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Chili Mac & Cheese

Chili Mac & Cheese - Hearty bean chili is cooked with macaroni and covered with cheese to make for one hearty dish perfect for those cold nights!

Chili Mac & Cheese – Hearty bean chili is cooked with macaroni and covered with cheese to make for one hearty dish perfect for those cold nights!

It’s time for another soup! Well, it’s a half soup, half pasta dish. But comforting, nonetheless. And with the extreme cold weather that’s been here this week (and that will continue for the next few days!), this dish is coming at the perfect time.

I’ve learned that chili recipes are a favorite of my husband, because of the heartiness of them. So I’ve been trying to focus on soup recipes with tons of chunks and/or beans. That’s why the last couple of soup recipes I’ve posted were chock-full of beans. Remember this salsa verde chicken chili and this pasta e fagioli soup?? He looooved those. So it’s no surprise that today’s soup is yet another chili.

Check out my recipe for Chili Mac & Cheese!

This incredible recipes combines two of the most comforting dishes you could have: chili and mac & cheese (in case it wasn’t obvious in the name of the dish). I’ve actually had this duo a few times at a local BBQ spot before making it for myself. They simply just take a scoop of mac and cheese and add chili on top.┬áIt’s the most incredible dish! The super rich mac & cheese is perfectly balanced by the spicy chili. Yum and yum.

But to make it at home would require you to make two dishes. Bleh, no thanks. I don’t care how much cheese it has! Making a mac and cheese from scratch AND a chili from scratch requires a lot of ingredients and takes a lot of time. Not two things I’m usually happy to deal with, especially for a weeknight meal.

So when I was brainstorming ways to make this at home, I stumbled upon a recipe where both were done at once in the same pot. Hmmm, intriguing.

You make the chili, add the noodles to cook through, and then top with a handful of cheese and wait for it to melt into the chili. It’s not exactly mac and cheese but it satisfies that cheesy carb craving, for sure!

As I do with every post, here are a few tips to make sure this chili mac & cheese comes out perfectly for you:

  1. Be careful not to overcook the noodles. If they overcook, they get mushy and loose their bite.
  2. This dish is pretty chunky. If you want your chili a little looser, you need to add more broth after the noodles finish cooking.
  3. Once the cheese is stirred into the chili, it make it super creamy, like a beefy cheese sauce. If you want it to be more cheesy than creamy, just add more cheese on top.

And that’s there is to it! You’re gonna be gobbling this up all winter long! What other kinds of soups are you cooking up to keep warm? I need more recipes to try!

Print Recipe
Chili Mac & Cheese
Hearty bean chili is cooked with macaroni and covered with cheese to make for one hearty dish perfect for those cold nights!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup canned cannelloni beans
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 11/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces dry elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans
  • 3/4 cup canned cannelloni beans
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 11/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces dry elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat dutch oven to medium high. Add olive oil and onions. Cook until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and ground beef. Cook until beef is browned.Make sure to keep stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Drain excess fat and return to heat.
  2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to combine. Add salt and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover to cook the pasta. Depending on the brand of pasta, it can take anywhere from 8-12 minutes. I used Barilla and it only took 8 minutes to cook.
  3. Remove from heat. Add cheese, but do not stir. Cover with lid to help cheese melt. Should take about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh parsley.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious

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More recipes that you’ll love:

Simple Classic Chili

Salsa Verde Chicken Chili

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Pasta e Fagioli Soup - A classic Italian soup that is made with a tomato broth, ground beef, pasta, and packed-full of veggies and beans. All of these ingredients transform this into an irresistible dish that is so comforting and warms the heart. And stomach! Even better than the Olive Garden version.

13 comments

  1. Chili mac and cheese?! This sounds AMAZING. I would have never thought to combine the two- although that isn’t saying much since I’m the world’s least creative cook haha! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’ve never had any kind of mac and cheese other than, well, mac and cheese! This looks delicious though! (And I could see myself using up some leftovers to make a spinoff of this!)

  3. Oh yum with ground beef!! That’s a brilliant mac and cheese flavor idea, I never thought of making this before and I do love Chili! please pass me the bowl!!

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