If you are looking for an easy and tasty dinner, try this hearty chili Mac recipe using ground beef. It’s made with a thick and rich chili and then tossed with macaroni. You can sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top too for the ultimate comfort food that’s sure to be a family favorite. Even the leftover chili mac tastes delicious!
You might also like my mom’s awesome lasagna recipe!
While I usually make keto and low carb recipes, today I wanted to share this easy and hearty chili mac recipe because it’s something I knew my son would love.
I make my mom’s turkey chili on a regular basis because my family loves it. Today, however I made it with ground beef and added the elbow macaroni noodles and some cheese for my son and the result was so yummy.
At the last minute I added some cheddar cheese to make this more of a chili mac and cheese recipe but that is really optional. It has amazing flavor even without the cheese.
TIP: The chili itself has a delicious rich flavor and freezes well. You can make this recipe without the macaroni and freeze a batch of chili for another day. Then you can heat it up and mix in 1 cup of elbow pasta for a really quick dinner and a hearty meal.
Recipe ingredients I used.
Below you can see all of the simple ingredient I used for this chili macaroni recipe – yellow onion, garlic cloves, green bell peppers, black beans, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, lean ground beef, macaroni and my chili spice blend.
The chili spice blend is paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
If you want you can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken for the ground beef. You can also change up the beans and use kidney beans or chili beans instead of the black beans or eliminate the beans altogether if they are not your thing.
At the end I sprinkled some shredded sharp cheddar cheese because I thought myself on would like it but that is really optional. We like cheese on our chili so why not?
How to make chili mac using ground beef.
Note that this recipe makes a lot and is definitely a budget friendly dinner for a hungry family.
Step 1: Place a large pot of water on the stove and heat to high heat to get the water boiling for the pasta. Cook the macaroni according to packaging directions.
Step 2: In a dutch oven, large pan or skillet heat to medium heat and add the olive oil. Next add in the green pepper and onions and saute for 1-2 minutes to soften the vegetables.
Step 3: Next add in the ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and mix well to incorporate with veggies. Continue to cook the beef until it has browned – about 5-6 minutes. If you don’t use lean ground meat you may have excess grease that you want to drain a bit.
Step 4: Add in the black beans, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the beef mixture. Mix it well and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Step 5: Once the pasta is done, drain and set aside until the chili is finished. Then add the cooked pasta to the pan and slowly mix it well to combine with the chili. Take it off the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes to let the noodles absorb some of the sauce.
Step 6: (Optional) Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and let it melt. If you want you can place the pan in the oven, under the broiler to get the cheese browned but it’s good with just the melted cheese.
While this recipe uses 2 pots because you need to make the macaroni separate, it’s essentially a one pot meal.
Chili toppings you can try.
As I mentioned topped our chili made with cheddar cheese but you could use a variety of cheeses such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, gouda, Mexican blend, etc.
Anything you put on your chili would work as well like sour cream, jalapeno peppers, raw chopped onions, black olives, hot pepper flakes or hot sauce, guacamole, avocado slices or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.
More hearty comfort food recipes to try.
If you like comfort food like this dish you will also like these family friendly recipes. Some are my mom’s that were passed down to me and some are my own.
- hot stuffed banana pepper pasta
- slow cooker sausage and peppers
- cheesy meatball stuffed peppers
- kielbasa, potatoes and peppers skillet
- slow cooker braciole
- slow cooker chicken cacciatore
I know chili mac is a one of the classic comfort foods that many people grew up with, but I did not. This is actually the first time I’ve eaten chili mac and cheese and I love it. It will definitely become a regular weeknight dinner for us.
However as I mentioned above I made my mom’s homemade chili all the time so it’s not much of a stretch to make this dish.
I hope you give this chili mac recipe using ground beef a try. I think you will love it!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can black beans
- 6 ounces can tomato paste
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
- Gete a large pot of water boiling on the stove to make the pasta. Follow the directions on the box.
- Meanwhile get out a dutch oven, large pan or skillet** and heat to medium heat. Add the olive oil and then the green pepper and onions. Saute for a couple of minutes to soften the vegetables.
- Add in the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the seasonings over the ground beef and mix well to incorporate with veggies. Continue to cook the beef until it has browned.
- Add in the black beans, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the meat mixture and mix it well. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.
- Once the pasta is done, drain and set aside to cool while the chili finishes cooking. Then add it to the pan and slowly mix it well to combine with the chili.
- Take it off the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes to let the noodles absorb some of the sauce.
- Optional - you can shredded cheddar cheese to the top and let it melt before serving. You could also set it under the broiler to melt it and get it browned if you prefer.
**This recipe makes a large amount so make sure you use a big enough pan to cook everything. If you have trouble mixing the chili with the macaroni, you can do it separately in a large mixing bowl and the spoon it in to a baking or casserole dish and serve.
If you use kidney beans instead of black beans if you want and you can also eliminate them all together if you don't like them.
Ground turkey can be used instead of ground beef .
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 739mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 23g