Gramma's Old Fashioned Chili Mac Recipe -
Gramma's Old Fashioned Chili Mac Recipe
  • READY IN 40 mins

Gramma's Old Fashioned Chili Mac

Recipe by  

"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!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    40 mins


  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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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 09, 2007

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.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 02, 2009

I only used this recipe because I had a can of tomato soup...but this CANNOT be called chili...there's no chile's, chili powder, cumin....nothing. Tomato soup, tomatoes, and kidney beans doesn't make chili without the spices. I added a cumin, chili powder, garlic, organo, salt & pepper in order to make this even resemble chilimac. This should be changed to hearty tomato stew, or soup even.

Sep 28, 2005

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.

Oct 13, 2005

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!

Aug 07, 2003

I knew my boyfriend would like this but wasn't sure if I would since I like spicier chili's (not much of sweet/mild fan). BUT I ended up loving this with my boyfriend!! I only used 1 can tomatoes (undrained), 1 can of tomato soup (it was all I had) but added a soup can of water like others mentioned and added the kideny beans (also undrained). Very good! I ofcourse sprinkled some sharp shredded cheddar cheese to melt over my bowl but my boyfriend raved about this as it was! Thanks Sue! Your mom is a great cook!

Nov 27, 2002

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, I made this just like the recipe,,Thanks so much.. God bless you.

Feb 01, 2006

This is absolutely delicious! Because my husband is diabetic, I used a low-carb elbow pasta and substituted 1 tbsp chili powder and 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper for the brown sugar. It was amazing - far better than any boxed concoction out there! What a great family recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jan 18, 2011

So Wisconsin! Love it! and so do my Hubby's farmer friends that give it "thumbs up" and come back for more. Thanks Gramma!


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  • Calories
  • 489 kcal
  • 24%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 49.2 g
  • 16%
  • Cholesterol
  • 64 mg
  • 21%
  • Fat
  • 22.4 g
  • 34%
  • Fiber
  • 7.3 g
  • 29%
  • Protein
  • 22.1 g
  • 44%
  • Sodium
  • 997 mg
  • 40%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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