Home cooking: Prater's Chili Mac

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By Deanna Godman

Tabitha Prater created this chili mac recipe to give her family some variety in the chili dishes she usually makes. She took this version to a potluck meeting of the Bluegrass Basket Guild in September.

“I make it fairly often,” said Prater. “Chili is one thing I can guarantee my son will eat. When it’s cold, I fix a lot of chili and chili mac type stuff.”

“I do a lot of one pot things,” said Prater. She makes casseroles on a regular basis so that she can hide small pieces of vegetables from her four-year-old son. She also makes chicken pot pie and pasta dishes.

Prater created this recipe by looking at several different recipes and taking what she liked from each one. This process of taking different elements from several recipes and trying them together is something she does fairly often. 

She has a lot of cookbooks and especially enjoys recipes from Better Homes and Gardens and Paula Deen. The cookbook she uses the most is the one her mother, Judy Bowman, is creating from family recipes. Bowman is typing up the recipes to give to her family. Prater keeps her copies in a notebook.

Prater is an occupational therapist who has lived in Taylorsville her whole life. She has been a member of the Bluegrass Basket Guild, a Spencer County Homemaker club, for six years. 

Chili Mac


1 pound hamburger meat

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 can chili beans, not drained

1 can diced green chiles and tomatoes

1/2 cup - 1 cup frozen corn

2 cloves garlic, minced

chili powder





2 cups  cheddar cheese

1/2 box of pasta


Cook and drain meat. Add onion, green pepper, celery, beans, tomato mixture, corn, garlic and spices. Cook on stove in dutch oven or large oven-safe skillet until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on the box. Stir the pasta into the chili base, and cook together until the pasta has absorbed some of the flavor. Put the cheddar cheese on top of the chili, and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 more minutes or until the cheese is a little brown and melted.

Prater usually uses macaroni or spaghetti for this dish, but most pastas should work.

“I fix it to my taste,” said Prater. “It’s basically like a thick chili.” All of the spices should be added to the preparer’s taste.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with the Spencer Magnet, please contact Deanna at ideas@funmama.net.