Supper never fails to satisfy when you serve this Chili Mac Skillet. This cheesy, meaty meal combines ground beef, macaroni, and cheddar cheese in a thick tomato sauce enriched with beef broth.
Make this your go-to recipe when you need to stretch your food budget and still put a smile on everyone’s face! Serve this hearty meal with a light tomato cucumber salad and a slice of garlic bread to soak up every last drop!
What is Chili Mac?
Chili Mac is a fresh take on an American Goulash recipe, with a flavorful Tex-Mex flair, thanks to the addition of chili powder and herbs. Make it on the stovetop in a pot for an easy meal that’s a breeze to prep!
Ingredients for Chili Mac
Not only is the shopping, prepping and cooking for this homemade one pot meal super easy, but cleanup is a breeze too. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Base: ground beef, beef broth, elbow macaroni
- Toppings: cheddar cheese
- Veggies: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic cloves
- Sugar & Spice: parsley, basil, oregano, chili powder, beef bouillon cube, sugar
If you prefer, substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef and use chicken broth and bouillon. Penne pasta, rotini or shells will also serve in place of the macaroni. Add canned black beans, bell peppers or corn to stretch this recipe even more.
For maximum flavor and bite, use extra sharp cheddar. Pepper jack or Colby also work well in this recipe. Consider giving chili mac more of a Mexican vibe by getting creative with cumin powder, jalapenos, or chopped cilantro.
To Make this One Pan Skillet Meal
Follow these simple steps and you’ll have dinner on the table in a flash:
- Brown the ground beef with onion and garlic and drain off any fat.
- Add all the ingredients to the same pan (per recipe below) expect the cheese.
- Cover and cook until the macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.
Once cooked, adjust seasoning, top with shredded cheddar, a sprinkle of green onion or cilantro and serve.
Don’t Forget the Sides!
The beauty of one pot meals like this is that you don’t have to fuss too much with sides. Serve chili mac with tortilla chips or tangy panzanella salad for a welcome crunch.
How to Reheat It
This is a terrific meal to make in advance to allow the flavors to deepen and develop. Chili mac will keep in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to four months.
To reheat, thaw and then pop into the microwave until steaming hot. Or you can take it straight from the freezer to the oven and bake until bubbling hot throughout.
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Chili Mac Skillet
- ½ small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¾ pound dry macaroni noodles
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon each dried parsley, basil and oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Finely dice the onion (or grate with a cheese grater). Add onion, beef and garlic to a pan over medium heat. Cook until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
- Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover.
- Stirring occasionally, let cook 13-17 minutes or until macaroni is cooked through (add a little bit of water if needed).
- Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve warm topped with cheese.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)