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Chili Mac Dutch Oven Style

Cowboy Denny



Blending the best of both worlds, chili mac combines the smoky and spicy flavor of chilli with the rich and creamy texture of mac & cheese. It’s an all-American camping classic and using this recipe, you can make it using just a single pot!  This recipe makes enough for around 4 people.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • ½ pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz elbow noodles
  • 1 (14.5oz) can kidney beans drained
  • 1 ½ cup broth beef or vegetable
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • To serve: minced red onion, jalapeno, scallions


  1. In a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Using your spoon or spatula, break apart the meat and stir to coat with the tomato paste and spices. Once browned, add the garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add the noodles, kidney beans, and broth and stir. Cover with the lid and cook for 5-6 minutes (unless the noodle packaging denotes a different cooking time).
  4. Remove the lid and stir in the cheese. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

A note about Chili Powder: Chili powder can vary a lot brand to brand, with most containing a blend of chili and other seasonings. The ones we've commonly found are fairly mild so this dish doesn't end up overly spicy. Use your tried-and-true, or use a smaller amount and build up from there to suit your tastes. It's also worth noting that chili powder is not the same as chile powder, which can be very spicy.




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