Mac 'n' chili

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15 min


16 cups (4 L), for 8 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 36 minutes
Mac 'n' chili

© Royalty-Free/Masterfile


  • vegetable oil
  • 1 kg lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves , or 1 1/2 tsp bottled chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
  • 2 796-mL cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 green, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 2 540-mL cans red kidney beans
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni pasta


  • Lightly oil a very large wide saucepan and set over high heat. Crumble in beef. Using a fork, stir meat often to keep it crumbly. Cook until no pink remains, 6 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, mince garlic. Measure spices, sugar, salt and pepper into a small bowl. When beef has lost its pink colour, stir in garlic, spices, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, core and seed peppers. Coarsely chop. Drain and rinse beans. Measure out macaroni.
  • When meat mixture has simmered 20 minutes, stir in peppers, beans and macaroni. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered and stirring often, until macaroni is tender, 10 minutes. Taste. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into large bowls. Great with Tabasco sauce and a crusty roll. Mixture will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat in the microwave. Or place in a saucepan with a little water to prevent burning and stir often over medium-low heat.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 246,
  • Protein
  • 17 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 25.4 g,
  • Fat
  • 8.8 g,
  • Fibre
  • 5.5 g,
  • Sodium
  • 504 mg.

This recipe, adapted from Rose Murray’s award-winning cookbook Hungry for Comfort (Penguin Canada), makes a big batch, so use the largest pan you have.