Easy Chili Mac Recipe (the BEST!) - Maebells (2024)

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By Annie Holmes Published in 30 Minutes or Less

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This Easy Cheesy Chili Mac is the perfect one pan, 30-minute meal! An easy family friendly dinner perfect for busy weeknights!

Easy Chili Mac Recipe (the BEST!) - Maebells (1)

Chili Mac Recipe

One of the most popular recipes on this site is this Easy Taco Mac. It is a one pan dinner that is loaded with flavor and ready in under 30 minutes. Because of the simple ingredients and easy clean up, making taco mac in one skillet is the perfect solution to busy weeknights!

I’ve got another easy cheesy pasta dinner for you today. This super Easy Cheesy Chili Mac fits the bill perfectly. Similarly, it uses pantry staples you probably already have, packs a ton of flavor, and is ready in 30 minutes flat. Hallelujah!

Seems like weeknight meals are getting easier already, right? Right!

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Ingredients in Homemade Chili Mac

Because this chili mac and cheese recipe is so easy, you likely have most of the ingredients already on hand. In fact, this is a fantastic way to clean out the cupboards when you’re ready to do a pantry re-stock!

  • Ground beef
  • Canned tomatoes with green chilis
  • Canned or jarred tomato sauce
  • Beef broth
  • Milk
  • Elbow noodles
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Spices: chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and salt

Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead?

Of course! Ground turkey or pork can be used in place of the ground beef, if desired.

What Type of Pasta Should I Use?

I uses Barilla gluten-free elbows, but any short and sturdy pasta will work. Avoid using thin pastas like spaghetti as they can’t hold up to the chunky chili.

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How to Make Chili Mac in 30 Minutes

Start to finish, my recipe for the cheesiest chili mac takes less than half an hour to prepare! You’ll certainly love how no-nonsense this easy dinner is to cook, even on the busiest of weeknights.

PLUS, you only need ONE PAN to create this entire meal! Therefore, not only are you saving time cooking, clean up for this cheesy chili mac is a breeze, too. You’re welcome!

  1. Firstly, brown the ground beef or turkey in a large, deep skillet. Drain off any grease.
  2. Next, stir in an undrained can of tomatoes with green chilies, tomato sauce, spices, beef broth and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and stir in the pasta.
  3. Cover and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Finally, top with cheese and serve!

Really, this cheesy chili mac casserole recipe couldn’t get any easier!

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Can Chili Mac be made in advance?

Yes! Homemade chili mac will last up to 5 days in the fridge and reheats well. This is a great meal to make for weekly lunches. Just portion out the Chili Mac into your meal prep containers and you are good to go!

To reheat Chili Mac just heat in 30 second increments in the microwave until warmed through. Pair with a simple garden salad for a hearty lunch even your pickiest eater will love!

What to Serve with Chili Mac

Enjoy this chili mac casserole as is, or serve with one of the following:

Tips for Making Chili Mac

  • Don’t drain the canned tomatoes with green chiles. There’s tons of flavor packed in there!
  • You can use any milk you’d like in this dish. Whole milk will result in a creamier dish, but anything will work.
  • Use low-sodium beef broth so you can control the amount of salt in this dish.

More Easy Pasta Dinners:

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Easy Cheesy Chili Mac

Annie Holmes

This easy Cheesy Chili Mac is a one pan meal that is ready in under 30 minutes!

4.52 from 120 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup elbow noodles I use Barilla gluten free elbows
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat, drain off any grease.

  • Add the undrained can of tomatoes with green chilies, broth, milk, tomato sauce and spices.

  • Increase heat to medium high until the mixture begins to simmer.

  • Stir in noodles and reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes.

  • When noodles are tender stir in shredded cheddar cheese.

Video

Notes

**I used Barilla gluten free elbows and my cooking time is exactly 18 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 25.7gProtein: 30gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 700mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 5.7g

Keyword chili mac, easy chili mac, homemade chili mac

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you given this Easy Cheesy Chili Mac recipe a try? Leave a Review and/or Comment to let me know what you think!

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Comments

  1. whatjessicabakednext says

    This sounds right up my street! Super delicious recipe

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      Thank you Jessica! I am dying to try your Carrot Cake Cupcakes, they look awesome!

      Reply

  2. Laura says

    WOW… cooking pasta in the sauce…why on earth has no one suggested that before?? great recipe by the way!!

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      I know Laura! I am all for anything that creates less dishes to do! This is one of our new favorites, if you give it a try I would love to know what you think! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Reply

  3. naivecookcooks says

    Wow, my mouth is watering seriously!

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      Thank you!! I promise it tastes just as good as it looks!! 🙂

      Reply

  4. CakePants says

    This looks like a fantastic recipe to have in my regular dinner rotation!! As a twenty-something grad student with only three mouths to feed (two human, one puppy), I completely sympathize with having those days when you’re running on fumes by 5pm. Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      It is so comforting to hear that someone else feels the same way!! Definitely keep this one in mind, it is a great one for those I-just-can’t-handle-it kind of nights!!

      Reply

  5. fryphish says

    I am the same way! I work 9-5 Mon-Fri and take care of myself, my property and my dog…sometimes dinner for myself is way too much to handle (especially for an insomniac). Thank you for this, I can’t wait to try it this week!!

    Reply

    • fryphish says

      oh, and I’m 24!

      Reply

    • Maebells says

      What a relief! It is good to know I am not alone! I hope you enjoy if you decide to give it a try!

      Reply

  6. Heather says

    Made this tonight for myself and my fiance. After a rough week of work and it being my night for dinner, this was truly painless to make. I would just make it spicer and maybe add some onion. Thanks for an awesome staple!

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      Heather, I am so glad to hear it! It makes my day to get feedback! I am thrilled you and your fiancé enjoyed it, and I agree some chopped onion would be fantastic!!

      Reply

  7. Emily says

    Quick and delicious meals are my favorite. 🙂 This looks wonderful! Gooey cheese on top – yum! Just fyi, I tried to click on this recipe from your homepage display, but the link did not work for me. I found it by typing it into your search. Glad I found it!

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      Oops! Broken link! Fixed it, thanks so much for mentioning it! I hope you try this, it is one of our favorites!

      Reply

  8. Amy says

    Any idea what the nutritional information is for this recipe?

    Reply

    • Maebells says

      Hi Amy! I have no idea actually, I know there are many nutritional calculators online that you could use! 🙂

      Reply

  9. Lisa W. says

    What size can of stewed or crushed tomatoes? Can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

    Reply

    • Annie Holmes says

      Hi Lisa! Good catch I missed that! I use the 15 ounce size can. You will love this, it is so easy, definitely a great comfort food! 🙂

      Reply

  10. SandyG says

    This was a little spicy for me but that could have been some of my own doing. I would cut down a little on the chili powder–just a personal preference. My hubby definitely enjoyed it and he’s not a fan of any type of goulash type recipes. The heat and Mexican spin was perfect for him.

    Reply

  11. myblissfulmess says

    I love recipes that only require one pan. It makes for easy clean up, and a quick dinner. Everyone loved this dish. It was so simple to make and so tasty! There was only a small amount left over which made for a great lunch the next day, so I can tell you this reheats very well. I used 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, regular elbow noodles and reduced-fat cheese with amazing results and making this WW friendly (7 on the blue plan).

    Reply

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Easy Chili Mac Recipe (the BEST!) - Maebells (2024)
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