One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac! Delicious, cheesy and gooey. Perfectly cooked pasta, meaty chili loaded with cheese all made together in ONE PAN!
Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac

This recipe for One-Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac is really, really, really, a dream come true! Three reallys? Yes, three really!

Delicious pasta, yummy meaty chili, and gooey cheese. All made in one skillet? No separate huge pot to boil the pasta. No colander. Easy clean-up?

Prepackaged shredded Mexican blend cheese is even preferred over buying cheese and shredding it yourself. But sometimes it’s nice to have a little convenient!

Okay, so who cares about all that if it’s not super yummy? Well, no fears! Of course, this is super yummy! Come on, you know it wouldn’t be on my blog if it wasn’t a winner! I mean, even if this recipe wasn’t easy and convenient, I’d be making it just for it’s “delicious factor” alone! This has become one of the recipes that’s gone right to the top of the dinner rotation.

The whole family LOVES it!

Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac

Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac
5 from 1 vote

One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac

One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac! Delicious, cheesy and gooey. Perfectly cooked pasta, meaty chili loaded with cheese all made together in ONE PAN!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 460 kcal
Author Kathleen


  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • Salt
  • 4 Large Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar Packed
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1-15 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 8 Ounces about 2 cups Elbow Macaroni
  • 1-8 Ounce Package Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsely Chopped


  1.  In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, add oil and heat until it's shimmering.  Add onion, chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook over medium heat until onion is soft, stirring often so spices don't burn, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and brown sugar and cook, continuing to stir, so garlic doesn't burn, for about 30 seconds.  Add the ground beef and brown lightly, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks, until there is no pinker in the meat.

  2. Add the water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir to mix.  Stir in the pasta and cover, increasing the heat to medium-high.  Cook the mixture, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer. Continue to cook until the pasta is tender, about 9-12 minutes.

  3.  Take the skillet off the heat and add 1 cup of the cheese mixture.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  Top the skillet with remaining cheese and rest the mixture off the heat a few minutes or until cheese melts.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac
Amount Per Serving
Calories 460 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Potassium 671mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 51g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 6g
Protein 34g 68%
Vitamin A 17.2%
Vitamin C 7.4%
Calcium 10.8%
Iron 28.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes for Cheesy Chili Mac:  

Cheese: You can use any cheese you like in this recipe, but the Mexican cheese blend that comes already shredded is preferred. The combination of cheeses helps bind the mixture together, add a bit of creaminess and, of course, gives the dish that delicious cheesy goodness we all love and expect!

Pasta: I used Barilla Elbow pasta and measured out 2 cups. I measured it in a dry measuring cup and it was pretty much level. There may have been a few elbows that poked just above the line of level, but it’s not like flour and you can easily level it off perfectly. You don’t want to measure a heaping cup because it will affect the amount of water you need. It worked out great!

Toasting The Spices: Don’t forget to add the spices while you’re cooking the onion. Doing it at this point reduces the harshness of the chili powder. Generally, when you’re making a big pot of chili, you don’t need to do this because you cook the chili for quite a bit longer than this dish is cooked. The longer cooking process does the same thing.

Make It Spicy: If you want to spice this dish up, add some red chili flakes when you add the chili powder. My family is “heat adverse” so I make it as I’ve written it below :).

More Mexican Dishes…

  • Taco Pasta – has all the taco flavor you love in a simple skillet meal! Its creamy sauce marries meat, taco seasoning, and pasta wonderfully!

More Comforting Meals…

  • Crockpot Goulash – Whether you call it gulyas, gulas, gulyasleves, gulasin, gulasch, or plain old crockpot goulash, you’re gonna relish this humble beefy noodle herdsmen dish!

Source: The Best Skillet Recipes