Chili mac soup has the perfect combination of pasta, beef, tomatoes and chili beans for a hearty meal. This is the chili soup we grew up with. It has beef and beans and plenty of macaroni noodles too!
Believe it or not, this soup is what we knew as chili growing up. Of course, the chili I make for the football watching crew these days is quite a bit different than this.
But you can certainly see why a mom with 6 hungry kids would whip up this more kid friendly version. A mild chili flavor with just enough beans to make it a complete meal and plenty of macaroni to make it kid friendly makes it accessible to everyone.
Of course we knew the difference between chili and this, that is why this was always chili soup and chili was just chili. We used to eat a lot of chili soup and not much chili.
Now we eat a lot of chili, but every once in a while you still need to break out some chili soup. When you do, be sure to have oyster crackers and cheese on hand. It’s the only way to fix it!
You want to know the funny thing about chili soup? If you put a lot of macaroni in it, like I normally do, the leftovers are practically goulash.
The pasta soaks up a lot of the “juice” and magically it turns into something new that is very reminiscent of goulash. Voila! It’s like a whole different second meal with no extra effort.
I will have to ask my mom to confirm, but I am pretty sure this is the chili she grew up with as well. I know she refers to it as Maw-Maw’s recipe, so that has to be the case!
No matter where the recipe came from, it is sure to be a budge friendly family pleaser on a cold day.
We always make this with elbow macaroni noodles. Then the day I was in the mood to make it for the blog, I went to the pantry to grab a box and guess what… no elbows!
I was heartbroken and discouraged and almost scrapped the plan to make chili mac, but decided to persevere in the face of adversity. So I forged on with rotini instead. Though it still tasted good, it just wasn’t the same.
More recipes from Maw-Maw:
Maw-Maw’s Lamb Curry is a simple curry recipe loosely based on Indian curry. It is a warm and comforting fall or winter meal that is great over rice.
Maw-Maw’s One Pan Scalloped Potatoes and Pork Chops is another great comfort food meal. The pork chops bake right on top of the scalloped potatoes and both give such great flavor to the other. All you need is a vegetable and dinner is done!
Maw-Maw’s American Cheese Lasagna is definitely different than you classic lasagna, but oh so good. It would be fun to have your family be surprised by what is inside!
For another fun pasta filled soup idea, try making taco soup in the instant pot. It is family friendly and super easy to make! Or try slow cooker chicken cacciatore soup for an Italian twist on a tomato and pasta soup.
Maw-Maw’s Chili Mac Soup
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cans chili beans
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 6 cups beef broth
- Optional: small green onion diced
- 6 oz macaroni noodles or shape of your choice
- In a large stock pot, cook the ground beef, onions and green pepper (if using) with a bit of salt and pepper until meat is brown and onions are soft.
- Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder and tomato juice. Simmer for at least a half hour or as long as you’d like. Be sure to stir occasionally.
- Bring to a boil and stir in pasta. Cook to your liking using the instructions on the box to estimate time required.
- Garnish with shredded cheese and oyster crackers, if desired.