This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Click HERE to read my policies.
This Chili Mac Skillet is going to be your new go to when you have leftover chili in the fridge. A new meal made with leftovers that is easy, quick and all done in one skillet!
I don't know about you, but when I make chili I always make a full pot. No skimping on the chili in this house. With the large pot full of chili comes leftovers. I happen to love leftovers, some of them taste better the next day and an easy night in the kitchen is never a bad thing. However, I have a few family members... a.k.a the hubby mostly... who are not leftover fans. He has improved over the many years we have been together, but it is still obvious they are not his favorite. So as the good little wife I am, I try to create new meals from leftovers and this Chili Mac Skillet was a huge success that everyone loved!
What you Need for Easy Chili Mac Skillet
- Leftover Chili
- Elbow Macaroni or any small pasta
- Shredded Cheddar or Co-Jack Cheese
What If I don't have any leftover chili and want to make this recipe?
Easy solution! Make some chili, my 3 Bean Chili Recipe is easy and quick. If you don't want to make chili, you can buy some in a can. Buy enough to equal 4 cups.
Do I have to use macaroni noodles?
Nope! You can use any short cut or small pasta you have or like. Small or medium shells will work along with cut spaghetti or even farfalle (bowtie).
How to Make Easy Chili Mac with Leftover Chili
Did you grow up with the boxed meals where you just had to add hamburger, milk and water? I definitely did and can I say, I loved hamburger helper! It was one of the first things I learned to make as a kid. Now, since I don't buy the boxed processed stuff anymore I am recreating the meals from scratch. They still have to be quick and easy too, and that's exactly what this Chili Mac Skillet is. Quick, easy and delicious!
Step 1: Cook the Mac
Since this meal is done all in one skillet we are going to cook the pasta like you would with the boxed version. Add 16 oz box of macaroni along with 6 cups of water to a large deep skillet. Bring the water to a boil, stir in some salt and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6-7 minutes until the pasta is al dente and most of the water has been absorbed. There will still be some water in the pan, and that's a good thing. Don't overcook the pasta, it will continue to cook while you finish the dish.
Step 2: Make it a Chili Mac
Add the leftover chili to the skillet and stir it up good. Increase the heat a bit and bring the chili mac to a low bubble. Once there is some bubbles, start stirring in the cheese one handful at a time. Do not dump all the cheese in at once, you will end up with a gloopy ball of cheese and it won't spread throughout the entire skillet. Gradually add it in and stir it until the cheese is melted each time you add some. Once all the cheese is added, reduce the heat to low and let the dish simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, stirring it a few times.
Step 3: Serve and Enjoy!
Serve this easy meal with a nice green salad and a slice of Sweet Cornbread. This makes a perfect weeknight meal and is a great way to repurpose those leftovers for the non loving leftover people in your family. They'll never know it was leftovers!
More Quick and Easy Family Friendly Weeknight Meals
- Family Favorite Sloppy Joes
- Roast Chicken Cobb Salad-with leftover Roast Chicken
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Simple Spaghetti Meat Sauce
- Ham Fried Rice with leftover ham
- Easy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Nachos
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Easy Turkey Burgers
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Taco Pasta Skillet
- Tator Tot Hotdish
Repurpose your leftovers and create a whole new meal with this Chili Mac Skillet with Leftover Chili. Try it and let me know how much you enjoyed it in the comments below! Pictures encouraged on Instagram with the hashtag #heathershomemadekitchen You can also follow me on Social Media to see what other crazy things my family and I are doing! If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!
Chili Mac Skillet with Leftover Chili
- 6 cups water
- 16 oz elbow macaroni or small pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 cups leftover chili
- 2 cups shredded cheddar or co-jack cheese
- In a large deep skillet add pasta and water.
- Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to low, stir in salt and cover.
- Simmer for 6-7 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the pasta is al dente and has a little bite still. (There should still be some water left in the pan, and the pasta will continue to cook while you finish the dish.)
- Add the chili to the macaroni and increase the heat to medium. Bring the chili mac to a low bubble.
- Once bubbling, stir in the cheese one handful at a time until it is melted and repeat until all the cheese is added and melted.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring it a few times.