Our Camping chili mac casserole is made with just a few ingredients that come together in just 15 minutes. Perfect for camping or for dinner any night of the week! Gluten-free.
If there’s any food that’s sure to please both kids and adults, it has to be pasta. I have yet to come across arguments at mealtime when pasta is served!
This recipe was recently developed for my family’s RV trip out west. I found that it was very easy to make with a camping stove and made enough for lunch the next day.
My husband might have even asked for it for breakfast.
- 16 oz. box gluten-free elbow noodles
- 38 oz. can of chili (with or without beans)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
How to make
- Add chili, water, and dry pasta into a large skillet or pot. Cover.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is softened
- Turn heat off
- Gently stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese
- Sprinkle the second cup of cheese on top, cover.
- Serve once the cheese has melted!
I find one of the most useful tools to bring camping is a cast-iron skillet. They are so versatile and heavyweight to hold up to the rigors of outdoor cooking!
To get started, add the chili, dry pasta, and water to your skillet. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to keep a simmer. Let cook about 8 minutes or until pasta is softened.
Once the pasta is softened, remove the cover and turn off the heat. Gently stir in half of the shredded cheese.
Stirring some cheese directly into the chili mac casserole makes it super cheesy and delicious. If you’d like to save calories, go ahead and skip this step.
Take the second cup of shredded cheese and sprinkle it on top. Cover and let melt.
Once the cheese is melted, you’re ready for dinner!
Chili Mac Casserole pares well with a big salad and a slice of watermelon, which are all the best when eaten outdoors!
Pro Tip: Use care when moving the hot cast iron skillet to your table. Bring enough potholders or kitchen towels to protect your table cloth &/or the picnic table.
I’ve seen many tables with round rings burned into them from hot pans! Don’t ruin your pan – or a table. 🙂
CKC Features both Gluten-Free Guidance and Kids Cooking Instructions: If you’re new to eating gluten-free we understand it’s overwhelming trying to figure out which foods may contain gluten and which ones don’t. All of our gluten-free recipes marked with this symbol ✅ represent foods that need to be checked for gluten or cross-contamination.
The ⭐️ symbol in the recipe below denotes the steps in which kid cooks may need a helper (depending on age). If there is no ⭐️ symbol, that step (or recipe) doesn’t require a helper.
Camping Chili Mac
- 16 ounces gluten-free elbow noodles
- 38 ounce can of chili ✅
- 3 cups of water
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ✅
- ⭐️Combine the ingredients. Add chili, water, and dry pasta into a large skillet or pot. Cover. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is softened.16 ounces gluten-free elbow noodles, 38 ounce can of chili, 3 cups of water
- ⭐️Add the cheese. Turn the heat off. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Sprinkle the second cup of cheese on top and cover.2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Serve. Serve once the cheese has melted.
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I made this at home before camping to try it out. It really is easy and my kids loved it! Thanks for the recipe.
The taste was good. Mine came out more like a soup vs a casserole texture. I did use broth instead of water. Maybe water would have boiled away. I will ty it again using water as the recipe called for.
Beth Catt says
I made practically the same thing when my kids were little, but I used left over chili and left over goulash and just combined the two so that I wasn’t wasting any food my kids loved it so did my husband we called it chili-mac
Super easy recipe for camping and pretty tasty.
I will definitely make this again