This one skillet chili mac recipe is ridiculously easy to make, and it’s so quick to throw together and completely satisfying. It’s made all in one skillet, so there’s virtually no clean-up involved, which makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. You can add some more or different veggies if you want to make it a bit healthier – and if you’re a spice freak like me, just add some more cayenne or crushed red pepper to give it some more kick.
I make this Chili Mac a lot, and I always finish it off in the broiler – I love how it gives that cheesy topping more of a ‘crust’. I always make this dish in a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one you can use a dutch oven, or any oven-safe skillet. Cast iron is my favorite thing to cook in, so any recipe I have that I can use my skillet for I am thrilled to. 🙂
This meal doesn’t take long at all to prepare – only about 20 minutes. It cooks for about 25 minutes, so it’s a full dinner on the table in under an hour. In my house it serves about 6 people so it’s a perfect meal for the entire family.
One Skillet Cheesy Southwest Chili Mac
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion - finely diced
- ½ green pepper - finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can tomatoes - 15 oz with liquid diced
- 1 can tomato paste - 6 oz
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup corn - canned, drained
- 1 can black beans - 15 oz, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups macaroni - uncooked
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Heat the oil over medium low heat in a large cast iron skillet, dutch oven or oven-safe saute pan.
- Add the onions and pepper and cook until beginning to soften - about 4 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the ground beef, breaking it up well with a wooden spoon and cook until browned.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne and salt and pepper and mix well.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, corn, beans and macaroni - mixing well.
- Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally - until the pasta is just tender.
- Stir in half of the cheese, then sprinkle the rest on top and put in the top third of your oven with the broiler on 400 F (200 C) and allow the cheese to brown, then serve. (perfect with some jalapeno cheddar cornbread)