Hearty chili mac combines our classic beef chili and ultra creamy mac and cheese for a cozy and comforting casserole-style dish. Packed with protein, this easy recipe is always a family favorite!
Homemade chili mac and cheese is such a nostalgic recipe and will always remind me of childhood dinners. You betcha this is a classic midwestern dish that will forever be a Fit Foodie favorite!
There are two main ways to prepare “chili mac” – either by adding macaroni noodles into a classic chili recipe or mixing chili with mac and cheese and baking it casserole-style. Our chili mac recipe is a combination of our best mac and cheese recipe and our favorite beef chili recipe, mixed together, and baked in the oven.
What You Need for Chili Mac
It’s really as simple as chili and mac! Make a batch of chili, a batch of mac and cheese, mix them together, and bake.
We recommend using our classic beef chili and our homemade mac and cheese recipes, but mix and match any of our chili OR mac and cheese recipes to fit your needs! We have plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipe options to choose from.
A few recipes that work well for this chili mac:
Mac and Cheese Recipes
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Chili Mac Variations
More Veggies: Mix in a diced green pepper or cup of corn before baking.
Vegetarian: Swap kidney beans for the beef and veggie broth for the beef broth in this chili recipe.
Vegan: Make our vegan cheese sauce for the mac and cheese.
Gluten Free: Use gluten free noodles in the mac and cheese recipe. Make sure all of the other ingredients you use are also certified GF.
Can you use leftover mac and cheese in this casserole?
We don’t recommend it. For best results, make a fresh batch of mac and cheese to use in this chili mac recipe.
Can you use any chili or mac and cheese recipe?
Absolutely! You’ll need 6 cups of chili and 6 cups of mac and cheese for this recipe. Here are all of our chili recipes for more inspiration.
Store leftover chili mac in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Warm up individual servings in the microwave or in an oven-safe container. To make leftover chili mac a little creamier, add a splash of broth or tomato sauce before reheating.
Freezing Chili Mac
Yes, you can absolutely freeze this chili mac! Let the chili mac and cheese cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. When thawed, transfer to a casserole dish and reheat in the oven until warm. If it seems a little dry, add a couple tablespoons of broth or tomato sauce to the chili mac to cream it up again.
Tip: If you know you will be making this chili mac to freeze for later, cook the mac and cheese noddles for less time (more al dente than usual). This way, when you thaw and reheat the chili mac, it won’t be as mushy.
Chili Mac Serving Suggestions
We love adding a veggie side to chili mac like roasted broccoli or broccoli salad, Parmesan baked zucchini, or arugula salad. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, diced red onion, and freshly chopped green onions.
Chili Mac Recipe
This homemade chili mac and cheese recipe combines hearty beef chili and creamy mac and cheese. It’s the best kind of comfort food!
Total:1 hour 15 minutes
Prepare our homemade mac and cheese recipe. Do not use leftover mac and cheese, so make it fresh the day you’re making this chili mac and cheese casserole.
Prepare our beef chili recipe. If using leftover chili, heat it up before adding it to the casserole dish in step 4.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
To the prepared casserole dish, add 6 cups of mac and cheese (the entire recipe) and 6 cups of beef chili (about 3/4 of the recipe, you’ll have some leftover!). Mix well.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the casserole, and bake for another 5 minutes.
Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: Store leftover chili mac in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To make leftover chili mac a little creamier, add a splash of broth or tomato sauce before reheating.
- Freezing Instructions: Let the chili mac and cheese cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw. When thawed, transfer to a casserole dish and reheat in the oven until warm.
Calories: 466kcal Protein: 29g Fat: 18g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 7g