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!

Stirring Chili Mac Skillet with a spoon

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.

Overhead shot of Chili Mac Skillet ingredients in a skillet before mixing together

To Make this One Pan Skillet Meal

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have dinner on the table in a flash:

  1. Brown the ground beef with onion and garlic and drain off any fat.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the same pan (per recipe below) expect the cheese.
  3. 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.

Overhead shot of Chili Mac Skillet in a skillet

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.

Baked corn on the cob or tomato avocado salad are also tasty and light sides that will complement the stick-to-your-ribs heartiness of chili mac.

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.

Macaroni Madness

Overhead shot of Chili Mac Skillet in a skillet
4.83 from 29 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chili Mac Skillet

Creamy tex-mex infused pasta skillet!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 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.
4.83 from 29 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 458 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Casserole, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American


Stirring Chili Mac Skillet in a pan with a title
Chili Mac Skillet served in a white bowl with a title
Chili Mac Skillet with a title



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I was surprised how easy this recipe was to make. I found it delicious and I used gluten-free rotini noodles.5 stars

  2. Great concept of a one pot meal, but this was not good. The combination of Italian spices and chili powder was nasty. Chili Mac is more of a Tex-Mex cuisine.

    There are some very good recipes on this site, but this isn’t one of them.2 stars

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this recipe Lynn! We love the combination of spices in this recipe.

  3. I’ve made this several times now. It’s really good as written, but, I do make changes. I dice onion, too oniony for me grated. Halve the sugar. I also add a can of chili beans, a little cayenne pepper for heat and extra cheese. Tonight I’m going to add some sliced hotdogs during the last 3 or 4 mins!
    Everyone, including picky kids, love this recipe! Thank you!4 stars

    1. Chili is not added to this recipe however the addition of beef, onion and chili powder add the flavor of chili to the recipe.

  4. Do you grate the onion or the garlic? Do you leave the garlic cloves whole or do you cut them up?

  5. I made this recipe last night, April 23, 2018, and my husband and I loved it. Easy to make, didn’t take long to cook. My hubby helped grate the cheese and grated way more than 1/2 cup, so our Crew of 7 dogs got some cheese last night. My hubby even took some chili mac for lunch. Great recipes here. Thank you4 stars

    1. You’re welcome Mary! So glad to hear that you and your husband loved the Chili Mac Skillet!

  6. I made this for dinner tonight for my husband and me. It is quite good. Served it with cooked carrots and my DH had a slice of bread. I made 1/2 batch of the chili mac and split that into half for another meal on Monday. So . . . I would say that the whole recipe serves 12.