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Chili Mac

Chili Mac

This recipe combines homemade chili with macaroni and cheese to create a delicious and satisfying meal. Perfect for family dinners or game day, your family will want to have this Chili Mac recipe on repeat.

This Chili Mac recipe is designed to fully combine both chili and macaroni and cheese, creating a satisfying and flavorful meal. Unlike other recipes that simply add cooked macaroni to chili and top with cheese, this recipe fully combines the two dishes into one. The result is a delicious and hearty meal that can be customized to your personal taste. You can choose the ratio of chili to macaroni and cheese, or even let family and friends choose their own combination preferences.



  • 1 lbs. ground beef, 80% lean
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1.25 oz. packet chili seasoning mix, see notes for homemade seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 14.4 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup chicken broth, can sub beef broth
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained

Mac and Cheese

  • 2 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 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 cheese, shredded

For Baking

  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh Parsley, to garnish


Make the Chili

  1. Cook and crumble the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the beef is brown and the onions are softened. Drain grease.
  2. Add the bell peppers and the garlic and cook until the peppers are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the seasoning and tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, undrained diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce so that it’s bubbling gently. Cover partially and let it simmer while you prepare the macaroni and cheese. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more concentrated it will get. Add the drained kidney beans during the last 10 minutes or so.

Make the Mac and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the hot sauce and seasonings and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese, stirring continuously, until well-combined and smooth.
  6. 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.)

Combine the Chili & Macaroni

Add the chili to the macaroni and use a silicone spatula to gently stir to combine. You may choose to add all of it, (as shown in the images), or some of it, the ratio of mac and cheese to chili is up to you! You can always freeze any excess chili.


Once combined, top with 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve!

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