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. When I was a kid, my Mom could've made anything with any kind of pasta and I would've been happy. We ate chili a lot as kids. 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.
WHAT IS THE BEST STORE-BOUGHT CHILI POWDER?
Disclosure: None of these recommendations are sponsored.
- Personally, I am pretty flexible when it comes to store-bought chili powder. 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.
- Want to make this in your crock pot? Try my Slow Cooker Chili Mac recipe.
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 MACARONI:
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 ½ 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? GIVE THESE A TRY!
Chili Macaroni (Chili Mac)
- 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 ½ tablespoon chili powder
- ½ 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.
- 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. 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.
Originally published: October 2012
Updated & republished: February 2020