Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet

5 from 12 votes
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True story: My daughter was convinced she wouldn’t like this Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet, then ended up eating two bowls of it. It’s really THAT good, you guys!   Also: Mom is always right. This recipe is super kid friendly and SO easy to make!

Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet with a blue tablecloth underneath
Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet

This was my mom’s kind of recipe for camping because as a Mom of three busy kids, when we went camping she had to keep us all happy and well fed. This Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet is seriously one of the easiest things that I have made in a long time – and it’s seriously SO good you guys!

Guess what you need?

Macaroni. Chili. Cheese. Water.

Macaroni, chili and cheese in a skillet over a grill

That is seriously IT!

You cook the macaroni in water, then you mix in chili. Warm it up, add the cheese and you have the best Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet that you have ever tasted!

Of course, that means that I need to make a full-blown Chili Mac Skillet that’s homemade now, but I think that I can take one for the team and whip one of those up for you all.

a spoon full of cheesy chili mac skillet

That cheese…oh lorty, that cheese!

It’s the best part.

Actually, the entire thing is the best part.When the entire family eats it, I consider it a win beyond measure. My daughter was ready to make her peanut butter and jam sandwich ( I am not a short order cook, you eat supper or you get a sandwich that you make yourself, or starve) but when she tasted it, she ate humble pie. And two helpings of Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet, as well.

close up of a spoon full of cheesy chili mac skillet

She truly did. She really didn’t believe how it could taste that good, but I reminded her that it was three of her favourite foods : macaroni, chili and cheese. She just had a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that together they would taste even better.

This is the PERFECT recipe for pickier eaters, this is such a kid pleaser, you guys, trust me!

Happy Cooking you guys!



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Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet! This hearty dish will soon become a new camping favourite with your family! Only a few ingredients and it cooks on the campfire perfectly! #camping #recipes #chilimac #pasta


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Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet

Campfire Cheater Chili Mac Skillet! This hearty dish will soon become a new camping favourite with your family! Only a few ingredients and it cooks on the campfire perfectly!
5 from 12 votes
close up of a spoon full of cheesy chili mac skillet
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Main Course
6 servings
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 454 g box of elbow macaroni
  • 2 425 g or 14 oz. cans of your favourite chili
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 cups of shredded old cheddar cheese


  • In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, place the water and the elbow macaroni. Cook until the noodles are done - you may have to add more water. Make sure to stir so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. You can cook this over the fire or a grill.
  • When the noodles are done the water should be evaporated ( if not, pour it off)  and you can mix in the cans of chili. Heat up again.
  • When the chili is heated through, sprinkle the cheese on top.
  • Return to the fire/grill to melt the cheese.
  • Dig in!

Recipe Notes

The amount of water you need will vary, (evaporation rate, brand of noodles will all make this vary) so start with 5 and add 1/2 cup at a time afterwards until the noodles are cooked.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 152kcal, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 246mg, Potassium: 36mg, Vitamin A: 375IU, Calcium: 278mg, Iron: 0.3mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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  1. Maxine says

    We are just back from a weekend of camping and I wanted to tell you that this was a HIT! I think I will make it st home too!5 stars

  2. April says

    This was a fantastic chili Mac skillet! The kids scarfed it back, who knew they loved chili mac so much? Awesome camping meal!5 stars

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