This Hearty Slow Cooker Chili Mac will please the entire family with its big bold flavors, and lots and lots of melted cheese! Slow Cooker Chili Mac is an easy meal to toss together on a busy day, and then let the slow cooker do the rest of the work until you’re ready to eat.
This hearty slow cooker chili mac recipe is one I’ve been making for many years, but I’ve not always made it in the slow cooker. It’s a recipe I remember my mom making when I was a kid, but I don’t recall hers having as much zippy flavor as this one does because I’m fairly certain mom didn’t use fire roasted chiles in hers.
As the weather turns cooler and we move into Fall, comfort foods emerge and please one and all. – Kudos Kitchen 🙂
How do you like my little poem? Can you tell I’m excited for the arrival of fall and for comfort foods like this slow cooker chili mac?
The thing I love most about this recipe for slow cooker chili mac, besides the fact that it conjures up specific food memories from my childhood, is that it’s a complete meal all in one dish. It’s got your protein from the ground beef and kidney beans, your vegetables in the form of the corn and the salsa, your dairy from the cheddar cheese, and your starch component in the form of the elbow macaroni. It’s a one pot wonder and one I bet you’ll rely heavily upon all throughout the fall and winter months.
The grocery list for slow cooker chili mac is relatively short, and most of what you’ll need may already be in your pantry in the form of canned goods, which is another good reason why you should choose to make this recipe often.
The canned goods and dry ingredients are; 2 cans of fiesta corn (drained), 1 can kidney beans (drained), 1 small can fire roasted chiles, 1 ½ cups salsa, 2 cups beef broth or stock, and 3 cups elbow macaroni.
The produce and fresh ingredients are; 1 onion chopped (I used red),1½ pounds ground beef (I used an 80/20 blend), minced garlic, and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
The spices and herbs I chose to use in my chili mac are chili powder, oregano, smoked cumin, and salt and pepper. Of course, you can omit, or add larger quantities of spices and herbs than what the recipe calls for if you’d like to tailor this to your own tastes. Feel free to make it hotter, or milder, according to your families preference.
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 15 ounce cans fiesta corn drained
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 4 ounce can fire roasted chiles
- 1½ cups prepared salsa
- 2 cups beef broth or stock
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoons smoked cumin
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet brown the ground beef and onion.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Add the browned beef mixture into a large slow cooker.
- Add the corn, garlic, kidney beans, fire roasted chiles, salsa, beef broth, macaroni, chili powder, oregano, smoked cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to the cooker.
- Mix well to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
- Uncover and add the shredded cheese.
- Cover until the cheese is melted (approximately 5 minutes)
- Serve hot.
Tools and equipment:
Large skillet, wooden spoon or spatula, chefs knife and cutting board, large slow cooker, measuring cups, measuring spoons, serving spoon
Ready to make Hearty Slow Cooker Chili Mac for your family? Great! Follow along with my photo tutorial. It really is easy! Let’s get cooking!
In a large skillet brown the ground beef and onion until no longer pink. Stir in salt and pepper.
Transfer the ground beef mixture to a slow cooker and add the corn, kidney beans…
…elbow macaroni, fire roasted chiles, beef broth…
…garlic, and salsa. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
Uncover and stir again. Top with the shredded cheese. Cover until the cheese is melted.
Serve hot and enjoy!
When you think of this slow cooker chili mac, why not think about it in terms of tailgating and party gatherings. It feeds a lot of people, and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love it.
Slow Cooker Chili Mac also freezes extremely well so should you have any leftovers, portion the lefovers into containers, cover them well, and freeze them for up to 2 months.
For other delicious slow cooker recipes, please click on the following recipes I’ve shared in the past. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
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Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art, and fun collide each and every day!
Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!