Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork.  This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has a super creamy and cheesy curly pasta on the bottom that lays a perfect foundation.  Then it’s topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili filled with tomatoes, onions, and carrots for layers of sweet and savory flavors.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners. 

This recipe is also a great one to make directly from your freezer and pantry!  The chili can be cooked ahead and frozen to pull out, warm, and add to mac and cheese any time you want!  Click here to get lots more Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Scooping Chili out of pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Substitutes – Because you don’t have time to worry!

With our crazy schedules and limited time, you sometimes have to make do with whatever you have in the house, so here are your swaps and substitutes!

Chili Subs

  • Ground Beef – you can easily sub with ground turkey or chicken here!  I use 90% lean beef, but you can use any fat content.  You can also ADD chorizo or ground pork.
  • Seasonings – Feel free to use a Chili Spice mix you like, just taste for salt and pepper.  Paprika and Cayenne are optional, but I find they really boost the smokiness and give a bit of heat.  You can also add more of both of these!
  • Veggies – I use mirepoix for this recipe – onion, carrot, and celery – which bring the right amount of sugar and flavor.  You could eliminate the carrot and celery, but the onion is a must as it brings so much flavor!  You can also add in green or red pepper!

Mac and Cheese Subs

  • Pasta – I suggest using a short-cut curly pasta, such as Rotini, Fusilli,  or Riccioli.  These will hold the cheese and chili in every nook and cranny.  You can also use tube-cut pastas, such as Penne, Rigatti, or even elbows.  Frankly, any pasta will taste great, if you don’t have any of these!
  • Cheese – I prefer to shred my own aged cheddar for homemade mac and cheese.  I find that a little goes a long way for deep cheesy flavor and it melts perfectly smooth and creamy!  Any cheddar you have on hand can be used for shredding.  You could also use Fontina, Monterey Jack.  You can also use a pre-shredded cheese.

Here are a couple other comforting family dinners to try:  Shell Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage and Kale  or Easy Cottage Pie with Beef & Chorizo!

Chili Mac and Cheese on a plate with fork. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need 2 pots for this recipe, unless you make the Chili a day or more ahead. For the Chili, you need a large (5-6 quart) pot with lid that can go from the stove to the oven. My prized possession dutch oven was perfect for this! Or any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great. For the pasta, any large pot to boil the water and cook the pasta will work!

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR CHILI MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (Full recipe below!) 

For this recipe, you can either just prep the veggies and seasonings or make the Chili entirely ahead, as it reheats perfectly!  In fact, you can make it months ahead and freeze too!

For the veggies…Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves. 

Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days! 

COOK YOUR CHILI! 

Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

Diced tomatoes and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

COOK YOUR MAC AND CHEESE 

For the pasta, I recommend a short curly variety, such as Rotini, Fusilli, or this fun Riccioli.

Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts.

Butter and flour in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.  Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you’re set.

Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Whisking cheese sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta.

Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Mixed Mac and Cheese for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

To serve, simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Beef Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe

This Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe is a no-apologies meal that layers indulgence on top of indulgence and then garnishes with a bit more indulgence.  It has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili.  Both the mac and cheese and the chili are super easy to make.  They can be made ahead and then reheated, making them great for weeknight dinners.  #macandcheese #chilirecipes #familydinnerideas #easydinners #comfortfood

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili, easy dinner, ground beef, Mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Chili

  • 1 lb ground lean beef, 90% lean raised without antibiotics
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes (whole peeled tomatoes in sauce or crushed tomatoes are fine too.)
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth (vegetable stock is fine too)

Mac and Cheese

  • 10 oz Dry Curly Pasta
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Salted Butter
  • 1.5 cups Milk warmed
  • 4-6 oz Shredded Cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Remove the skin and mince the garlic cloves.

    Diced onion, celery, and carrots Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. Measure out your seasonings and spices, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, and Paprika.

    Spices for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. If your cheese is not shredded, you can also shred that ahead of time.

  4. At this point, you can either make the chili in advance and store it in the fridge/freezer or you can stop for today and pick up cooking in the next couple days!

Cook your Chili

  1. Preheat your dutch oven or large pot (with lid) on high. Drizzle in a tsp of Olive Oil and then add the ground beef to the pot, breaking it apart so that it can all cook evenly. Let it brown without touching it for 4-5 minutes. Once you see the pink starting to disappear, you can stir the meat so that it browns and cooks on all sides.

    Beef cooking in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  2. When the meat is fully browned, add the garlic, carrots, onions, and celery. Stir to combine and start to cook the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Veggies and beef in pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  3. Next add the Seasonings, broth, diced tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Stir again and then cover and simmer for 20-60 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. (The longer you cook this, the more the ingredients will meld together and become one amazing chili!)

    Adding tomato paste to chili pot for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Cook your Mac and Cheese

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it's all immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the pasta). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer or transfer to a large mixing bowl until the sauce is ready.

  2. In a small pot or in the microwave, warm up the milk (do not boil).

  3. Make your roux by adding 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour to a preheated pan (heated to medium, not high heat). Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Once they are fully combined, slowly pour in the milk, whisking the entire time to incorporate it into the roux and prevent lumps from forming.

    Adding slurry to roux for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  4. Bring the sauce up to a simmer so that it starts to thicken.  You can test the sauce by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it.  If it leaves a trail, you're set.

    sauce with whisk and spoon for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  5. When the sauce is thickened, stir in the cheese until you have a smooth cheese sauce.

    Adding cheese to sauce for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes
  6. Either add the pasta to the sauce or pour the sauce over the pasta in a bowl and fold it in to coat each pasta

    Pouring Cheese sauce over pasta for Chili Mac and Cheese. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Serve!

  1. Simply add a heaping scoop of mac and cheese to each plate, then top with an equally heaping scoop of chili! Sprinkle cheese on top and dig in!

    Ladling Chili over Mac and Cheese on a plate. This Recipe has creamy and cheesy pasta topped with smokey, tangy, savory beef chili! #macandcheese #chilirecipes

Freezer Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas

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Moroccan Chicken Chili in bowl over white rice with a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt on top and in a bowl to the left. The slow cooker is in background with chili. Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas and a Cilantro Lime Yogurt is loaded with comforting, healthy, and even healing ingredients and spices.  You get the warmth from the Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander.  Tons of flavor comes from really browned ground chicken and Shallots.  And you get creamy heartiness from the Carrots and Chickpeas.  Finally, you get the cool and tangy balance from the Cilantro Lime Yogurt.  This Moroccan Chicken Chili has so many warm spices and flavors, it will become a favorite.  I like to serve this over white rice, but you can definitely eat it by itself.

Moroccan Chicken Chili in a freezer bag labeled on counter. This chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

The best part?  You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it and then either put it in the slow cooker (set & forget!) or on the stove.

Have you tried my other Make-Ahead freezer dinner?

If you like this warm and aromatic blend of spices and flavors, including ginger, turmeric, coriander, and garlic, then you really must try my Moroccan Meatball Stuffed Pitas!  Or try this delicious Golden Lentil Soup with healing turmeric.

Moroccan spices are similar to other cuisines such as Indian but it’s the special combination of them, including ginger, that sets them apart.  Now, calling this a Chili may be a stretch, but it has all of the main chili components…ground meat, beans, and sauce, so I say this is a beautiful variation of a Chili.

Turmeric spice in a clear bowl for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Turmeric, the Healing Spice

Turmeric not only plays an important role in giving this Moroccan Chicken Chili the amazing golden color and unique flavor. It’s also  a natural anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant, thanks to a compound it contains called, curcumin.  That means it tastes great, looks, amazing, and also has inflammation healing benefits!  For more information on the benefits of Turmeric, check out this article from HealthLine.com: 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin.

Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas in a Slow Cooker Pot with spoon n blue towel. Its loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR MOROCCAN CHICKEN CHILI FREEZER DINNER

All raw ingredients on counter for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!I love FreeBird 98% Fat-Free Ground Chicken Breast, Raised w/o Antibiotics that I can get through Fresh Direct.  I have said it before, but Fresh Direct is a life saver for busy Moms and they source from sustainable local farms which I feel great about.  If you’re not a member, click this link for a discount to join! Get $25 Off Orders of $99 with code LEAF25 at FreshDirect!

To get the best flavor from your ground chicken, you really want to brown it before it goes into the slow cooker, so that means before you freeze it.  Simply cook it in a hot oiled skillet and after breaking it up, you let it sit so that the bottom is REALLY browned, then flip it over and break it up again so that it browns on all sides. Then remove from heat and let cool.  Once cooled enough, add it to the freezer bag.

ECO-Option: For a more Eco-Friendly and Leak-Proof alternative to freezer bags, I love Pyrex Glass Containers for storage, whether it’s in the fridge or freezer, and even for cooking in the oven or warming in the microwave.  For this recipe, I recommend:  Pyrex Basics 2 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid – 7 inch x 11 Inch by Pyrex

Raw ground chicken in skillet for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Ground Chicken in a skillet on the stove really browned for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Ground Chicken in a skillet on the stove really browned for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Cooked and browned chicken added to freezer bag on counter for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Or use Glass Container:

For the chickpeas, you will want to use two 15oz cans.  I love blending 1/2 of one can in a mini food processor to give texture and to help thicken the sauce in this chili.  Pulse with a tablespoon of water (or more if needed) and blend until smooth.  Put both the blended chickpeas and the whole chickpeas in this bag with the chicken.

Dice the onions or shallots and put them in the bag.  Dice the carrots and put them in the bag as well.

Diced Shallots and Carrots added to freezer bag for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

For the ginger, I find the easiest way to peel it is to scrape the skin off with a spoon.  I tend to do this in large batches, mince the ginger in a mini food processor, and then freeze it until I need it.

spoon scraping skin off of whole ginger root for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Mince the garlic and add it to the bag.  Add the Turmeric, Coriander, and Salt.  Finally, add the chicken broth.  Label the bag with the recipe name and date, flatten the bag, then put flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Pouring chicken broth into freezer bag over vegetables and spices for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Final labeled freezer bag of all ingredients for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

COOK YOUR MOROCCAN CHICKEN CHILI WITH CHICKPEAS

Make Cilantro Lime Yogurt (can be done 1-2 days in advance) using the zest of a lime, the juice of a quarter wedge, cilantro, and a little salt.

Thaw your frozen Moroccan Chicken Chili bag in the fridge overnight if you are cooking it in the slow cooker during the day. If you plan to cook on the stove, then you can thaw during the day for cooking that evening. Do not thaw out of the fridge at room temperature, as that invites bacteria.

Put all ingredients in the bag in the slow cooker and set for 4 hours high or 8 hours low.If you don’t have a Slow Cooker, click here to see the Crock-Pot that I have and love!

NOTE: If you would rather cook this on the stove, I would let it simmer for an hour in a soup pot.

Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas in a Slow Cooker Pot with spoon n blue towel. Its loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

25-30 minutes before serving, make rice according to package directions. NOTE: you can make the rice ahead and freeze it too! Just be sure you freeze it in its own separate bag.

Serve over rice, add a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt and enjoy!!

😍 Carrie

Moroccan Chicken Chili in bowl over white rice with a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt on top. Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Freezer Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas

Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting, healthy, and even healing ingredients and spices.  You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander.  You get tons of hearty flavor from really browned ground chicken and Shallots.  And you get creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas.  The best part?  You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Moroccan
Keyword chicken, chili, ginger, ground chicken, Moroccan, turmeric
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Thaw in fridge 6 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Moroccan Chicken Chili

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken white meat chicken
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Onions, diced or shallots
  • 1 cup Carrots, diced
  • 30 oz Chickpeas 2 cans
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 3 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Other

  • 1 cup White Basmati Rice, Uncooked
  • 5 oz Plain Greek Yogurt low or regular fat is fine
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt or to taste

Instructions

Prepare the Freezer Dinner

  1. To a preheated skillet, add 1 tbls of olive oil and then add the chicken.  Using a spatula or fork, break apart the meat and spread it around the pan then leave it alone to brown.  When the bottom is REALLY browned, then flip it over and break it up again so that it browns on all sides.  Then remove from heat and let cool. 

    Ground Chicken in a skillet on the stove really browned for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  2. Once Cooled, add the chicken to the freezer bag.

    Cooked and browned chicken added to freezer bag on counter for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  3. Drain the chickpeas, blend 1/4 of the chickpeas in a mini processor with a tbls of water to help them blend.  

  4. Add the blended and the whole chickpeas to the freezer bag with the chicken.

  5. Dice the onions (or shallots) and add to the bag.  Peel and dice the carrots and also add to the bag.

    Diced Shallots and Carrots added to freezer bag for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  6. Peel and mince ginger. I find it easiest to peel the ginger by scraping it off with a spoon. If you try to cut it off, you will end up cutting off some of the wonderful ginger too. Mince with a knife or make a bunch to freeze some for later and mince it in a mini food processor.  Of course, you can mince with a knife for just the amount needed in this recipe.  Add the ginger to the bag.

    spoon scraping skin off of whole ginger root for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  7. Peel and Mince the garlic.  Add to the bag.

  8. Add the turmeric, coriander, and salt to the bag.

  9. Add the chicken broth to the bag.

    Pouring chicken broth into freezer bag over vegetables and spices for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  10. Label the bag with the recipe name and the date and store in the freezer flat for up to 3 months.

    Final labeled freezer bag of all ingredients for Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Make Cilantro Lime Yogurt (can be done 1-2 days in advance)

  1. Add the yogurt to a small mixing bowl.  

  2. Zest the entire lime, then quarter.  Add the zest and the juice from 1/4 of the lime to the yogurt.

  3. Chop the cilantro and mix it into the yogurt.  Add salt to taste and give it a final mix.  You can make this 1-2 days in advance.

Cook your Moroccan Chicken Chili Freezer Dinner

  1. Thaw your frozen Moroccan Chicken Chili bag in the fridge overnight if you are cooking it in the slow cooker during the day.  If you plan to cook on the stove, then you can thaw during the day for cooking that evening. Do not thaw out of the fridge at room temperature, as that invites bacteria.

  2. Put all ingredients in the bag in the slow cooker and set for 4 hours high or 8 hours low.  NOTE: If you would rather cook this on the stove, I would let it simmer for an hour in a soup pot.

  3. 25-30 minutes before serving, make rice according to package directions. NOTE: you can make the rice ahead and freeze it too! Just be sure you freeze it in its own separate bag.

  4. When the Chili is done, give it a stir, taste for salt, and add as necessary.

    Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas in a Slow Cooker Pot with spoon n blue towel. Its loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!
  5. Serve over rice, add a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt and enjoy!

    Moroccan Chicken Chili in bowl over white rice with a dollop of Cilantro Lime Yogurt on top. Moroccan Chicken Chili with Chickpeas is loaded with comforting and healthy ingredients and spices. You get warmth from Ginger, Turmeric, Garlic, and Coriander. Then tons of hearty flavor from browned ground chicken and Shallots. And creaminess from the Carrots and Chickpeas. You can make it ahead and freeze it until you are ready to cook it!

Recipe Notes

If you serve this over rice, you will obviously get more servings.  If you serve it alone you will get less.  That's why the range from 4-6 servings.