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Easy Stovetop Chili Mac is a comforting fusion of hearty homemade chili, tender macaroni, and sharp cheddar cheese. It’s a one of a kind meal that your whole family will love.
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What is Chili Mac?
Chili Mac is a delicious combo of chili and macaroni, often featuring ground beef, tomatoes, and cheese. It’s a simple and quick recipe perfect for weeknight dinners, and it’s total comfort food.
You can use a canned chili completely for simplicity, but my homemade chili recipe is as delicious as it is simple! Some recipes include cheese and some don’t… but I definitely love mine with lots of cheese!
How To Make Chili Mac
Chili recipes can be so controversial and polarizing! It seems like every region of the US has their own version. I like to keep my ingredients simple.
- Make the chili. Saute ground beef, add tomatoes, spices, broth, and beans, and simmer until thickened. Feel free to add more heat as you like.
- Make the pasta – Boil the macaroni according to the package directions.
- Assemble and serve – Combine the macaroni with the chili and some cheese. Sprinkle some more cheese on top and melt.
You could add some garlic bread if you want to stretch this meal out to feed a few more guests. Make sure to have plenty of toppings available, like sliced green onions, sour cream, or more cheese.
- Pre-cook the pasta just until al dente, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- For added flavor, consider using fire-roasted tomatoes.
- If using canned chili, make sure to drain excess liquid for a thicker texture.
- Taste and adjust spices as you go along to tailor to your preferences.
- Save some pasta water to thin out the chili if needed.
- Grate your own cheese for better melting and flavor.
More Chili Recipes
- Instant Pot Skyline Chili
- Healthy Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chili
- Easy Crockpot Chili Recipe
- Baked Chili Cheese Dogs
Chili Mac Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small onion about 1 cup diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Macaroni
- 8 ounces uncooked macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or more as desired
- Sliced green onions for garnish optional
- Add ground beef, onion and minced garlic to a 5 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until beef no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Drain excess grease using a slotted spoon or paper towels.
- Stir in chili powder cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne and cook for about a minute.
- Stir in beef broth, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes and kidney beans. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. If simmering longer, cover with the lid.
- Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Turn off the heat under the chili and stir in macaroni and 1 cup of shredded cheese until melted. Top evenly with remaining cheese and cover the pot with the lid. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and serve immediately.