Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

Looking for a quick & easy dinner idea that the whole family will be excited for? This hearty Beefy Chili Cheese Mac features three of our favorite things: Beef, Pasta, and Cheese. It’s guaranteed to have everyone running for the table, and clamoring for seconds.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

It’s been a few weeks now, and we’re finally back in the swing of things as far as our school year routines go.

Do you check in with your kids daily? As in that age old question, “How was your day?”

I have every school day for as long as I can remember.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

As the older sons got older, they’re answers devolved from excited stories and snippets about their day- to grunts and an exhausted “fine”.

Fine? What is fine?? Fine is not some all encompassing word that lets me know what you learned, or did you make new friends today, and what secrets were revealed to you today. “Fine” is not fine for this Mama.

So I had to get creative. I mean I still try and pry answers our of my teens, but there’s only but so much they’re gonna share, unless something truly excited them or interested them that day.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

The youngest son is 8. You my beloved little boy, are gonna give me more than a bone that is ‘fine’ or anything in that ball park.

I changed tactics and started asking not one, but two questions. The first? “What was your least favorite thing about your day?” The second? “What was your favorite thing about your day?” Yes, I found asking in that order was key.

I also found that after 1st grade, I had to stipulate that your ‘best’ thing couldn’t be recess, or resource unless you’d embarked on some awesome new piece of art work, or had a new overture to sing, or something of the like.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

Checking in with them in that way is important to me. It makes me feel connected, and I want them to know that I’m genuinely interested and excited to engage with them. School’s not boring, and you didn’t spend 8 hours their doing nothing, without a single thing worth talking about.

I’ve also found, that they’re more excited to share and to keep right on talking if it’s seated at the supper table. I think it’s because they feel less put on the spot and less pressure. Even better? If we’re sitting down to a family favorite meal that’s got everybody enjoying a case of the warm & fuzzies.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac is one of my favorite meals for just this reason. It gets everybody excited for a family meal. Distracted by good food, in a good mood, you’d be amazed how much it gets everyone talking.

 Pasta, beef, and cheese come together in one delightful comforting dish. Rich, hearty (and my personal Mom fav), easy- this Beefy Chili Cheese Mac is a quick dinner that gets everyone gathered around the family table.

Let things flow from there, because great food is always the best conversation starter.

Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

A quick and easy, beefy pasta dish that's extra cheesy- it's a family favorite meal in a bowl.
4.47 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow noodles
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar


  • Add the oil to a dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add in the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Once completely browned, strain the meat and then return it to the pot.
  • Stir in the onions and garlic, cooking another 3-4 minutes- just until the onions are tender and becoming translucent. 
  • Stir in the flour, and continue to stir constantly while cooking, for one minute- to cook out the 'floury' taste.
  • Add in the spices, sauce, and broth- stirring to deglaze the pot. Stir in the pasta and put the lid on the pot. After a couple minutes, check that the mixture has come to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low, stir the pasta and replace the lid. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 15 minutes- or until the noodles have absorbed the liquid.
  • Remove the dutch oven from heat and stir in the cheese. Serve the chili mac topped with extra shredded cheddar, if desired.


recipe adapted from Budget Bytes
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @4sonsrus or tag #4sonsrus!

13 thoughts on “Beefy Chili Cheese Mac

    1. So glad you guys enjoyed it as much as we do, Ashley. Thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback- it’s greatly appreciated!!

  1. 5 stars
    My family absolutely loves this recipe. I want to make this at an office party in my crock-pot. Could you do this recipe in a crock-pot and if so would anything need to be modified?

  2. 2 stars
    Bland. I might have given one extra star if you’d have skipped the family story. Bloggers don’t understand we just come for the recipe. No one cares about the 20 scrolled pages about your kids. Post recipe first and then add your “charming anecdote”. 🙄

    1. That’s nice. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me that! I’m so happy you were able to find a free recipe on a website to try. Both of those things cost money. Blame Google, not ‘blogger’s, for length of content requirements and the ads needed to pay for the fees associated with running a website and recipe testing. A little scrolling never hurt anyone- oh, and in case you missed it (sounds like you did)- for my readers’ convenience I have a handy little ‘jump to recipe’ button at the top of every post. A single click will instantly take you straight to the recipe, even at a loss of income to myself. Have a great day!

  3. 5 stars
    Hot dignity this was good! Wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. Thank you for posting this free recipe and the “charming anecdote”. Don’t know how I would think of things to make without you bloggers. I know how to cook, I’m not a cook.

    1. So glad you liked it Lucas, and thank you so much for the kind words. Hope you can find many more recipes on our site to enjoy!

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