Cooking Texas Chili Mac: A Tasty Combination of Chili and Pasta

Texas Chili Mac blends the hearty, bold flavors of traditional Texas chili with the comforting embrace of classic macaroni and cheese. This fusion dish is a culinary celebration of Texan and American comfort foods, offering a spicy kick, tender pasta, and a cheesy goodness that’s hard to resist. Perfect for chilly evenings, game day gatherings, or any day that calls for a filling meal, Texas Chili Mac is a crowd-pleaser that satisfies cravings for both spice and comfort in one delicious package.



Why You’ll Love Texas Chili Mac:

  • Hearty and Satisfying: A filling meal that combines two comfort food classics into one.
  • Flavorful: Packed with spices, meat, and cheese for a full-bodied taste experience.
  • Customizable: Easy to adjust the heat level and ingredients to suit your preference.
  • Family-Friendly: Loved by adults and kids alike, making it a great option for family dinners.

Ingredients Notes For Texas Chili Mac:

  • Ground Beef: The base of the chili. Use lean ground beef for a less greasy result.
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika are essential for that authentic Texas chili flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes and tomato sauce create a rich and tangy base for the chili.
  • Beans: While traditional Texas chili doesn’t include beans, kidney or pinto beans can be added for extra texture and heartiness in this fusion dish.
  • Pasta: Elbow macaroni is traditional, but any short pasta will work well.
  • Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese melts beautifully and adds depth to the dish.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Brown the Beef: Cook the ground beef in a large pot over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
  2. Add Spices: Stir in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic, and onions, cooking until fragrant.
  3. Simmer the Chili: Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans (if using). Let simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
  4. Cook the Pasta: In a separate pot, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. Combine: Mix the cooked pasta into the chili, stirring until well combined.
  6. Add Cheese: Stir in grated cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
  7. Serve: Garnish with more cheese, diced onions, or jalapeños for an extra kick.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.



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Cooking Texas Chili Mac: A Tasty Combination of Chili and Pasta



For the Chili:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef (80/20 mix for best flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional for a smoky flavor)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional, as traditional Texas chili doesn’t include beans)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Mac:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare the Chili:
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
    • Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef, breaking it apart with a spoon. Cook until browned and no longer pink.
    • Stir in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika (if using), diced tomatoes (with their juice), and kidney beans (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Reduce the heat to low and let the chili simmer, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  2. Cook the Macaroni:
    • While the chili simmers, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce:
    • In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux, cooking for about 1-2 minutes.
    • Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
    • Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine:
    • Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring until well coated.
    • Serve the chili over a bed of the cheesy macaroni. Alternatively, you can mix the chili and cheesy macaroni together before serving for a fully integrated dish.
  5. Serve:
    • Serve the Texas Chili Mac hot, garnished with additional shredded cheese, chopped onions, or fresh cilantro if desired.
  • Author: Maria

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