Chili mac made with spiced ground beef sauce topped over elbow noodles. Make it with spices, ground beef, and crushed tomatoes topped with cheese for a great weeknight meal.
Usually chili mac is made with mac and cheese and a can of chili. However, that’s not how we do it. We make a chili con carne sauce with diced tomatoes.
Top that chili con carne sauce over elbow pasta and top with cheese. Lots and lots of cheese is used to top the dish. Sour cream can also be added as a topping.
Fry up ground beef with some white onion. Cook well and then add the spices. Cumin, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder bring the best flavor to the meat sauce.
Mix in the spices well before adding in the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes. Lower the temperature of the sauce or it will burn.
Tomato sauce burns very easily. Lower the heat as soon as you add the sauce to the pan. Stir very well incorporating the meat into the sauce. Simmer for at least ten minutes.
I let the chili con carne sauce simmer longer if possible. Usually while I am cooking the elbow pasta. Drain the pasta and toss with the chili sauce. Top the elbow macaroni with cheese and sour cream if preferred.
I love this the day we make it but the chili con carne sauce is always better the next day. The flavors have time to sit and make a great make ahead lunch.
Make the mac sauce in advance. Freeze it for an easy sauce to microwave and toss over noodles or even potatoes. Make it gluten free with gluten free pasta.
Delicious Pasta Dishes:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 large white onion; diced
- 12 oz box of small elbow pasta
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup beef broth
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes; drained
- Sharp cheese optional for topping
- Sour cream optional for topping
- In a medium pot, fill with water and add in salt with olive oil. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pot, add ground beef and white onion. Sauté until browned. Add in cumin, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper; stir well. Add in crushed tomatoes and turn down the heat to low. Drain diced tomatoes and add to the sauce and stir. Let simmer while cooking the pasta.
- Top the sauce over the pasta. Top with cheese and sour cream.