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A large pan filled with spicy ground beef and wagon wheel pasta topped with melted cheese and sliced jalapeno
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5 from 1 vote

Chili Mac Recipe

A one pot easy chilii mac recipe made with ground beef and pasta. Comfort food for the family ready in 30 minutes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef chili mac, chili mac recipe, easy beef pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 615kcal
Author Eileen Kelly


  • 5 quart saute pan


  • 1 pound ground beef Note 1
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 pepper, seeded and chopped Note 2
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 15.5 ounce can, Chili Beans
  • 10 ounce can, fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juices Note 3
  • 10 ounces small pasta shells, like wagon wheels or elbows, uncooked
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chili powder Note 4
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Note 5


  • In a large saute pan, over medium heat add the ground beef, onions, and red pepper. Saute until meat no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic to release its flavors. Drain and discard excess fat from the pan.
  • Stir in chili beans with the sauce, fire roasted diced tomatoes, pasta, beef broth, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, turn heat to a low simmer. Cover pot with a lid. Let simmer about 12-15 minutes. Pasta will be tender and meat will be tender.
  • Sprinkle top with cheddar cheese.
  • Serve with your fvorite garnishes.


Note 1: 80 - 85% ground beef is best. You can swap and use ground turkey or chicken.
Note 2: You can use any color pepper. We use red pepper for this recipe.
Note 3: Regular diced tomatoes can be used. We prefer the smoky flavor from fire-roasted.
Note 4: Depending on your preference for heat, you may want to add more chili powder. Start small and add more. It is easier to add spice than trying to reduce heat. 
Note 5: Shredding a block cheese is best. Pre-shredded cheese can have a coating on it that makes it harder to melt. You can use a combo of cheddar and Colby, or Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Change up the meat and use ground turkey or ground sausage is tasty. Prefer vegan, use veggie crumbles or diced mushrooms in lieu of meat.
  • Chili beans are our favorite but other beans such as black or red can be used. You may want to increase the spices if using plain beans.
  • Corn: Add in 8 ounces of either frozen, thawed corn or canned corn drained.
  • We use a combo of Colby Jack and cheddar. You can use all cheddar.
Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation and actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and proportion sizes.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1107mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 756IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 7mg