Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is the best of both worlds. Everything you love about chili and mac and cheese come together for an incredible meal. Plus, the slow cooker makes this simple for busy weeknights.

Chili Mac and Cheese in the slow cooker with a wooden spoon

Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe:

We are always looking for new and delicious ways to use our crock pot. This recipe does not disappoint and is loaded with tons of cheese, flavorful ground beef and so much more!

If you enjoyed our Crock Pot Hamburger Helper recipe, you are going to go crazy over this Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe.  Your house will smell amazing as this cooks!

We love making ground beef chili and some of our top recipes include Texas Roadhouse Chili and Wendy Chili Recipe. Chili combined with mac and cheese is always a hit with our kids. You simply can’t go wrong with chili and cheese in this flavorful chili mac recipe.

Chili Mac and Cheese in the slow cooker with a wooden spoon

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese:

There is something to be said about one pot meals during busy seasons of life. Less preparation and less clean up. If I know we have a bunch of activities and will be gone all day, I throw this meal in the slow cooker and it is a huge time saver.

It is hearty, delicious and full of flavor. The perfect weeknight meal. We love to top with more cheese and sour cream for a complete meal idea.

Ingredients needed - beef, onion, minced garlic, chili beans, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, salt and pepper, elbow macaroni, cheddar cheese

Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef, lean
  • Small Onion
  • Minced Garlic
  • Chili Beans
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Beef Broth
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Cheddar Cheese, hand shredded

How to Make Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese:

  • Step 1 – Brown ground beef and put in the crock pot.
  • Step 2 – Add all the ingredients except for the pasta and shredded cheese to a crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
The process of making chili mac and cheese
  • Step 3 – Stir in the uncooked macaroni. Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes until the pasta is cooked through or al dente. Cook time may vary.
  • Step 4 – Stir in the cheddar cheese. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Step 5 – Top with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy.
Chili mac and cheese on a plate topped with cheese and sour cream

Variations for Slow Cooker Chili Mac:

  • Creamy – You can add sour cream to make it extra creamy.
  • Change the Meat – Try using sausage or ground turkey instead of ground beef. You can always do half turkey and half ground beef.
  • Change the Cheese – We used cheddar cheese but anything would be great. Try Colby Monterrey Jack, sharp cheddars or Pepper Jack Cheese.
  • Add Toppings – We like to top with green onion and jalapenos. The ideas are endless for this amazing recipe.
  • Extra Spice – Add a dash or two of hot sauce for extra heat. Just make it your own. You can also cayenne pepper or a can of Rotel.
  • Change the Beans – We used chili beans but black beans or kidney beans would taste amazing.
  • Tomato Sauce – You can also use tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes.
  • Broth – Instead of beef broth, chicken broth can be used.
Chili Mac and Cheese in a slow cooker with a wooden spoon

Do you have to Cook Beef first?

In this recipe we prefer to cook our ground beef first before adding it to the slow cooker. This helps to drain off any excess grease.

If you have a slow cooker that you can cook the ground beef right in crock pot, then we recommend using that. The Instant Pot Aura is the one we use and it has other features. This is my go-to slow cooker.

Chili Mac and Cheese in a slow cooker with a wooden spoon

What type of Beans to Use?

In this recipe we used chili beans but you can easily use whatever beans you have or prefer. You can use black beans, pinto beans, ranch style beans, or kidney beans. I have even made it with two different kinds of beans.

Make sure to drain the beans before adding to the slow cooker.

Chili mac and cheese on a plate topped with cheese and sour cream

What to Serve with Crockpot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe:

Everyone loves this meal and it is the best comfort food. We keep things simple and often serve it as is.

  • Simple Salad – It is a great one pot meal and our family loves it. If you want something green, try adding a simple side salad.
  • Roasted Vegetables – We also like green beans or steamed broccoli.  Just keep it simple and do what your family enjoys the most.
  • Other Chili Sides – If you are looking for some other chili sides suggestions, we have our favorite sides here.

What Type of Pasta to Use?

Elbow Macaroni works best in this recipe. We recommend using a smaller noodle for this recipe. We have also used ditalini noodle or a seashell shaped noodle and the chili mac recipe turned out amazing.

You can use whatever noodle that you have on hand.

Chili mac and cheese in a slow cooker

Topping Ideas:

  • Sour Cream
  • More Cheese
  • Green Onions
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Slice Jalapenos
  • Chopped Cooked Bacon

How to Store Leftovers:

Store leftovers is easy in this Chili Mac Recipe. Place in a air tight container for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. This make a delicious lunch the next day. We recommend storing in individual containers.

Chili mac and cheese on a plate topped with cheese and sour cream

How to Freeze Crockpot Chili with Macaroni:

Crockpot Chili Mac and Cheese can be stored in the freezer. Cool completely and place in a freezer safe container. If you have a lot leftover place in smaller portions.

The chili mac recipe will last about 6 months in the freezer, if stored properly. When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stove in a dutch oven or place back in the slow cooker on warm.

Print slow cooker chili mac and cheese recipe below:

Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

5 from 18 votes
Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is the best of both worlds. Everything you love about chili and mac and cheese combine for a tasty meal that is easy.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 747
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef lean
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cans chili beans 15 oz
  • 1 cans crushed tomatoes 15 oz each
  • 1 cans diced tomatoes 15 oz
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese hand shredded

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef and put in the crock pot.
  • Add all the ingredients except for the pasta and shredded cheese to a crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Stir in the uncooked macaroni. Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Stir in the cheddar cheese. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Top with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 747kcal, Carbohydrates 63g, Protein 42g, Fat 37g, Saturated Fat 18g, Cholesterol 113mg, Sodium 2334mg, Potassium 1405mg, Fiber 10g, Sugar 14g, Vitamin A 1215IU, Vitamin C 16.2mg, Calcium 530mg, Iron 7.1mg

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Crock Pot Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is the best of both worlds. Everything you love about chili and mac and cheese come together for an incredible meal. Plus, the slow cooker makes this simple for busy weeknights. #eatingonadime #slowcookerrecipes #chilimacandcheese
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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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Comments

  1. For the chili Mac and cheese the recipe says put elbow in at the beginning and the directions say put in 30 before done. Which is correct and should the elbows be cooked first if only adding for 30minutes at the end.

  2. Do you think it will be fine to omit the crushed tomatoes, only put in double the diced tomatoes? Thanks! 🙂

  3. The first fall crock pot recipe i will be trying is the Chili Mac & Cheese. Sounds wonderful. Now if the temps will just begin to feel fall like….

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner today and it was so yummy! I added an extra can of fire roasted tomatoes and some chopped green peppers. Definitely will make again!