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This Baked Chili Mac Casserole is the ultimate comfort food - made with fresh ground beef, black beans, green chilies, seasoning and an incredibly generous amount of CHEESE for that ultra creamy, cheesy goodness.
This post was originally published in November 2017. It has been updated for photos and content.
My favorite kind of one pot meal. Cheesy, beefy, soul warming baked pasta. Really, does it get any better than this? They boyfriend doesn't think so. This is his new favorite.
Who doesn't love a gooey, cheesy bowl of deliciousness? When I sit down with a bowl of this, it's like everything will be ok. This baked chili mac casserole is the cure for life! LOL. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but you'll never know until you try it.
On top of being so freakin' good, this baked chili mac casserole is just such an easy recipe. SO DAMN EASY. There's just nothing fancy about it.
**Isn't comfort food the best? Check out this super duper ultra comforting Creamy Coconut Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Grits**
All super easy to find ingredients. You can even buy most of them through the below Amazon links (affiliate links - I earn a tiny commission if you buy through these links to help pay for all the failed recipes!):
- Elbow macaroni
- Black beans
- Diced green chilies
- Tomato sauce
- Chili powder
- Sharp cheddar
I'm in love with black beans, so I use them in a lot of recipe calling for beans. You can substitute pinto beans in this recipe if you prefer. The results will still be wonderful.
I'm all about the grated sharp cheddar and of course, Velveeta. The Velveeta adds the creaminess, while the grated cheddar gives that gooey cheese effect. While I prefer cheddar, you can also substitute monterrey jack, pepper jack, swiss, or any other cheese you like. If you use a different cheese, I totally want to know how it turned out!
For the ground beef, I recommend going with 85/15 ground sirloin. That gives us the rich, beefy flavor we want for this dish, without an excess of fat. I don't like to use the really lean beef and I feel it doesn't have quite as much flavor. If you prefer a lean beef though, you are more than welcome to substitute. Ground turkey or chicken can also be used as a substitute.
The sour cream in this recipe is optional, but I HIGHLY recommend garnishing your baked chili mac with it. It adds that perfect extra bit of tang that pulls the whole dish together.
Step By Step Instructions
Like I said, this chili mac is incredibly easy to make. You can have it in the oven in about 10 minutes. Then it's about 20 minutes to bake into cheesy goodness, and you've got a meal in about 30 minutes. A damn good meal.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
First, cook and drain the pasta. Then place it in a 9 x 13" baking dish and set it aside while we cook the cheesy chili.
Once you've got your sauce, you're almost done. Pour the chili over the cooked macaroni and stir well to coat all the pasta.
Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes until it is all bubbly and the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Serve it with extra grated cheese, sliced green green onions and sour cream. The sour cream is my favorite part guys. While these are all optional, I HIGHLY recommend the sour cream.
If you like dishes like this chili mac casserole, you'll love these other comfort food meals:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
White Wine Braised Short Ribs
Instant Pot Caramelized Pork Ramen
Japanese Beef Curry
Creamy Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Grits
Instant Pot Creamy Braised Oxtails
New Orleans Seafood Gumbo
Did you make this baked chili mac casserole? Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out!
Baked Chili Mac Casserole
- 8 oz. elbow macaroni
- 1 lbs. ground beef
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can green chilies
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 oz. velveeta, cubed
- 2 tbsp. milk
- Sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the pasta according to the instruction on the package, drain and pour into a 9 x 13" baking dish.
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet and drain; set aside.
- While the beef is cooking, combine the Velveeta and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium low heat until a sauce forms. You can also heat the Velveeta and milk in the microwave, cooking in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until a sauce forms.
- Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the onions and garlic; cook until soft and starting to caramelize.
- Add the black beans, green chilies and seasonings. Cook for 1 minute then add the tomato sauce and ground beef and mix together.
- Add the Velveeta sauce and 2 ounces of the grated cheddar to the skillet and mix well.
- Pour mixture over the pasta in the baking dish. Cover with remaining grated cheddar cheese and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve with sliced green onions and sour cream.
Did you make this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, post a photo and tag @wenthere8this or #wenthere8this. I love to see what you're making!
Cheese Curd In Paradise
My boys would be all over this pasta recipe. I love simple and comforting flavors like those in this pasta. This one is a real winner!
This is one of my boyfriends favorites too 🙂
Kevin | Kevin Is Cooking
My kind of comfort food... DELISH!
Thanks Kevin! Sometimes you just need a little comfort 🙂
OOOHHHH This looks so good! I love a good casserole that is easy to put together. I saved this on pinterest so I can make it next week.
The boyfriend begs for this CONSTANTLY. It's one of his favs. Plus, who doesn't need a little Velveeta in their life?
Healthy World Cuisine
When you are craving a bowl of comfort, noodles all the way!!! We are right there with your boyfriend. This might just be a our new favorite go to meal. Super easy and you can do the meal prep in advance. Love that!
This is totally an easy dump and bake meal for when you're super busy and need to feed your boyfriend for days LOL!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
My mother used to make chili mac when I was a kid and it was always a favorite with us kids. Your baked version sounds even more homey -- I just wish I had a fork to dive into that casserole dish right now.
Thanks Lisa! It's one of those ultimate comfort meals 🙂
Tania | Fit Foodie Nutter
This is a perfect comforting winter recipe for the whole family! Can't wait to make it very soon!
Thanks Tania! I love this for an easy cold weather meal 🙂
oh I love comfort food like this and this one would be loved by everyone in our home. I must try this!
It's super awesome for a quick meal that everyone loves!
Looks like dinner the whole family is going to fall in love with! Fantastic!
Totally! Thanks Demeter!
Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
I love the addition of black beans in this recipe and all those seasonings work so great together! YUM!
Thanks Lauren! Black beans are my favorite kind of beans 🙂
This has comfort written all over it! My family will devour this recipe and I'll enjoy the one pot clean up. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks kelly! My boyfriend is in love with this recipe - always begging me to make it 🙂
I'm in love with this recipe!
Dang, this recipe sounds too freaking amazing! I love mac and cheese and chili so this recipe is a win-win for me! And I'm not going to lie, I haven't eaten Velveeta cheese since I was a kid. This recipe is the perfect excuse to relive my childhood and nosh on my velvety goodness! 🙂
OMG Velveeta is so good! I know it has a bad rap for not being real cheese, but seriously, it's so good. I hope you enjoy the recipe!