This easy-to-make Slow Cooker Cheesy Chili Mac recipe is comfort food at its best. A combination of two comfort food favourites, Chili Mac is a satisfying dish, add some cheese on top and it can’t get any better.
Two of our favourite comfort foods are chili and mac and cheese and this recipe combines the two to make one of the best comfort foods. And it is easy to make because cooking in a slow cooker requires barely any effort.
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What Are The Ingredients For Slow Cooker Chili Mac?
There are 15 ingredients in this recipe but they are all easily found in any grocery store.
- Lean ground beef
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Canned ground tomatoes
- Chili powder
- Mexican Oregano
- Reduced Sodium Beef broth
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Shredded cheese
Can Other Types Of Meat Be Used Instead Of Beef?
Yes! The recipe calls for ground beef but it can be substituted with ground pork, chicken, or turkey. Game meat can also be used like bison, venison, or moose.
We have also made this Slow Cooker Chili Mac using sausage instead. Spicy chorizo is a good choice. We remove the casings from the sausages before cooking. Some grocery stores sell sausage meat without the casings and that works as well.
The meat can also be omitted if you prefer a meatless dish.
Does The Meat Have To Be Cooked Before Adding To The Slow Cooker?
The meat should be cooked before adding to the slow cooker for this recipe. The meat can then be drained of excess fat.
Cooking it first also browns the meat which makes it taste better. And it cooks through, avoiding any type of bacteria that may form by putting raw meat in with the other ingredients.
Equipment for Making This Recipe
To make this Slow Cooker Cheesy Chile Mac, we use a 7-quart slow cooker. A 6-quart also works for making this recipe.
The great thing is the meat can be cooked the night before, then add the ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning, set the timer (if you have one) and when you get home from work, supper is almost ready to eat. All you have to do is cook the macaroni to add to the chili, top with cheese and dinner is ready.
How To Serve Chili Mac
This dish is always best served hot, straight out of the slow cooker. It is perfect with a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream.
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chili Mac can be served with all the toppings that would go well with a bowl of chili.
- Extra Shredded cheese. Cheddar, Tex Mex blend, or Monterey Jack.
- Sliced Jalapenos or Pickled Jalapenos.
- Crushed tortilla chips or corn chips.
- Warm queso.
- Diced onions.
What Goes With Chili Mac?
This dish is a comfort food that goes well with a variety of foods and beverages.
- Garlic knots or dinner rolls are perfect to serve with chili mac.
- Corn Bread is another great side dish for this chili mac. Try our Cornbread Bites.
- Salad. Chef salad or tossed salad with creamy ranch dressing.
This recipe does make a large amount so you may have leftovers. Chili mac makes a great work lunch.
Any leftovers can be stored in air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be reheated in a microwave.
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Slow Cooker Cheesy Chili Mac
- Slow Cooker
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 796ml
- 1 can crushed tomatoes, 796ml
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp Mexican Oregano
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 500 grams macaroni
- 300 grams Tex Mex shredded cheese
- In a large frying pan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly translucent.
- Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add ground beef. Cook until beef is fully cooked, breaking it up into small pieces.
- Drain excess fat from meat.
- Add meat and all ingredients except macaroni and shredded cheese to the slow cooker.
- Stir to combine all ingredients
- Set the slow cooker on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. (Timer can be used)
- When there are 30 minutes remaining on the slow cooker, cook the macaroni as per the package directions.
- Drain the macaroni well and stir it into the chili in the slow cooker.
- Top with the shredded cheese and place the lid on to melt the cheese.
- Serve hot.