Chili Cheese Mac

Chili Cheese Mac

Chili, cheese, and pasta… does it get much better than this?  This dish is the epitome of comfort food.  When I first saw the recipe, I pinned it knowing it would be a hit.  But then I started doubting myself and almost didn't make it.  Boy, am I glad I went with my first instinct because everyone ate it. I told the kids it was Taco Mac and Cheese so they gobbled it up as tacos and mac and cheese are their top two dinner choices.

Chili Cheese Mac

I baked this in a smaller, round dish so it would fit in the toaster oven.  The only downfall to my pan is that the cheese wasn't quite as spread out on top of the dish to add extra cheesiness so use the 9×13 if you can.  I also kind of wish I'd used more cheese because I just needed more, but it's still delicious as is!  It does lose some of it's “chili” flavor as leftovers so you might want to add a tad more chili powder when making it.  Finally, make sure to cook your macaroni just to al dente — it should still have a bite to it.  I made the mistake of over cooking the macaroni and after it baked, it was pretty mushy.

Chili Cheese Mac

Serves 4-6     adjust servings


  • 1/2 pound macaroni, cooked to al dente
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 3/4 Tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 cup water (preferably the pasta water)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese


  1. First, do not over cook the macaroni! It will continue to cook in the oven.
  2. In a large pot or pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Brown ground beef.
  3. Remove beef from pan and strain fat. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan, heat another 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook until vegetables are soft.
  5. Add water to pan and stir to loosen bits.
  6. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, and beef back to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Add pasta and 1/2 cup cheese to the pot and remove from heat.
  8. Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 (or other appropriately sized baking dish) and smooth out.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  10. Add 2 cups cheese to top of dish and put back in the oven until cheese is bubbly and browned.
  11. Allow dish to sit for abut 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 993kcal Calories from fat 539
% Daily Value
Total Fat 60g 92%
Saturated Fat 27g 135%
Transfat 3g
Cholesterol 193mg 64%
Sodium 677mg 28%
Carbohydrate 57g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 9g
Protein 56g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
Chili Cheese Mac
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Adapted from What's Cooking Chicago

This post is linked to Addicted to Recipes, Flour Me with Love, Mom's Test Kitchen, Mama Chocolate, The DIY Dreamer


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10 comments on “Chili Cheese Mac

  1. Pingback:52 Week Savings Challenge {Week 10} - MomsLifeboat

  2. This looks amazing! I found you via the scrumptious Sunday link up. Checking out some of your other recipes now 🙂

  3. I think my husband would absolutely love this! Thanks so much for linking up to MTM Mondays!!

  4. That looks delicious. I mean, I had chili tonight, but I’m sure it didn’t taste nearly as good as what you created. I will now pin THIS so I don’t forget about it! lol

  5. Oh! That sounds interesting!! Chili Cheese Mac is calling my name!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  6. Move over hamburger helper ~ this may become my husband’s new favorite meal! Thank you so much for sharing it with Delicious Dish Tuesday 🙂

  7. That looks fantastic! And I have that exact same baking dish. LOL

  8. I might have to try a veggie version of this! 🙂