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Family Approved: Skillet Mac & Cheese

Like a lot of kids, mine would be perfectly happy to live on mac & cheese alone! Every day, all day, all week, all month! Skillet Mac & Cheese is a perfect way to liven up the plain ol’ Mac & Cheese with flavors that the whole family will love!

Skillet Mac & Cheese

Author/Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Lisa@ onceamonthmeals.com


  • 1 lb ground beef, browned
  • 0.75 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon pepper
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 0.5 teaspoon oregano
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded


In a large pan, add ground beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add tomatoes, tomato paste and beef broth.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano.  Bring to a boil, then add macaroni noodles.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Noodles should be just barely al dente.  Add cheese and stir well. 

Freezing Directions:

Follow directions above and allow to cool.  Divide between 2 8×8 foil baking pans.  Cover tightly with foil.  Label and freeze.  To serve: thaw in fridge.  Reheat in oven at 325F for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through. 

Servings: 8


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

13 Responses to “Family Approved: Skillet Mac & Cheese”

  1. Michelle K says:

    Where do you find Chipotle powder?

  2. Lisa says:

    So if you were preparing it to eat after cooking (for a trial run!), would you still put in the oven at the end? Would you cook the noodles longer?

    • lisa says:

      Lisa – if you were preparing to serve the same day, you won’t need to bake it in the oven. You could cook the noodles a bit longer, depending on your noodle preferences. It is super yummy! Enjoy!

  3. Sherry Linderg says:

    Sounds yummy!

  4. Amber says:

    What is the oven time if you were to cook it in a 9×13 foil pan, instead of 2 8×8’s? Thanks!

  5. Jackie says:

    I made this the other night… we all really liked it.. I think next time I will cut the Chipotle Chile Powder in half.. it was a little spicy for the kids. I just topped there with a little sour cream and they ate it right up :)

  6. I’m thinking of trying this for our family but we have food allergies- including dairy. I’m thinking: omit cheese and either sub some nutritional yeast flakes or make a fake cheese sauce (there’s a good one on Angela’s Kitchen.) If II try it and it turns out with the substitutions, I’ll try to remember to come back and share. Thanks! :-)

  7. Merranda says:

    Sorry for a dumb question, but how would I cook at the campsite? Would it be ok if place on hot embers like the foil packets? Again sorry for the dumb question. :-/

    • Kelly says:

      Hello Merranda! You can cook it over the coals or there are typically campfire rings at sites with a grill on top that you can use as well.

  8. Lisa says:

    I’m kinda confused/worried about adding the broth. I made this and left it out, and it was great. Wouldn’t adding that much broth make it a soup?

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