11/14/2014 12:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Chili Mac

Karly Campbell

This chili mac recipe is simple to prepare and makes a great weeknight meal that even picky kids will love!

This Chili Mac is quickly outdoing my Creamy Baked Spaghetti as our family's favorite meal. We are eating it on the regular.

We used to live in a little town with a Steak 'N Shake. They had steakburgers and milkshakes and chili mac. Their chili mac used spaghetti noodles, but I prefer macaroni. I mean, you guys, it's called Chili Mac. Why mac if there are no macaroni noodles??

I hear Skyline also does the chili mac. Anyone know if they use spaghetti or macaroni?

Anyway, the secret to this recipe is the bottled chili sauce. Do not skip it or this will just be a bowl of chili with noodles. The chili sauce does something magical and transforms this into something else entirely.

You can top this any way you like. I prefer diced onions, shredded cheese, and a little sour cream. My husband just goes for the cheese. My kids don't put anything on theirs.

Also, we don't put beans in our chili, because none of us really like beans. If you're a bean-eater, you can totally add them here. Ain't no thang.

Oh, and don't judge me for using the packets of chili seasoning. I love them and I'll never give them up no matter what you say. Everytime I make chili, I get requests for the recipe and my response  is always "Follow the recipe back of the McCormick chili seasoning packet, but add a little brown sugar." Bad food blogger!

Chili Mac Recipe

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 packets chili seasoning (or your own mix)

29 ounce can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 pound macaroni

1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce

grated cheese, for topping

diced onions, for topping

sour cream, for topping

In a large pot over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Drain the fat and add the chili seasoning, tomato sauce, and brown sugar. Stir to combine and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

While the chili is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain and set return to the pan. Pour the chili into the pan with the cooked macaroni. Add the chili sauce and stir to combine.

Serve with cheese, onions, and sour cream.