Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Chili Mac

When the kids are itching to get out the door for Trick or Treating, here’s a quick, hearty dinner idea to get something in their tummys! Antigoni Sander with Hightop Hospitality says it’s her “go-to” before heading out for the evening.

Chili Mac
Serves 8 – 10 People


8 Cups Family Chili* (see master recipe); or, your Favorite Chili Recipe
1 – 32 oz. Box of Chicken Stock (salted stock is preferred)
12 oz. Rotini Pasta, uncooked (you can use elbows too if you like)
1 – 2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
12 oz. Shredded Cheese (you can use Cheddar or a Shredded Mexican Blends from the Grocery store, or a bit of both!)
¼ Cup Sour Cream


In a large soup pot add the chili and the chicken stock.  Cover it and gently bring the contents of the pot to a boil.

Once it has reached a boil, stir in the Pasta, Salt and Pepper.  Return the contents to a boil and then adjust temperature so that it all continues to vigorously simmer.  Stirring the contents of the pot every few minutes, simmer the ingredients until the pasta is cooked all the way through and everything has nicely thickened, this will take 15 – 20 minutes.

Next, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Cheese and the Sour Cream.  Fold these into the chili and pasta until fully incorporated, then return the pot to stove and gently return the contents to a gentle simmer.  Simmer for a few minutes so that everything nicely combines.  Taste at this point and adjust the seasonings how you like.  You may wish to add any of the following:  Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Paprika or Cayenne…or it might be absolutely perfect!  It will all depend on how much spice your master chili recipe had and whether you are using salted or unsalted stock. 

The Chili Mac is now ready to serve!  If you are not eating right away simply keep it covered on the stove and keep the heat at a very low flame.


This is a great 30 minute dinner that you can make with day or two old chili!  You can even freeze the 8 cups of chili after making the master recipe, so that you have it ready when you want to make your Chili Mac!  This is a nice idea because you don’t have to eat chili every day for a week.  Instead, you can put in the work on a lazy weekend day.  Serve chili for dinner right away and have Chili Mac a week or two later.  It makes eating leftover not seem so monotonous. 

*Family Chili
Makes A Little More Than A Gallon

3 Pounds Ground Beef                                                                      
2 Cups White or Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Green Pepper, Diced                                                                      
1 Red Pepper, Diced
8 Cloves Garlic, Minced                                                                     
28oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
28oz. Can Tomato Sauce                                                                   
2 – 14.5 oz. Cans Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed well           
½ Cup Mild Chili Powder                                                                   
1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp. Crushed Oregano                                                                 
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Ground Coriander                                                                   
¼ tsp. – ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp. Salt                                                                                           
2 tsp. Black Pepper
2 Cups Water                                                                                       
2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Blackstrap Molasses                                                             
3 Tbsp. Cornmeal


Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over Medium High Heat. Add the Beef, Onion and Peppers, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and sauté for about five minutes, breaking up the beef as you go, so that it cooks into crumbles.  When the meat is no longer pink drain off some of the excess fat and then add the minced Garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds until it becomes aromatic. 

Next add the following ingredients to the pot:  Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, Kidney Beans, Chili Powder, Paprika, Oregano, Cumin, Coriander, Cayenne, Salt, Pepper and Water.  Stir all the ingredients together well and bring the pot to a boil.  Let it bubble for about 5 minutes, stirring throughout so that all of the flavors combine.  Next stir in the Apple Cider Vinegar and Molasses to the pot, turn the heat down to a low so that chili is cooking at a very low simmer.  Cover the pot and simmer on low for 45 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally, making sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom.

After 45 minutes, uncover the pot and taste the chili, this is a good time to add a pinch or two of salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  Don’t determine the spice level yet, because you are about to add the cornmeal and this really mellows out the spice, so wait another hour on the spice adjustments.  Now you will stir in the Cornmeal, return the pot to a low simmer and cover.  Continue to cook the chili for at least another 45 minutes, although at this point you can leave it on low as long as you like, just be sure to check on it every now and then if decide to keep it on the stove for a long chunk of time.

After 45 minutes take a peak at the chili.  You will see that the Cornmeal mellowed the red color a bit and thickened the chili, now taste it!  The cornmeal gives the chili a hint of natural sweetness and also balances out the spice.  If you like your chili spicy, like I do, you can add more cayenne at this point.  You can also adjust the salt, pepper or other seasonings to suit you and your family’s tastes.  Do keep in mind that this makes a lot of chili and it will sit in the fridge or even the freezer for several days and these flavors will continue to intensify each and every day, so you may wish to adjust the flavors each time you server rather than all at once!

Once you are ready to eat you can serve the chili on it’s on, or however your family likes it!  Many people like to serve it over rice, others just straight up on it’s own like a stew, or, my favorite, with a side of corn bread!  Also keep in mind toppers such as Sour Cream, Green Onions, Cilantro and Hot Sauce are great touches that people can add on their own!!

NOTE:  This is a great master chili recipe.  From here you can jazz it up with more ingredients, spice, etc…but the way it is written you are sure to have one chili recipe that everyone in the family will enjoy!  It freezes really well too!