are ALL home for Thanksgiving. Or maybe for my church group luncheon next week. Or maybe just for myself. LOL!
I have heard this called something different depending on where I was living. We called it Johnny Marzetti in grade school and my married family called it goulash. I think it is great no matter what it is called so just don't call me late to supper.
With all the new fancy recipe I forget about the old classic. This is a one of our favorite's! Thanks for the reminder!