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A spoonful of Chili Mac

Chili Mac

A variation on mac and cheese, chili mac adds pantry ingredients to a classic meal. Once your family tries chili mac, you'll be making it on repeat!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chili Mac, Chili Mac Recipe, How Do I Make Chili Mac, How To Make Chili Mac
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 495kcal
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 parsley chopped


  •  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 pink in the meat.
  • 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.
  •  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.


Serving: 1/4 of the recipe | Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 890mg | Potassium: 928mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 5.6mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 5mg