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Chili Mac Recipe

This easy Chili Mac Recipe is packed with flavor. It features all of the flavors of chili and elbow macaroni with plenty of cheese and a hint of heat. It’s made entirely on the stovetop for ease of preparation, and it’s the kind of one pot meal that certain to be a family favorite.



Easy Chili Mac Recipe

This is a super cheesy chili mac! It is the ultimate in comfort food. and stick to your ribs good eating. It’s simple to personalize the ingredients by simply omitting or you can substitute with something that you like better. Stovetop chili mac is a very versatile and customizable recipe. Chili mac is a little different from American goulash in that it’s more of a  combination of chili with beans and macaroni and cheese. That’s a collision of comfort food flavors for sure.



How to Make the Best Chili Mac Recipe

Don’t be intimadated by the ingredient list. It may seem long but it’s due to the fact that you’re adding seasonings along with the chili seasoning packed to make the Chili Mac super flavorful.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make stovetop Chili Mac: Ground beef, elbow macaroni, onion, poblano or green bell pepper, olive oil, chili seasoning packet i.e. McCormick’s or similar, salt, lemon pepper, ground cumin, paprika, Mexican oregano or Italian oregano, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles i.e. Rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, light red kidney beans, beef stock or water, 8 ounces uncooked macaroni and shredded colby jack cheese.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: a 6 quart Dutch oven or similar heavy bottomed pot, pasta cooker, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a cheese grater and a large spoon or spatula for stirring.
  • If you’d like to skip the chili seasoning packet you can use 2-3 tablespoons of dark chili powder and adjust the amount of the other seasonings to your taste. Add per the recipe then taste and adjust.
  • We serve this simply with fresh chopped cilantro and fresh sliced jalapenos but use whatever toppings you like.
  • This chili mac is full flavored and packs a little heat. If you prefer less spicy, you can use a can of plain diced tomatoes in place of Rotel and choose a milder chili seasoning blend.
  • Some yummy topping options you may enjoy: Sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, crackers, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole, etc.
  • For a twist you could add whole kernel corn or pintos in place of black beans. This is one of those pantry meals than can easily be adapted with what you have on hand. You could also use only black beans or only kidney beans.
  • When using a Dutch oven or an oven safe pot, you can melt the cheese under the broiler, if desired.
  • This recipe makes a large batch and is very filling. Leftovers  can easily be reheated in the microwave in single serving portions or in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring gently. You may need to add a little additional beef stock or water when reheating on the stovetop. Be careful that the cheese in the chili mac doesn’t burn when reheating on the stovetop.
  • Store leftovers chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.


More Easy Ground Beef Recipes to Make

Ground beef is versatile and readily available. It can also stretch servings into a more affordable option for feeding a hungry family. More recipes using ground beef you may also like to try:



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Chili Mac Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili-mac-recipe, easy-chili-mac-recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 564kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 small poblano pepper or green bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (1.25 oz) chili seasoning packet (i.e. McCormick's or similar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper or black pepper
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano (OR 1 tsp Italian oregano)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can light red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup beef stock or water
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni cooked to al dente
  • 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • optional garnishes: jalapeno, sour cream, additional cheese, chopped cilantro


  • Drizzle olive oil in a 6 quart Dutch oven or similar heavy bottomed pot. Add ground beef cooking over medium high for 5-8 minutes until no pink remains.
  • To the pot add onions and poblano or bell pepper, mix well. Cook for 5-8 minutes or just until the softened Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add chili seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, oregano and cumin stirring to combine. Next, add tomato paste, mix well to combine.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, and beef stock or water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to low, and simmer with lid slightly offset for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Meanwhile, cook elbow macaroni in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well.
  • After the chili has cooked for 25-30 minutes add cooked macaroni to pot with half of the shredded cheese. Mix well. Simmer for 2-3 minutes on low.
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle the top with the reserved 1 cup cheese and cover. Let stand for 5-10 minutes or just until the cheese has melted
  • Serve hot garnished with jalapeno slices, sour cream or any of your favorite chili toppings.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 1017mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1174IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 365mg | Iron: 4mg
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