Chili Mac

Image: Carla Zinkfontein

Chili Mac – Meaty, spicy & cheesy pasta is always a winner

Get the family smiling as they fill their bellies with one delicious one pot meal. Chili Mac al forno is a combination of many dishes in one amazing result.

Chili Mac

Image: Carla Zinkfontein

Do you live a busy life with very little time to cook or want a meal that can be ready for two days? Look no further than pasta al forno. This is just the Italian phrase for baking in the oven. We have a special treat for you with this Chilli Mac al forno. It’s based on an very easy chili recipe combined with mac & cheese that you pop in the oven to give it some real life. This recipe can feed at least eight people and if you have a small family, you have a meal for two days that can be reheated in the oven.

Beef chili is always delicious and the addition of beans doesn’t just have lots of important fibre, it adds to the meatiness of the meal. It’s spicy and you can add as much spice as you want, including your jalapeño garnish. The cheesy crust on top is one of the worlds favourite textures and this recipe proves that once again. Adding all of these ingredients together and popping them in the oven improves on an already perfect Chili Mac recipe.

Get the family smiling as they fill their bellies with one delicious one pot meal. Chili Mac al forno is a combination of many dishes in one amazing result.

Chili Mac Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Carla Zinkfontein Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 250 g 250 dry elbow or macaroni pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

  • 1 tbsp 1 olive oil

  • 1 large 1 yellow onion, diced

  • ½ ½ green pepper (capsicum), seeded and diced

  • 4 cloves 4 garlic, minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic)

  • 500 g 500 lean ground beef

  • 1 tbsp 1 ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp 1 red chili powder or Cayenne (adjust to your tastes)

  • ½ tsp ½ smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)

  • ½ tsp ½ salt

  • 200 g 200 crushed tomatoes

  • 210 g 210 tomato puree (or Passata, condensed tomato soup for Aussies)

  • 250 ml 250 beef or chicken broth

  • 1 tbsp 1 tomato paste

  • 400 g 400 red kidney beans, drained

  • 200 g 200 black beans, drained

  • 1 cup 1 shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Monterey Jack) 1 cup shredded mozzarella

  • jalapeño peppers for garnish


  • Heat oil in large heavy-based pot (or casserole pot) over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until transparent, then add the green peppers (or capsicum) and garlic, sautéing for a further minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add beef and cook until browned, breaking up any big chunks with the end of your wooden spoon. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt and mix through until beef is fully coated in the seasoning.
  • Mix in the crushed tomatoes along with the juices, tomato puree, broth, tomato paste and beans. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer while stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens (about 10 minutes).
  • Preheat oven broiler (or grill) on medium heat.
  • Add the cooked pasta and toss well to combine. Top with cheese, transfer to oven and broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and melted.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro (optional).
  • Serve with sour cream.


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