Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese + {VIDEO} – Stay Snatched

Slow cooker chili mac recipe

This Slow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese is filling, delicious and loaded with meat and vegetables. Load up your Crockpot for this easy weekday dinner.

chili mac and cheese in a Crockpot slow cooker

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This post was originally published in 2017. It has since been updated.

Are you ready for two of my favorite things? Mac with cheese + chili! What a combination.

dried elbow pasta, ground beef, homemade chili seasoning and garlic in separate bowls

What type of pasta to use

Elbow macaroni are typically used. You can also use cellentani. It has a corkscrew shape and a fluted surface that works great on a plate like this. In general, use what you want.

Do you have to cook the meat first?

You can cook raw ground beef in the slow cooker. I don’t because you’ll get more flavor from the meat if you burn it and cook it in a pan. This will caramelize the beef, along with the vegetables that simply provide immense flavor, along with my homemade chili seasoning recipe.

You can skip this step and add your raw meat to the rolling cooker if you wish. Raw meat will be cooked for 4-5 hours in Low or 2-3 hours in High. You run the risk of the pasta becoming mushy with this cooking time, so I recommend cooking the pasta on the stove and adding it at the end along with the cheese.

What kind of beans to


You can use whatever you want. Almost anything will combine very well. You can use red beans, black beans, chili peppers, or any legume. Be sure to drain your beans first.

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What kind of cheese

to use

I like to use a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack. For cheddar, you have options, soft, medium, sharp, extra sharp, etc. Aging is the only difference between soft and sharp Cheddars. The longer the cheese is naturally aged, the sharper and more pronounced the taste of Cheddar becomes.

Soft cheddar cheese is usually aged for 2 to 3 months, while an extra strength can be aged for up to a year.

Soft cheddar cheese has a creamy and subtle taste. Medium cheddar cheese has slightly more flavor compared to mild one, but lacks the distinctive bite found in acute cheddar cheese. Acute cheddar cheese has a distinctive and prominent flavor. Extra strong cheddar has a very pronounced and sharp taste. (I usually don’t cook with it and use it for wine pairings and deli cheese boards.)

With all this in mind, sharp is usually my choice for macaroni and cheese.

How to Make Macaroni and Slow Cooker Chili

Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of this post


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat
  2. .

  3. Add the ground beef and chili seasoning. Decompose the ground beef with a meat grinder.
  4. Stir and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the meat if necessary.
  5. Add red peppers,

  6. green peppers, onions and garlic
  7. . Add

  8. cooked meat and vegetables to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients (with the exception of cheese).
  9. Slow cooking
  10. .

  11. Add the cheese before serving.
collage of 4 photos with ground beef sautéed in a pan with vegetables

How to make it


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I’m a big fan of hot chili, so I add a tablespoon of red cayenne pepper. If you want it to be slightly spicy, use a teaspoon and build from there if desired.

If you do not want it spicy, omit the cayenne pepper completely. You may also need to try the chili powder you use as well if you are extremely sensitive to spices. Sometimes people report chili powder as spicy, but it shouldn’t be.

Topping Ideas

  • Grated
  • cheese

  • Natural Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Jalapeños
  • Cooked and shredded bacon
  • Sliced avocado



macaroni and cheese without cook in a slow cooker” />

macaroni with uncooked chili and cheese in a slow cooker covered with cheese

How to do it on the stove

Cook your pasta according to package directions. Follow instructions on how to cook vegetables and ground beef.

Once cooked, add the pasta, cooked vegetables and ground beef, and the remaining ingredients (with the exception of cheese) to a Dutch oven or soup pot. Simmer for 25-30 minutes and then add the cheese.

How long will it last

in the fridge?

You can store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days, well covered.

chili mac and cheese in a Crockpot slow cooker

chili mac and cheese in a Crockpot slow cooker

Freezing tips

You can freeze this tightly sealed for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight. When you reheat there is likely to be some separation due to dairy products and cheese.

Cornbread Recipes

to Pair with Chili Domestic

Southern Cornbread

Homemade Cornbread MuffinsJalapeño cheddar CornbreadCornbread with HoneyAir fryer CornbreadPumpkin Corn BreadKeto Low-carb Cornbread Dressing Southern Cornbread Dressing Sweet Potato Cookies Homemade Maple Butter HomemadeBlueberry Cornbread Casserole Cornbread sweet potato

Slow cooker chili mac and cheese in a white bowl

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and Cheese Seafood Pasta

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More Chili


Slow cooker White Chicken Chili Instant Pot Beef ChiliKeto Low carb meat ChiliPumpkin chiliSweetleftover turkey chili Chili Creamy Seafood ChiliChicken buffalo Chili Chili with cheese Pumpkin chipsChili Slow Cooker Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

Check out

all of our chili and Slow Cooker Crockpot gumbo recipes, and homemade chicken noodle soup here.

macaroni and cheese with slow cooker chili in a white bowl

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