Chili Mac and Cheese is the ultimate mash up of TWO favourites — Chili PLUS Mac and Cheese!
Easy Homemade Chili Mac and Cheese loaded with beans is the ultimate casserole, ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes! A pasta recipe with a KICK of spice and incredible flavours that the whole family will go crazy for! Great for using up leftover chili OR make straight from scratch!
How To Make Chili Mac
Two comfort foods combine together in one pan for the best thing you’ll ever eat in your life — well apart from this Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese. This one is on a whole other level of greatness.
With many one pot Mac and cheese recipes on the inter-webs, this recipe is different in that you have the option of using leftover chili (something like this Chili recipe, for example), OR make an incredibly tasty chili from scratch! This Chili Mac is RICH with favour! There’s so much of it in this casserole we found ourselves eating it straight out of the pan! Plates are way overrated with something like this.
Chili Mac Ingredients
First, you’re going to get your pasta boiling while you start on your Chili. Lord help me this Chili is so good! The main ingredients in this recipe is the usual:
- Ground beef — I use lean beef in this. You can also use ground chicken or turkey.
- Beans — Both red kidney beans and black beans, but you can substitute with any you like.
- Tomato based ingredients for the best Chili sauce — crushed tomatoes AND tomato puree (aka Passata in Australia). I also add in tomato paste in this recipe to get the thickness and richness happening faster without having to wait hours!
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika (or hot or sweet paprika also taste good in this)
- Red chili powder (or Cayenne)
The ingredients list may look a little long BUT you can’t have a really good flavoured Chili and skimp out on seasonings!
I used a mixture of American cheddar and mozzarella in this recipe just for the flavour and texture of those, but you can use Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend. You could also use Provolone or any other cheese you love!
Once you’ve mixed your cooked pasta together with your chili, broil (or grill) the cheese topping for a couple of minutes to get it bubbly and melted!
Garnish with some jalapeno slices and chopped cilantro, and ENJOY!
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Chili Mac and Cheese with beans is the ultimate mash up of TWO favourites -- Chili PLUS Mac and Cheese! Using leftover chili OR chili made from scratch, this casserole is ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes! Incredible flavours that the whole family will go crazy for!
- 8 oz (250g) dry weight elbow or macaroni pasta, cooked to al dente and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 green pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
- 1 pound (500g) lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and red chili powder or Cayenne (adjust to your tastes)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 oz (200g) crushed tomatoes
- 7 oz (210g) tomato puree (or Passata, condensed tomato soup for Aussies)
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 14 oz (400g) red kidney beans, drained
- 7 oz (200g) black beans, drained
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Monterey Jack)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oil in large heavy-based pot (or casserole pot) over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until transparent, then add the green peppers (or capsicum) and garlic, sautéing for a further minute until the garlic is fragrant.
Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up any big chunks with the end of your wooden spoon. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt and mix through until beef is fully coated in the seasonings.
Mix in the crushed tomatoes along with the juices, tomato puree, broth, tomato paste and beans. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer while stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens (about 10 minutes).
Preheat oven broiler (or grill) on medium heat.
Add the cooked pasta and toss well to combine. Top with cheese, transfer to oven and broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and melted.
Garnish with sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro (optional).
Serve with sour cream.
*The chili can be made up to 2 days ahead using this recipe (you will only need half of the recipe). After cooking, allow to cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
**If using leftover chili, you will need 4 cups of cooked chili! Mix it through the cooked pasta, top with cheese and ENJOY!
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