Smokey Chili Mac with Cheddar and Scallions

By Marge Perry & David Bonom

This crowd-pleasing, hearty, one pot meal is crazy-easy to put together—and insanely delicious. It comes together quickly enough to make on a busy weeknight, but you’ll also want to share it with friends on the weekend. 

  • Yield: Makes 4-6 servings

All you need for this recipe and more...


1 tablespoon olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

8 ounces lean ground beef

8 ounces bulk sweet Italian sausage

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 (15.5-ounce) can reduced sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

8 ounces elbow macaroni

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 scallions, thinly sliced


1. Heat the oil in a casserole over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and jalapeño pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes.

2. Add the beef and sausage and cook, breaking into smaller pieces, until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes.

3. Stir in the chili powder, paprika and cumin; cook 2 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil and add the macaroni. Return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the pasta is cooked through, about 8 minutes. 

4. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top with the cheese, cover and let stand 2-3 minutes to allow to melt. Top with the scallions and serve.