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Gramma's Old Fashioned Chili Mac

Gramma's Old Fashioned Chili Mac

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This is an old family recipe that my mom has cooked for 50 years. It's a wonderful, 'stick-to-the-ribs' meal that goes wonderful with warm cornbread or rolls. I find that kids love this when they don't like regular 'spicy' chili. Enjoy!

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 489 kcal
  • 24%
  • Fat:
  • 22.4 g
  • 34%
  • Carbs:
  • 49.2g
  • 16%
  • Protein:
  • 22.1 g
  • 44%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 64 mg
  • 21%
  • Sodium:
  • 997 mg
  • 40%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, simmer celery and green pepper with water to cover until tender; Drain.
  3. Place ground beef in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly brown. Add onion, and cook until tender and translucent. Drain excess fat. Add celery and green pepper. Stir in kidney beans, condensed tomato soup, diced tomatoes and brown sugar. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in macaroni.
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This dish can be made in one deep frying pan with a lid. Saute the beef with the onions, peppers and celery until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients including the macaroni mix well and cover. Cook until macaroni is done (about 15 minutes) stirring occasionally. The flavors blend better using this method and there's only one pan to wash. A tablespoon of chili powder is nice and not to spicy.


The previous reviewer needs to be a bit less negative and read the explanation of the recipe; it is NOT intended to be like regular chili--I take no responsibility for the name "chili mac"---the recipe is over 50 years old, who knows why they called it that?? That's why I explained in the intro that IT'S NOT SPICY! And, by the way, macaroni is the main ingredient in macaroni and cheese, and, I don't know about you, but I would consider that dish to be pretty all-American...not Italian.


I am not a big fan of Hambuger Helper-type boxed dinners: due to the preservatives and sometimes the quality of boxed/dried foods. This is a little bit sweet, HOMEMADE "hamburger helper" that kids and, everyone that tries it, seems to like a lot. I do not use three pans to make, however. I just re-use the macaroni pot and skip the boiling of the celery and green peppers and just add them to the browned and DRAINED ground meat: and cook til celery is tender. Then finish recipe, as stated. I believe it adds more flavor that way. This is great as a leftover! Thanks for the recipe!