One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

Tastes like beef Chilli Con Carne – with the added cheesy goodness of Mac ‘n Cheese! My One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese is on the table in just over 20 minutes. It’s truly fabulously delicious!

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

I’ve seen plenty of food mash ups in my travels on the world-wide-web. It seems like there is a pizza-everything: tacos, casserole, dips, soup, pie, pasta, cake. You name it, I bet there’s a pizza-flavoured version of it floating around on the internet.

I’m not above doing mash ups. I’ll do them when combining two recipes brings something else to the dish, rather than doing them just for the sake of being “cool” or “out there”. I’m beyond the years of playing with food for the sake of being cool, I just want it to be tasty!

Enter – One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese. A cross between Chili Con Carne and Mac and Cheese, all made in one pot. The sauce flavour is like beef Chilli Con Carne, with the addition of macaroni and cheesy goodness stirred into it as well as on top. SO GOOD.

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

In America, you’ll find most Chili’s are made using a generous amount of what America calls Chili Powder. In actual fact, American Chili Powder is made with more than just ground chilis. It has other flavourings in it, so it’s more like a seasoning than a plain spice.

Because American Chili Powder isn’t sold here in Australia, and also because I have noticed that the flavour and saltiness of American Chili Powder varies from brand to brand, I like to make my Chili using a homemade mix of spices. I can control the flavour better for my own palette, and also more consistency of flavour for those who use my recipes. 🙂

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

At the time this post goes live, I’ll be in Tasmania. I’m here with the wonderful folk from Huon Aquaculture, harvesters of the freshest and best salmon in Australia. Long term readers know that I am quite selective about companies I work with, hence why you don’t often see “big brands” that you’d be well familiar with. I don’t care how big the company is, if it’s not something I use or that I’m a fan of, I won’t do work for them. It’s not that I’m being snobby (c’mon, this is the gal who’s confessed to more than her fair share of Dirty Food secrets!), it’s just that I cannot bring myself to promote products on my blog (it’s miiine!!!!) that I don’t already use myself or a story that connects with me that I want to share with you.

Like the beautiful Groves Family in Queensland, mango growers who I met through a job and have become dear friends. The Balog Family in the Southern Highlands, who handcraft their own Bee Mead (sparkling honey cider!!). Just Veg, the wives of carrot growers in Queensland who found a way to repurpose “ugly but perfect” carrots that would otherwise be wasted.

For all these Australian producers, one thing that has always struck me is how incredibly proud they are of what they produce. How hard they work, the attention to detail. These are the products I am a fan of – because they are, quite simply, the best.

And these are the sort of people I love working with, who I love talking about on my blog. And I cannot wait to tell you more about the Huon Salmon family in the coming weeks. This trip has been an eye opener!!! – Nagi xx     

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

PS Err, sorry, got distracted. Just one more point on this One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese – Down Under here in Australia, we spell “Chili” with two l’s – Chilli. Also, it’s more commonly referred to as Chilli Con Carne, and no one knows whether it’s pronounced “Carneeeeeeee” or just “Carne”. To keep life simple, I chose to stick with one “L”. 😁

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese - devilishly delicious, on the table in just over 20 minutes.

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

A homemade Chili with the addition of macaroni and cheese = Chili Mac ‘n Cheese! This is terrifically moorish and a fabulous one pot meal. Super quick too! The key with this recipe is to turn the stove off as soon as the pasta is just cooked – it will keep cooking in the residual heat. Recipe VIDEO below.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
  • 1 onion (, finely chopped)
  • 1 red capsicum / bell pepper (, chopped)
  • 500 g / 1 lb beef mince ((ground beef), I use lean)
  • 800 g / 28 oz crushed canned tomato
  • 420g / 14 oz can red kidney beans (, drained)
  • 2 1/2 cups / 625 ml beef broth ((chicken broth also ok))
  • 250 g / 0.5 lb elbow macaroni pasta ((elbow pasta), uncooked)
  • 2 cups / 200g shredded cheese ((cheddar, Monterey Jack, tasty cheese))
  • Coriander / cilantro finely chopped (, for garnish)

Spices (Homemade Chili Powder):

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or pure chilli powder ((adjust spiciness to taste) (Note 1))
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder ((can sub garlic powder))
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  1. Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 minute. Then add capsicum and cook until onion is translucent.
  2. Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go.
  3. Once the beef turns from red to brown, add remaining ingredients except cheese. Stir, bring to simmer, then turn the heat down to medium. Cover and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until the macaroni is al dente, meaning just cooked, still a tiny bit on the firm side.
  4. Turn the stove OFF but leave the pot on the stove. Stir through half the cheese – it should be a bit saucy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining cheese, put the lid back on and leave until the cheese melts – about 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with coriander, if desired, and serve immediately.

1. Chili Powder: In Australia, UK and most parts of the world, ground chilli (aka “chilli powder”) is plain dried chillies that have been ground. However, in the US, Chilli Powder has other things in it so it is nowhere near as hot as pure Chilli powder. This recipe calls for pure ground chilli for spiciness. Cayenne pepper is a perfect substitute, or any other HOT chilli powder. Chili is supposed to be spicy!!!

2. TIP: The key with this recipe is to turn the stove OFF as soon as the pasta is just cooked. The pasta will keep cooking when you put the lid on to melt the cheese. Don’t worry if it’s still saucy – saucey is GOOD!!! Plus sauce always gets sucked up by pasta so there will be less by the time you serve it.

3. OTHER PROTEINS: This recipe will also work other minced meat, including chicken, pork, turkey and even lamb!

4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. Very generous servings!


One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese recipe video!


Usually when I travel, Dozer goes to stay with his “family” with a golden retriever boarder. He thunders around the house, rumbles with his friends, and generally completely forgets all about me.

Unfortunately, he’s a bit lame at the moment (nothing serious, just pulled a muscle from excessive beach craziness) so I left him with my mother for some quiet healing time.

Apparently, this is how he’s spending his day. 😂



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