Chili Mac and Cheese is made with homemade chili combined with cheesy macaroni noodles for a hearty and comforting meal with a little kick. For another flavorful and hearty dish, try my Beer Mac and Cheese with Steak Bites.

Chili Macaroni and Cheese in a Red Skillet

Chili Mac and Cheese

I always add cheese to my chili, so why not step it up a bit and add some stovetop macaroni and cheese to the mix? It’s the perfect combination of meat, vegetables, and cheesy pasta that will be sure to satisfy your hunger and taste buds! To round out the meal, serve it with a side of homemade breadsticks.

Chili Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Ground Beef: I used ground beef for this recipe, but this would also be delicious with ground turkey, chicken, or pork.

Pasta: I used macaroni for this recipe. If you’re feeling ambitious you could even make homemade pasta!

Chili Seasoning: Storebought seasoning works great, or feel free to make some homemade chili seasoning.

Spoonful of Chili for Chili Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

How to Make Chili Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac and Cheese starts with my Grandma’s Homemade Chili recipe, with some added corn, and my Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. Let’s start with the chili recipe. As I mentioned, I tweaked the chili a bit from the original recipe and cut the amounts in half.

How to Make Chili

The process of making homemade chili is actually relatively simple.  The secret is in the time!  The flavors in the tomatoes, the seasonings, the meat, and the beans need time to start to work together.  They start to blend perfectly if you let the whole thing simmer. 

First, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef with the onion for 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, and then drain the beef. Add the kidney beans, corn, chili seasoning, and salt to the pan and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to prepare the macaroni and cheese!

Adding Chili to Macaroni and Cheese to make Chili Macaroni and Cheese Recipe in Red Skillet

How to Make the Macaroni and Cheese

As you are cooking the noodles and the chili is simmering, get out your saucepan, and start heating up and mixing all the cheeses and spices together. There are a couple of times where you will be taking the pan on and off the heat, so be aware of that.

Start by heating the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a couple of minutes. It’s time to remove the pan from the heat for the first time. Gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly. Place the pan back on the heat and keep whisking!

After 3-5 minutes, add the salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Remove from the heat for the second time and add the cheeses, melting them with all the other ingredients. Finally, add the macaroni cheese to the simmered chili and combine all the goodness together. Serve warm, garnished with parsley.

Overhead View of Chili Macaroni and Cheese in Red Skillet on White Surface

Can I Freeze Chili Mac and Cheese?

Yes, you can! This makes quite a large portion, so if you won’t eat it all within a couple of days, your best bet is to freeze it. Let it cool completely before spooning the chili into zipped, freezer-safe bags. Be sure to label and date the bags; the chili will last up to 2 months in the freezer.

One White Bowl of Chili Macaroni and Cheese with Towel and Fork Nearby

More Pasta Dishes

Chili Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Chili Mac and Cheese is made with homemade chili combined with cheesy macaroni noodles for a hearty and comforting meal with a little kick.

Ingredients

CHILI

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chili seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

MACARONI

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
  • parsley, for garnish

Instructions

CHILI

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the ground beef and chopped onion, until browned (5 to 10 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Drain the meat.
  • Add kidney beans, tomatoes, corn, chili seasoning, and salt to the pan and stir until combined.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chili is heated through (15 to 20 minutes).

MACARONI

  • Cook the noodles per package directions. Set aside as you prepare the cheese sauce.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown).
  • Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
  • Return the pan to the heat, whisk another 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Add the salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  • Add the cheeses, stirring to melt.
  • Pour the sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
  • Combine the macaroni and cheese with the chili until it is all mixed together.
  • Serve warm, topped with chopped parsley.

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You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

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