Chili Mac Casserole

Cheesy Chili Mac Casserole – comfort food at its best! Quick homemade chili tossed with macaroni and smothered in cheese. O-M-YUM! Macaroni, ground beef, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato paste, chili beans, and cheese. Top the casserole with your favorite chili toppings. We ate this for dinner and had the leftovers for lunch during the week. This makes a lot of food. It is great for a crowd! #casserole #hotdish #groundbeef #chili

plate of chili mac casserole

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Best Chili Mac Casserole Recipe

This Cheesy Chili Mac Casserole is comfort food at its best! Quick homemade chili tossed with macaroni and smothered in cheese. O-M-YUM! We ate this for dinner and had the leftovers for lunch during the week. It is equally delicious reheated! This makes a lot of food! It is great for a potluck or when you need to feed a crowd! Serve with a salad and some cornbread and you are set.

baking dish of chili mac casserole

How to Make Cheesy Chili Mac Bake

This casserole is very easy to make. Start with cooking the macaroni. While the pasta is cooking, make the chili. In a skillet, brown ground beef. Drain the fat from the skillet. Add chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, and chili beans. Add the cooked pasta. Spread the mixture into a baking dish. Top the casserole with cheese and bake.

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can substitute ground turkey for ground beef.
  • If you don’t like beans in your chili you can leave them out. You can also substitute the chili beans with black beans or kidney beans.
  • I used a packet of French’s Chili-O seasoning mix for the chili seasoning. Feel free to use any brand that you prefer.
  • Feel free to use any type of cheese you prefer. I used sharp cheddar cheese. Pepper Jack or a Mexican cheese blend would be good too.
  • This is a very basic chili recipe. You can add fresh onion and bell pepper when cooking the ground beef if you would like.
  • Is Chili Mac Spicy? We did not think this casserole was spicy. If you are worried about the heat, use a can of MILD Rotel tomatoes or two cans of plain diced tomatoes. Alternately, if you want a spicier casserole you can add jalapenos or use HOT Rotel.
  • Can Chili Mac Casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking this straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Chili Mac Casserole be frozen? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and freeze it unbaked for later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed.
  • You can also freeze the baked casserole and reheat later. To reheat, thaw and reheat in the microwave or covered in the oven at 350ºF until warm.
plate of chili mac with cheese, fritos, sour cream and jalapeños

What to Serve with Chili Macaroni Casserole

This has quickly become a favorite at our house. We’ve made it several times and really enjoy it. We like to top the casserole with some sour cream, jalapeños, and Fritos. Whatever you top your regular bowl of chili with will be perfect! This is a pretty hearty dish, so don’t need a lot of side dishes to go with this. As I said, we usually eat this with a salad or some cornbread.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with this casserole:

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plate of chili mac casserole

Cheesy Chili Mac Casserole

Yield: 10 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Cheesy Chili Mac Casserole – comfort food at its best! Quick homemade chili tossed with macaroni and smothered in cheese. O-M-YUM! Macaroni, ground beef, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, Rotel, tomato paste, chili beans, and cheese. Top the casserole with your favorite chili toppings. We ate this for dinner and had the leftovers for lunch during the week. This makes a lot of food. It is great for a crowd! #casserole #hotdish #groundbeef #chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (1.75-oz) package chili seasoning mix
  • 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles undrained
  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 (16-oz) can chili beans undrained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a skillet, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain fat.
  • Combine cooked meat, chili seasoning, diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes and green chiles, tomato paste, and chili beans. Stir in the cooked pasta.
  • Spread chili mac into the baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Notes:

  • Can substitute ground turkey for ground beef.
  • If you don’t like beans in your chili you can leave them out. You can also substitute the chili beans with black beans or kidney beans.
  • I used a packet of French’s Chili-O seasoning mix for the chili seasoning. Feel free to use any brand that you prefer.
  • Feel free to use any type of cheese you prefer. I used sharp cheddar cheese. Pepper Jack or a Mexican cheese blend would be good too.
  • This is a very basic chili recipe. You can add fresh onion and bell pepper when cooking the ground beef if you would like.
  • Is Chili Mac Spicy? We did not think this casserole was spicy. If you are worried about the heat, use a can of MILD Rotel tomatoes or two cans of plain diced tomatoes.
  • Can Chili Mac Casserole be made in advance? Yes! You can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time if baking this straight from the refrigerator.
  • Can Chili Mac Casserole be frozen? Yes! You can assemble the casserole and freeze it unbaked for later. To bake after freezing, thaw completely and bake as directed.
  • You can also freeze the baked casserole and reheat later. To reheat, thaw and reheat in the microwave or covered in the oven at 350ºF until warm.

Steph

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plate of chili mac with cheese, fritos, sour cream and jalapeños
baking dish of chili mac casserole

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