Get ready for a cheesy affair because this dish is about to become your newfound love for chili! Picture this: the heartiness of chili meeting the timeless comfort of classic mac and cheese.

Our chili mac and cheese recipe isn’t just easy; it’s a flavor-packed delight that can be whipped up with pantry staples you probably already have. It’s the superhero of busy weeknight dinners, rescuing you from the mundane with every delicious bite!

a spoon scooping up chili mac and cheese from a pot

What kind of pasta noodles to use for chili mac and cheese

We love to use bowtie noodles for this dish, but there are plenty of noodle shapes that will absorb this delicious chili cheese sauce:

  • Farfalle, also known as bow tie pasta, is one of our favorite shapes – and kids love them too! They are pinched in the middle and have loads of crevices to pick up this delicious chili sauce.
  • Gemelli is another fan favorite in our household. Similar to rotini pasta, these inch-long pasta noodles are twisted and have an incredible texture. They soak in whatever sauce they are cooked in and are easy to pick up with your fork!
  • And speaking of rotini pasta – that is another shape that works really well in this easy macaroni and cheese recipe. It is the perfect size and shape to go with mac and cheese.
  • Penne is a great option for this chili mac and cheese. This classic pasta noodle is shaped like a tube and will naturally scoop up this yummy sauce.
  • Rotelle pasta is a whole lot of fun! These wheel shaped pasta noodles are a favorite among children and adults alike.

Truly you cannot go wrong with whatever pasta you choose for this recipe!

one pot chili mac and cheese with black beans

Can I make this dish gluten free?

Absolutely! The only part about this dish that has gluten is the pasta, so making gluten-free chili mac and cheese is super straightforward. All you need to do is swap out the regular pasta for your favorite gluten-free pasta.

We love replacing the pasta with chickpea-based pasta or brown rice-based pasta. The only thing to keep in mind is that gluten-free pastas usually cook a bit faster than wheat-based pasta. This means that they can be more delicate and break apart when overcooked.

It’s important to follow the directions for cooking time on the box when using gluten-free pasta. Each type is slightly different and likely has been tested by the company making them. So we recommend that you follow along with our recipe, but adjust the cooking time based on what the box says.

a spoon stirring one pot chili mac and cheese

How to make chili mac and cheese

  1. Cook the ground beef in a Dutch oven or deep dish pot. Drain the excess liquid.
  2. When the beef is cooked, add the onions and garlic, followed by salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Sauté everything together in the pan over medium heat until nice and fragrant.
  3. Next, add in the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, and farfalle pasta. Pour broth into the pot, bring it all up to a boil and cover.
  4. Cook everything together until the pasta reaches al denté texture. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
  5. Then add both types of shredded cheeses and mix together over the heat. Allow the cheese to melt and turn into a gooey sauce.
  6. When the cheese is melted, it is time to serve!

How to store chili mac and cheese

You can store leftover chili mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. That’s if you have any leftovers! We find that everyone always wants seconds of this dish.

This recipe is great for meal planning ahead because it freezes very well. If you store it in an airtight container in the freezer, this macaroni and cheese chili will last up to 3 months! Try freezing it in portion sizes so that you only defrost as much as you will need.

If you are planning to freeze it, we recommend allowing the mac and cheese to cool down before storing it in the freezer. This will prevent the hot mac and cheese from changing the internal temperature in your freezer! In case you didn’t know, when you put hot food in the freezer, it can impact the temperature of the food around it. This could cause the food in your freezer to prematurely defrost, and develop freezer burn.

More delectable recipes to wrap your mouth around

If you’ve fallen hard for our chili mac and cheese, these recipes are like the cool cousins at the family reunion – equally awesome and impossible to resist hanging out with:

The BEST Slow Cooker Chili

One Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese

One Pot Mac and Cheese

a serving spoon scooping up chili mac and cheese from a pot

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Our chili mac and cheese recipe is easy to make, packed with flavor! Combines a classic mac and cheese with a hearty chili, all in one pot!

Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces cooked lean ground beef
  • 1 small chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilis do not drain
  • 4 cups low sodium beef or vegetable broth
  • 16 ounces mini farfalle or elbow pasta
  • 3/4 cup freshly graded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly graded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Cook the ground beef in a dutch oven or deep dish pot. Drain the excess liquid.
    8 ounces cooked lean ground beef
  • When the beef is cooked, add the onions and garlic, followed by salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Sauté everything together in the pan over medium heat until nice and fragrant.
    1 small chopped yellow onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Add in the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes and farfalle pasta. Pour broth into the pot, bring it all up to a boil and cover.
    1/2 cup canned red kidney beans, 1/2 cup canned black beans, 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilis, 4 cups low sodium beef or vegetable broth, 16 ounces mini farfalle or elbow pasta
  • Cook everything together until the pasta reaches al denté texture. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
  • Then add both types of shredded cheeses and mix together over the heat. Allow the cheese to melt and turn into a gooey sauce.
    3/4 cup freshly graded sharp white cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup freshly graded sharp cheddar cheese
  • When the cheese is melted, it is time to serve!

Video

Notes

Note: If the pasta seems runny at first, don’t panic! Let stand for 10 minutes in the pot and it really absorbs all the liquid!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1001mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 653IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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