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The perfect back-to-school recipe! Our Chili Mac Recipe is full of bold chili flavors, beef, wagon wheel pasta, and plenty of ooey, gooey cheese. Best of all, it’s ready in under 30 minutes and made all in one pot!
One pot meals make the best quick supper ideas for back-to-school. This easy chili mac and cheese sets the bar high! Everyone at the table will love this meaty, cheesy, one pot pasta.
Easy Chili Mac Recipe
As a mom of four, I know how difficult it can be to put dinner on the table every night – let alone a dinner everyone will love! This easy chili mac recipe is a lifesaver if you struggle with coming up with easy family meals everyone will love it.
One pot recipes are usually at the top of my list of favorite family meal ideas on a budget. It doesn’t get much better than easy one-pot meals like this chili mac and cheese recipe!
Put all of your ingredients in one pot, and not only do you have a delicious one-pot pasta, you have just one pan to clean up at the end of the night!
Chili Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- olive oil
- ground beef
- onions, diced
- chili seasoning mix
- diced tomatoes
- beef broth or stock
- milk or half and half
- beans, rinsed and drained – I use pinto beans
- wagon wheel pasta or pasta of choice, uncooked
- cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish – optional
How to Make Chili Mac
- Add olive oil to a large pot (6 qts. minimum) with a lid and heat over med-high heat until oil starts to shimmer. Add in lean ground beef and diced onions and cook, breaking up beef, until it is no longer pink and the onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in chili seasoning mix, a can of diced tomatoes, beef broth, milk, and can of beans (I use pinto).
- Heat until mixture begins to simmer, then add in wagon wheel pasta and stir. Bring back to a simmer and cover pot and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pasta reaches your desired degree of doneness. (There will still be liquid in the pan, you don’t want it to all absorb).
- Take off heat and stir in sharp cheddar cheese until melted. Taste for salt and pepper, and add as needed.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if you prefer, and serve!
Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe Tips
- My personal favorite cheese to top my chili mac recipe with is sharp cheddar cheese. However, you can use whatever cheese you like. Try different cheeses or cheese blends and find what you like!
- I think the sharp cheddar complements the beef and beans very well, and it melts perfectly.
- You can also use whatever beans you like for the chili beans in this recipe. I personally enjoy pinto beans, but you can use another bean or even a mix of beans. If you want to switch things up, try using beans from your favorite chili recipes.
- Finally, wagon wheel pasta is my pasta of choice for chili mac. It holds up really well to the chili and is a fun shape, so kids love it. You can use spiral pasta or macaroni for this recipe, too, but wagon wheel pasta recipes are especially fun!
Chili Mac Recipe is the Best One Pot Pasta
Chili mac and cheese is so easy to make! The best part about this chili mac recipe is how simple it is to make and the fact that it’s all made in one pot in under 30 minutes.
One pot pasta recipes are some of my favorites, and this chili mac and cheese is definitely near the top of the list. I love the ooey, gooey cheese and the texture of the wagon wheel pasta with pinto beans and chili seasoning.
If you’re wondering what to make for dinner this week, definitely try this easy chili mac recipe! This is one of the easiest family meal ideas on a budget that isn’t missing out on any flavor thanks to hearty beef, beans, and chili seasoning.
Love pasta? Get even more Comfort Food Pasta Recipes like this one!
Easy Sunday Dinners
Best Chili Recipes
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Easy Chili Mac Recipe
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef see note 1
- ½ – ¾ cup onions diced
- 2 Tbsp. chili seasoning mix I used McCormick
- 14 ½ oz can diced tomatoes do not drain
- 4 cups beef broth or stock
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- 15 ½ oz. beans rinsed and drained (I used pinto beans)
- 16 oz. pasta wagon wheel, macaroni, etc., uncooked
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish optional
- Add olive oil to a large pot (6 quart min) with a lid and heat over med-high heat until oil starts to shimmer. Add in ground beef and onions and cook, breaking up beef into crumbles, until beef is no longer pink and onions are softened.
- Stir in chili seasonings, tomatoes, beef broth, milk and beans.
- Heat until mixture begins to simmer, then add in the pasta and stir. Bring back to a simmer and cover pot and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is soft. (There will still be liquid in the pan, you don’t want it to all absorb). You may need to adjust cook time to desired degree of doneness for pasta.
- Take off heat and stir in cheese until melted. Taste for salt and pepper, and add as needed. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
- We recommend Certified Angus Beef® brand ground beef for best results.