Slow Cooker Chili Mac

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Slow Cooker Chili Mac is an easy comforting dish made right in your crockpot!! Uses simple ingredients right from your pantry!

Chili Mac in a slow cooker.

I love a good one pot meal that doesn’t require fancy ingredients! This slow cooker chili mac is just that and it’s a long time reader favorite!

A few other meals that use easy to find pantry staples are Mexican Casserole, Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet, or just check out this post for Recipes Using Pantry Staples.

Comfort food is the best kind of food in my opinion! You know that stick to your ribs sort of dish. Especially in times when everything is crazy.

Lately, things have been sort of crazy and the last thing I want to do is have a sink full of dishes from trying to make a 15 step dinner. No thanks!

Bowl of chili mac topped with cheese and sour cream.


  • Ground Beef: I like to use lean ground beef for this recipe but use what you have on hand. Just be sure to brown and drain off the grease before adding to the crockpot.
  • Onion and Garlic
  • Chili Beans in Chili Sauce: you can find this in the canned bean isle. There are different brands and some use different beans. Use what you like. My favorite are Bush’s.
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Beef broth: I like to use a low sodium broth. You can also use stock.
  • Chili powder and cumin
  • Macaroni: you can use another short pasta.
Bowl of chili mac topped with sour cream and cheddar.

Make it your own!

Change things up a bit by using ground turkey or Italian sausage instead. I love using a combo of ground beef and Italian sausage when I make chili. It adds so much flavor.

Add other veggies like bell peppers or even some corn.

Add all the toppings! We like shredded cheddar, corn chips, green onion, and sour cream.

Make it spicy by adding in some hot sauce or cayenne pepper.

Top down view of chili mac in a bowl.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Chili Mac

  • Simple side salad
  • All the toppings!! Sour cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce, pico de gallo, corn chips, green onions.

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4.45 from 18 votes
Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 10 mins

Slow Cooker Chili Mac is an easy comforting dish made right in your crockpot!! Uses simple ingredients right from your pantry!

Course: Main Dish, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili mac
Servings: 8
Calories: 220 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • 1 pound (550g) very lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (30 oz) can chili beans in chili sauce or 2 (15-16 oz) cans chili beans in chili sauce
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • Desired toppings: cheddar,sour cream, green onions, corn chips….
  1. Brown ground beef and drain grease. Add to a 6 qt slow cooker or larger and stir in remaining ingredients except for the pasta.

  2. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW. In the last 15 minutes of cooking stir in the uncooked pasta and cover. Stir and test to see if pasta is to your liking. However, even with the slow cooker off the pasta will continue to cook just from the heat of the chili and crock itself so unless your pasta is really chewy or crunchy I strongly suggest only cooking it for the last 15 minutes of cook time.

  3. Serve immediately with desired toppings.
Recipe Notes
  1. If you wish not to brown the beef first place ground beef in the bottom of your slow cooker and break into smaller chunks.
  2. Nutrition facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Chili Mac
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 168mg7%
Potassium 411mg12%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 16g32%
Vitamin A 297IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

187 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chili Mac”

  1. How do you stop the noodles from going mushy. I added them at the very end, and they’re nothing but mush. Other than that, it’s very good!

    • I am sorry they went mushy. The longer they cook or sit they will get mushy, sort of like anytime you add pasta to a soup. Try testing the noodles after 5 minutes of cooking, then 10 minutes until you get the right texture you are looking for. Unfortunately different slow cookers cook at different rates so it is really hard to give an exact solution. Hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Recipe was so yummy thank you. For those using elbow mac I would actually recommend doubling at least. I added 24 oz of elbow mac and was great.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. The only thing I did differently is cook my pasta and added it to the crock pot when the chili sauce cooled down. I usually don’t care for chili Mac because it tends to be dry. This was perfect! Definitely will be making this again.

  4. 5 stars
    I must cook on a tight budget, making a little food go a long way, and I found that if you double the corkscrew noodles (pasta) it will increase the amount of food without diminishing the flavor – Think goulash with a chili flavor
    It was delicious, thank you Malinda

  5. Made this for a work Crocktober event. It was such a hit!! I had requests for the recipe. I am adding this recipe to my collection. Its delicious, & so easy.
    Highly recommend making.

  6. 2 stars
    Not a hit in our house. Something about it just wasn’t what we liked.. were expecting? I don’t know for sure but won’t be making this one again.

    Super easy to make though!

    • I can’t say for sure but I am afraid there wouldn’t be enough liquid to completely cook the pasta. I haven’t tried it though.

  7. Hi there…so want to make this recipe. However, I’m confused about the cans of chili beans in chili sauce. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. We’ve always used canned red kidney beans…but not in sauce.

    • Hi Lynda! You can find the chili beans in chili sauce in the canned bean section. Bush’s makes a chili bean and depending on where you live there may be another brand as well. Hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    My entire family loves this recipe, my boys always ask for seconds even my picky eater. And it makes alot all in one pan and leftovers are just as delicious. I add a can of diced Italian tomatos and some Worcestershire sauce to the ground beef before I add milk. I’ll even sometimes throw in a can of beans. We serve with a salad or green of some kind and dinner rolls. Thank you for posting.


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