EASY Chili Mac & Cheese

Here, in my home state of North Carolina, we have grown accustomed to unsettled weather. This winter, we’ve had snow, ice and 65 degree temperatures. Honestly, it kinda drives one crazy, not knowing what to expect and how to dress. Should you wear your puffy coat or flip flops? You get where I’m going with this?

Well, there’s one thing for sure, no matter what the weather, we’ve still gotta eat and this dinner has been one of my go-to recipes for years.

Sometimes, I make it in the crock pot and if I’m pushed for time, I make in my dutch oven on the stove top. Either way it’s delicious and always goes well with your puffy coat or your favorite flip flops!

EASY Chili Mac and Cheese

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion – chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 can (8 oz) chopped tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) white beans – drained and rinsed
1 can (8 oz) black beans – drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
10 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and ground beef and cook until meat is browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add stock, tomatoes and beans stirring until mixed. Add chili powder, salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil, add pasta and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is done. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve immediately.
    • Toppings for dish – sour cream, hot sauce, chopped scallions, avocado.
How to Prepare in Slow Cooker
  • Cook beef, onion and garlic in a skillet then add to slow cooker. Add tomato paste, stock, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Cook on high for 2 hours/4 on low or until ready for mealtime.
  • Add pasta and cook for 30 minutes until pasta is done.
  • Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese and serve.
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