Two favorite comfort foods come together in this super easy One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese the whole family will go crazy for!
One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
What’s better than macaroni and cheese and chili? When you combine them! Put them together to make Chili Mac and you have one killer mash-up.
Not only does it taste great, but it only requires one pot and pantry staples. One of my favorite trifectas in cooking! Bonus, it comes together in 30 minutes for a satisfying meal. Leftovers are great the next day, too.
Chili Mac Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chili mac recipe.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Ground beef – Lean ground beef 80/20, so there’s not excess fat.
- Onion and Garlic – For aromatics and flavor.
- Elbow macaroni pasta – Dry macaroni is used for mac n cheese, so that’s what we use here, but Ditalini would work, too.
- Chicken broth – We prefer low-sodium to control the saltiness of the dish.
- Pasta sauce – Use either traditional or marinara
- Rotel – This is canned diced tomatoes with mild green chilis. Choose from mild, medium, or hot depending on your preference.
- Chili beans – Canned chili beans. Do NOT rinse and drain them before adding them.
- Cheddar cheese – Freshly shredded for optimal flavor.
- Seasonings – Chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley
- Olive oil – Used to sauté the vegetables.
What Goes with Chili Mac
With ground beef, pasta, and tomatoes, and beans, this dish is very filling on its own. But we usually enjoy it with a side salad and either homemade garlic bread, 7 Up Biscuits, or Dutch oven bread to round out the meal.
If you’ve got leftovers, allow them to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The noodles will absorb a lot of the liquid and tend to get mushy once defrosted, so freezing leftovers is not our preference, but you can. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.
More One Pot Meals:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 medium sweet onion , diced small
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups Traditional or Marinara pasta sauce
- 10 ounce can mild diced tomatoes with mild green chilis
- 16 ounce can mild chili beans (do not drain or rinse)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; cook until browned, breaking up into crumbles, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain excess fat.
- Stir in chicken broth, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes with mild green chilis, beans, chili powder, and cumin. Season with a bit more salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring to a boil and stir in pasta; cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until pasta is al dente, about 14 minutes, stirring a couple times near the end to prevent sticking.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese and parsley.
- Serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese and parsley, if desired.