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Easy Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe

A simple recipe that is sure to become a family favorite! Try this Easy Cheesy Chili Mac Recipe for dinner tonight!

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac

We all have those recipes that are family favorites that we have kept forever! The kids love them and request them all the time. This Easy Cheesy Chili Mac is one of those recipes at my house. It is so simple to make, and everybody loves it!

I originally shared this recipe back in 2010 near the start of A Few Shortcuts. Let’s just say I wasn’t the best food photographer then. It was time to update the photos, update the info, and share this with you again because this recipe is delicious!

How to Make Cheesy Chili Mac

This recipe is so easy. You are going to cook some macaroni or other shaped pasta. This time I used rotini because it is what was on hand. When you cook your pasta only cook it for about 5 minutes. You want it to finish cooking with the chili.

In a skillet brown your beef, onions, etc. and then add in your other ingredients to create a simple chili.

In a 13×9 casserole dish layer a couple of cups of pasta with a couple of cups of chili, alternating until done. This is the best way to get a good pasta to chili ratio.

Top the casserole with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

What to Serve with Cheesy Chili Mac

Cheesy Chili Mac

This is a fantastic one-dish meal. It is great with a side salad and some fresh bread (Try this French Bread Recipe).

Gluten-Free Cheesy Chili Mac

With just a couple simple tweaks this recipe is easily modified to be gluten-free. Just use gluten-free pasta and as always check your other ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free.

Make it a Freezer Meal

A great prep ahead trick is to assemble your Cheesy Chili Mac the day before or even a few days before and freeze it. Follow the recipe but stop right before you put it in the oven. Cover your pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days, then bake at 350 for 30 minutes when ready to enjoy.

The other option is to wrap it up tightly and freeze it for up to 2 months. Before baking remove it from the freezer and thaw it completely.

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac

Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:55 minutes


  • 16 oz macaroni or other shape pasta
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes canned
  • 8 oz tomato sauce canned
  • 14 oz chili beans
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced bell pepper or just by the frozen pepper onion mix
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chili powder +/-
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese optional


  • Boil macaroni until al dente (about 5 min).  You want it to finish cooking in the chili!
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In skillet cook and crumble ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Until cooked through.
  • Drain the beef and add seasonings, tomatoes, and chili beans.  Bring to a simmer.
  • In large casserole dish, layer macaroni and Chili.  It is easier to mix together this way.
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and serve!

Gluten Free

  • Use a gluten free pasta

Dairy Free

  • Use a dairy-free cheese or omit the cheese.


Freezer/Fridge Meal

Assemble the Cheesy Chili Mac in a 13x9 pan but don't bake. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to enjoy. When ready to eat, thaw and bake according to the recipe directions.
Servings: 6 Servings
Author: Amanda Carlisle

Originally published in 2010. Updated August 2019

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  1. 5 stars
    Love this, it made so much! I made one casserole for dinner, and froze one for a later date, plus had chili mix leftover!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing. I make chilimac – the beans (husaband doesnt like beans) and – the cheese. It is such an inexpensive and easy dinner. Boy did that cheese make it look yummier though. We might just have to try the cheese =)

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    Try this recipe with a can of Rotel and a cup of Pace Picante Sauce with some chopped Cilantro (aka Mexican Parsley) to give it more zing. If you really want to kick it up a notch without adding more tomato notes you can dice up a fresh Jalapeno pepper. That’s the way we Texan’s like it. Ole!

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