Chili Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac and Cheese: This recipe for creamy chili mac combines traditional creamy macaroni and cheese with a robust and savory homemade chili. Your family will want to eat this dish mashup repeatedly. It’s ideal for enjoying game day or family feasts!


Chili Mac and Cheese


Vegetarian Chili Mac - Easy One Pot Dinner!





  • 1 lbs. ground beef80% lean
  • 1 small oniondiced


  • ½ cup bell pepperdiced
  • 3 cloves garlicdiced


  • 1.25 oz. packet chili seasoning mixsee notes for homemade seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste


  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 14.4 oz. can diced tomatoesundrained


  • ½ cup chicken brothcan sub beef broth
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained


Mac and Cheese


  • 2 cups macaroniuncooked
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder


  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon each: salt/pepper


  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheeseshredded

For Baking


  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheeseshredded
  • Fresh Parsleyto garnish



Make the Chili


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef for two minutes. Once the beef is browned and the onions have softened, add the onions and simmer for a further five minutes. Empty the grease.


  • Add the bell peppers and garlic, and simmer for about 4 minutes, or until the peppers become mushy. Stir together the tomato paste and spices. Simmer for one minute.


  • Stir in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes (not drained), and tomato sauce. Mix everything together. After bringing it to a boil, lower the heat so that it gently bubbles. While making the macaroni and cheese,


  • slightly, cover and simmer. It will get thicker and more concentrated the longer it simmers. Include the kidney beans, drained, in the last 10 minutes or so.


Make the Mac and Cheese


  • Preheat oven to 400° F.


  • Begin boiling salted pasta water for the macaroni. Proceed with preparing the cheese sauce while it comes up to a boil. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook according to package instructions, until just al dente. (Don’t overcook it.) Drain once cooked.


  • Melt the butter in a 4 ½ quart Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and wait for it to begin to foam slightly. Whisk in the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream in splashes, stirring continuously. Add the milk in the same manner.


  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the hot sauce and seasonings, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low.


  • Gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese, stirring continuously, until well-combined and smooth.


  • Add the drained macaroni and stir to combine. (For extra cheesy macaroni, add slightly less pasta, as the noodles will continue to absorb the cheese sauce. (My images show it with the full amount being added.)


Green bean almondine



  • Calories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 15gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans


  • Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 321mgPotassium: 415mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1541IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 184mgIron: 2mg


Notes Pro Advice:


  • Instead of using prepackaged shredded cheese, shred cheese straight from the block; it will melt and taste much better. I use sharp yellow cheese from Cracker Barrel.
    A great complement to the cheddar is Monterey Jack cheese.


  • If desired, the beans in the chili can be left out. Kidney beans can also be substituted with drained and rinsed black beans.


  • The hot sauce is used as a flavor enhancer; you cannot taste it in the mac and cheese. Texas Pete Hot Sauce is what I generally use. (My reliable backup is Frank’s hot sauce!)
    This is great served as a side dish with cornbread!


Make-Ahead Methods:

  • Option 1: Make the chili 1-2 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve. Reheat on the stovetop until heated through, then proceed with cooking the macaroni and combining it with the chili as outlined.


  • Option 2: The entire recipe can be assembled without the cheese topping and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. I suggest boiling the macaroni 1 minute shy of al dente in this case. When ready to serve, reheat the chili mac on the stovetop until heated through. Top with cheese and bake at 400 ° for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Leave a Comment