Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Total Time
20 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 cup)

Meaty, cheesy, and delicious—kids will love this comforting dinner of Chili-Cheese Mac. But, that's not all, parents will love it too--it's quick.


How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next 4 ingredients; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

Step 2

Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat.

Ratings & Reviews


June 05, 2016
This recipe was absolutely delicious and very simple. The kids loved it and it reheated well for lunch the next day. I served it with a tossed green salad for a simple, complete meal. I know this recipe is lightened up, but I'm not a fan of fat free products. I used regular beef broth, 2% milk, regular cream cheese and regular sharp cheddar.


May 29, 2015
I cut the chili powder in half and the water by 1/4 cup.  It does taste better as a leftover...flavors have had a chance to blend. 

CDuesing79's Review

July 25, 2014
Save your time and money and buy a box of Hamburger Helper - b/c that's exactly what this tastes like.

TriciaB725's Review

June 09, 2014
I thought this was very good--creamy, hearty, great comfort food. I made it with ground chicken and it worked fine. I did need to season it with a little salt and pepper. I've been eating it for a few days for lunch and dinner and it holds up well--I agree it's even better leftover. I took some over to my in-laws for their dinner and they thought it was delicious.

heavenlystars's Review

May 22, 2014

whiterosecute's Review

October 31, 2013

mel7art's Review

September 11, 2013
Delicious! I made it with the ingredients as stated other than adding a pinch of sea salt before I threw the noodles in and using a 14.5 oz can of tomatoes with chilies instead of a 10 oz can - I couldn't find that size. I cooked covered for 7 minutes and uncovered for 3 to evaporate some of the additional liquid. The flavor was fine - one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies has enough kick for the flavor profile. Hubby had 2 helpings, need I say more?

celsus1011's Review

May 21, 2013
Pretty delicious, though it also clearly doesn't taste like the full-fat version, which is why I'd avoid serving it to company (**I** like lower-fat versions and am used to them, but my guests may not be). Also, I don't know why, but I didn't enjoy it very much fresh-made... I think it gets better if you let it sit a bit. I froze some for later meals and it really hits the spot when you need something substantial that tastes like comfort food. It DOES freeze beautifully. Would definitely make a big batch to freeze for lunches or quick no-fuss dinners in the future.

jonaitken's Review

February 20, 2013

LCD424's Review

February 03, 2013
I thought this recipe turned out very well and my family enjoyed it - including my 2 year old! I did not have a problem with the liquid, though the can of beef stock I used wasn't quite 2 cups and I used slightly more beef since I couldn't find a 3/4 lb package. The taste was not bland, as others described it, but I did use a "chili" version of Rotel so that may have helped with the spiciness. Overall, this was a good recipe that was quick and easy and I will definitely make it again.