This chili mac casserole is loaded with beef, pasta and cheese for an easy family dinner that’s filling too!
This hearty dish will be a favorite with adults AND kids! What more could you ask for??
It’s super affordable too and quick to throw together with just a few items from your pantry. It’s great for nights that have a little chill in the air.
And it is so filling! Add a vegetable as a side and you have a complete meal that will have everyone asking for seconds!
Ingredients for Chili Mac Casserole
Ground Beef- You can easily substitute ground turkey for the beef for a healthier version.
Onion- I add a medium onion that I’ve diced very fine while I’m cooking the ground beef. It adds flavor and we adore the flavor of onion so it works for us. If it isn’t for you, feel free to leave it out or add 2 teaspoons of onion powder.
Diced Tomatoes- I add a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained. The juice helps flavor it and will get absorbed during cooking so be sure not to drain it off. You can add seasoned diced tomatoes if you prefer.
Taco Seasoning- You will need one packet of taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons of a homemade taco seasoning.
Pasta- I honestly will use whatever small pasta I have on-hand. I used elbow macaroni for the photos in this recipe because that seems to be the most easily found and recognizable. But I frequently will use small shells or ziti if that’s what I have on-hand.
Cheese- I used cheddar jack but I’ve also used Mexican Blend shredded cheese or Taco flavored shredded cheese too.
How Do You Make Chili Mac Casserole?
Start by adding your ground beef to a large skillet over medium heat. Add your diced onions while the beef is cooking.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring water to a boil for the pasta.
Continue cooking the ground beef until it’s no longer pink and the onions are translucent.
Then it’s time for my least favorite part… drain all the grease out.
Add your can of undrained diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water. Stir everything together and simmer for 5 minutes. Be sure to stir it occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom.
When pasta is done cooking, drain well and then toss the noodles with the meat mixture.
Pour half of the pasta/meat mixture into a 13×9 pan. Sprinkle one cup of cheese evenly over top.
Then top with the remainder of the meat mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
More Easy Family Dinners:
Chili Mac Casserole
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 medium Onion diced
- 14.5 oz. Diced Tomatoes canned, undrained
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning or one packet
- 16 oz Elbow Macaroni
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded, divided
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- In a large skillet, cook beef and diced onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain fat.
- Return skillet to burner and add tomatoes, water, taco seasoning. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add meat mixture to pasta and combine well.
- Spread half of mixture in a 13x9 pan. Sprinkle one cup of cheese over top. Top with remaining meat mixture.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
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