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30 Minute Chili Mac

Make 30 Minute Chili Mac if You Need a Large Dinner on the Table Fast

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A serving of 30 Minute Chili Mac smothered in cheese sits on a plate with steamed lemon broccoli - The Goldilocks Kitchen

30 Minute Chili Mac is one of those great go-to recipes that you can easily make just from scrounging in your pantry. You need dinner on the table like, yesterday, for your ravenous children who are complaining they are starving to death? (Mine certainly give me this treatment on a regular basis, even if they’ve just stuffed their faces an hour before…) Look no further than The Goldilocks Kitchen for the answer! (Man that’s cheesy! Hahaha!)

You may think my hamburger is looking a little funky in the picture below, well you have a good eye! I cooked this up and made everyone sick.

Hamburger, chopped onion, chopped green chile, cumin and chili powder are placed in a skillet to make 30 Minute Chili Mac - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Hahaha Just kidding!!! It looks funny because it’s not beef it’s ground elk. We have a freezer full, so I’m trying to cook it up as often as I can. It’s about as lean as you can get as far as red meat, and doesn’t taste bad as long as you cook it with some great flavorings. Which you will find in this recipe for 30 Minute Chili Mac!

How to Make 30 Minute Chili Mac

You’ll cook up a pound of ground beef with diced onion and green chile (or bell pepper if chile isn’t available in your area) along with cumin and chili powder. I also add a generous pinch of salt.

Hamburger, onion, green chile, cumin and chili powder cook in a skillet to make 30 Minute Chili Mac - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Then pressed garlic and brown sugar are added and cooked just long enough to bloom the flavor of the garlic (about 30 seconds is all it needs).

Pressed Garlic and brown sugar are added to a skillet beef mixture to make 30 Minute Chili Mac - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Then chicken broth, tomato sauce and macaroni are poured in and stirred into the ground beef mixture. Bring to a good simmer, then cover and turn the heat to medium low, adjusting to keep the mixture at a good simmer.

Elbow Macaroni, chicken broth and tomato sauce are stirred into seasoned ground beef to make 30 Minute Chili Mac - The Goldilocks Kitchen

When all is said and done, stir in a cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend to make it extra ooey gooey delicious!

Shredded Mexican cheese blend is added to the beef-macaroni mixture in a skillet to make 30 Minute Chili Mac - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Here’s a closeup of the ooey gooey deliciousness of 30 Minute Chili Mac!

A close up of 30 Minute Chili Mac with melty cheese- The Goldilocks Kitchen

I highly recommend you use a 12 inch deep-sided skillet to make this meal. I started out with the 12 regular skillet and it could have held all this food, but it would be pretty tough to stir it without major spills and cleanup afterwards…which nobody wants….

Don’t forget to pile more cheese onto individual servings of 30 Minute Chili Mac and watch it melt over the hot food. My kids gobble this up, and I bet yours will too. As always, I love your comments and please rate this recipe, it’s super helpful to me. Enjoy!

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30 Minute chili Mac

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Feed your family fast with this delicious recipe for 30 Minute Chili Mac. Perfect for any weeknight dinner for a large family or for entertaining guests on a Weekend afternoon.


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper (or 1/2 green bell pepper), minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of shredded Mexican cheese blend


  1.  In a deep-sided 12 inch skillet with a well fitting lid, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add beef, onion, chile or bell pepper, chili powder and cumin powder. Mix and cook, seasoning with a generous pinch of salt and and pepper, until the beef is no longer pink.
  2. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook for about a minute. Then pour in the tomato sauce, chicken broth and macaroni. Stir and bring to a good simmer, then cover.
  3. Cook covered, turning the heat down to medium low, for about 10-12 minutes or until the macaroni is tender. Stir in about half the cheese, and top individual servings with additional cheese.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 352
  • Sugar: 6.4 g
  • Sodium: 760 mg
  • Fat: 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.5 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 30.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 66 mg

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