Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Macaroni {Super Easy}

Are you ready for a dinner that not only satisfies the whole family but is also an absolute breeze to make? Say hello to Slow Cooker Beef and Macaroni – a hearty, flavorful, and filling dish.

close up view of macaroni with meat beans and cheese.

Slow Cooker Beef and Macaroni

Ready in under 3 hours, this is a picky eater-approved crockpot dinner for busy days.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings

Equipment

  • 1 slow cooker, 6 quart or larger

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • teaspoon cumin
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (1 large can)
  • 15 ounces red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • cups beef broth
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

Instructions 

  • Cook meat and spices. Add ground beef, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking up the meat, or until beef is no longer pink.
    skillet with cooked meat, peppers, and onions
  • Cook veggies. Add onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and garlic to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add to slow cooker. Add cooked beef and vegetables to a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix in macaroni, tomatoes, black beans and beef broth. Cook 2-3 hours on low or 1 hour on high.
    slow cooker before and after cooking.
  • Add cheese. Sprinkle cheese on top, cover slow cooker with lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
    finished chili macaroni in slow cooker.

Notes

If the pasta is not covered by liquid in the low cooker, it won’t soften.  Add more beef broth if necessary.  
The macaroni will be quite soft in this recipe.  If you prefer it to be more al dente, add it.  in the last 30-40 minutes of cooking. 
We like to top plates with sour cream, diced tomato, and sliced avocado. 
scoop of crockpot chili macaroni

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • No Fuss, No Rush: With a slow cooker doing all the hard work, you can just sit back and relax or tackle your to-do list.
  • Bursting with Flavor: This dish packs a serious flavor punch with its blend of spices and wholesome ingredients.
  • Picky Eater Approved: Even the pickiest eaters won’t be able to resist this comforting combination of beef and macaroni.
  • Perfect for Busy Days: Minimal prep, maximum deliciousness – it’s the perfect recipe for those hectic days.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on white counter.

You’ll need the following for this slow cooker favorite:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Yellow onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Red kidney beans
  • Beef broth
  • Uncooked elbow macaroni

Serve with homemade skillet biscuits and a green salad for an easy meal.

🍴Instructions

Step One: cook meat and veggies

skillet with cooked meat, peppers, and onions

Fire up a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in your ground beef and sprinkle on your spices – chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Spend a good 8-10 minutes breaking the meat apart and cooking until it’s no longer pink. The spices will blend in and create an aromatic, flavorful base.

Now it’s time to add some freshness. Dice your onion, green bell peppers, and minced garlic. Throw them into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes.

Step Two: add everything to slow cooker

slow cooker before and after cooking.

Transfer your cooked beef and vegetables into your 6-quart slow cooker. Toss in your macaroni, tomatoes, beans, and beef broth. Set your slow cooker on low for 2-3 hours or high for 1 hour.

Step three: add cheese

finished chili macaroni in slow cooker.

Lastly, sprinkle cheese on top and cover the slow cooker. Let it sit for another 15 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted. The cheese creates a beautiful, creamy layer that ties the whole dish together.

🥫 Storage instructions

Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Absolutely! While elbow macaroni is a classic choice, feel free to substitute with other pasta types such as penne or fusilli.

Is chicken broth okay?

Yes. 😊 I use it all the time if I don’t have beef broth on hand.

Is this spicy?

Not at all. A small amount of cayenne in step one will add some heat if that’s what you’re after.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Every slow cooker will vary in how long it takes to cook pasta. The first time you make this, check every 30 minutes or so.
  • You can use a less-lean ground beef if that’s what you have, but you’ll need to drain it.

📘 more easy crockpot dinner Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

plated dish with fork.
Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Macaroni {Super Easy}

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