Cheesy Crockpot chili mac is the ultimate comfort food that kids love! No boiling required when you cook this either. A one pot meal that’s full of flavor.
This Crockpot chili mac is one of our favorite easy slow cooker recipes here on The Typical Mom blog. With tender ground beef and noodles you don’t even have to boil beforehand, it’s easier than ever to throw together. (originally published 10/19, affiliate links present)
If you’re a busy Mom like me, you love Crockpot recipes too.
Yes, I love my pressure cooker too but if we’re going to be gone all day these are great.
Let’s talk a little bit about slow cooking shall we?? First off I have a few different varieties and I love them all. Each one has an occasion to be used like….
- This is my favorite 6 quart programmable one with a locking lid so it’s great for bringing to a potluck too.
- If you just want to serve a few appetizers you should get this one that sit side by side one another.
- I prefer not to use liners, but rather just spray olive oil inside before adding my food for easier cleanups.
Let me give you a peek of my pretty thang I bought recently. It goes with my kitchen so I can just leave it out on the countertop all the time. 😉
- First we made this Instant Pot chili mac recipe and that was great! Now it was time to do it in our crock!
If you’re ready to make this hearty chili mac slow cooker recipe, this is what you’ll need:
Slow Cooker chili mac
Crockpot chili mac
- Ground beef – or spicy ground sausage is amazing
- here’s how to cook Crockpot ground beef
- Elbow macaroni noodles – uncooked
- Crushed tomatoes
- Diced tomatoes
- Beef broth is best – chicken broth or water could be used
- Salt and pepper
- Onion powder
- Minced garlic
- This is made as a mild chili recipe.
- Of course you can always amp up the spice if you like. Just add some chili powder and/or Sriracha seasoning
Optional add ins:
- Dollop of sour cream at the end
Can of green chiles is a nice addition too that adds flavor but not necessarily a lot of heat.
Here are some questions you might have before you get started on this:
Noodles or crackers may be added if the diner so desires. Typically though noodles should NOT be added before the chili comes out of the pot. They’d have to be boiled separately and then added.
If so, they’d become mush since chili takes a while to cook. You would need to do this when making Instant Pot chili. We usually keep that plain though and stuff potatoes with it or just top with cheese.
If you want to make a Crockpot chili recipe with noodles there’s no need to pre-boil them. They can be cooked at the end with everything else, and come out perfectly.
We call it slow cooker chili mac as you see here, others refer to it as Cincinnati chili. The latter traditionally uses a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce.
I would not. If you have leftover chili mac I would take it out of your pot and transfer it in to a bowl. Allow it to cool completely before covering and storing it in the fridge.
Pasta can turn too soggy and soft when kept on warm in your slow cooker for any length of time.
If you’re just cooking noodles by themselves in a slow cooker, add a small amount of oil and liquid (preferably sauce, but water will do). You can keep pasta warm and moist without overcooking this way.
Of course! Seal chili mac and cheese in freezer safe containers. Make sure you label them with the current date, and freeze them for up to 3 months.
When reheating allow them to come to room temperature, then pour into a pot on the stove over medium heat until warmed
Worried about whether you can put uncooked pasta in a slow cooker?
It works great if you throw it in about 30 minutes before you want to eat. Any earlier than that and they will overcook and become mushy.
In that sense, cooking pasta in a slow cooker can be tricky. Cooking pasta directly in the sauce creates very flavorful noodles you will love.
- If you’ve never done this before you may be surprised at how much you like it! We do this too when making Crock pot spaghetti and meatballs with a tomato sauce base and it’s fabulous.
Slow cooking time for noodles of course depends on how al dente you like your macaroni. We think half an hour is just about right.
Just throw them in, submerge into the liquid, cover and cook on high for 20 minutes and check to see if you want them softer the first time around.
Quick step by step is below but I also have a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post as well for you.
Time needed: 7 hours.
Crockpot chili mac and cheese
- Brown ground beef
In a pan on the stovetop ground your hamburger until it is no longer pink.
- Add ingredients
Add meat and all other ingredients EXCEPT uncooked noodles and cheese into your pot. Stir together.
Put lid on and cook for 6-8 hours on low, 30 minutes before you want to eat pour in your elbow macaroni and submerge into the liquid.
When noodles are as tender as you’d like them to be stir in your cheese, it will melt quickly and serve.
Looking for more Crockpot hamburger recipes?
This Crockpot hamburger casserole recipe is the bomb.
- Crockpot hamburger helper is always a winner.
- Slow cooker stuffed cabbage soup is something even my kids love.
- Round it out with some Crockpot lasagna casserole with NO boiling required either!
To make this delicious chili with noodles recipe, follow the directions below.
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Crockpot Chili Mac
- Brown ground beef on stovetop and add into crockpot.
- Add in all other ingredients EXCEPT cheese and uncooked noodles, stir together.
- Close lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours ideally, or high for 2-3 hours.
- 30 min. before you want to eat sprinkle in uncooked small noodles and submerge into the liquid.
- Once done stir in cheese. Serve when noodles are as tender as you'd like and cheese is melted.