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One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

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This cheesy dish is will be your new favorite way to eat chili! We love the combination of a hearty chili with a classic mac and cheese.

Our chili mac and cheese recipe is easy to make, packed with flavor, and can be made with pantry staples you might already have on hand. It is the perfect busy weeknight dinner recipe.

What kind of pasta noodles to use for chili mac and cheese

We love to use bowtie noodles for this dish, but there are plenty of noodle shapes that will absorb this delicious chili cheese sauce:

  • Farfalle, also known as bow tie pasta, is one of our favorite shapes – and kids love them too! They are pinched in the middle and have loads of crevices to pick up this delicious chili sauce.
  • Gemelli is another fan favorite in our household. Similar to rotini pasta, these inch-long pasta noodles are twisted and have an incredible texture. They soak in whatever sauce they are cooked in and are easy to pick up with your fork!
  • And speaking of rotini pasta – that is another shape that works really well in this easy macaroni and cheese recipe. It is the perfect size and shape to go with mac and cheese.
  • Penne is a great option for this chili mac and cheese. This classic pasta noodle is shaped like a tube and will naturally scoop up this yummy sauce.
  • Rotelle pasta is a whole lot of fun! These wheel shaped pasta noodles are a favorite among children and adults alike.

Truly you cannot go wrong with whatever pasta you choose for this recipe!

Can I make this dish gluten free?

Absolutely! The only part about this dish that has gluten is the pasta, so making gluten free chili mac and cheese is super straightforward. All you need to do is swap out the regular pasta for your favorite gluten free pasta.

We love replacing the pasta with chickpea based pasta or brown rice based pasta. The only thing to keep in mind is that gluten-free pastas usually cook a bit faster than wheat based pasta. This means that they can be more delicate and break apart when overcooked.

It’s important to follow the directions for cooking time on the box when using gluten free pasta. Each type is slightly different and likely has been tested by the company making them. So we recommend that you follow along with our recipe, but adjust the cooking time based on what the box says.

How to make chili mac and cheese

  1. Cook the ground beef in a dutch oven or deep dish pot. Drain the excess liquid.
  2. When the beef is cooked, add the onions and garlic, followed by salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Sauté everything together in the pan over medium heat until nice and fragrant.
  3. Next, add in the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes and farfalle pasta. Pour broth into the pot, bring it all up to a boil and cover.
  4. Cook everything together until the pasta reaches al denté texture. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
  5. Then add both types of shredded cheeses and mix together over the heat. Allow the cheese to melt and turn into a gooey sauce.
  6. When the cheese is melted, it is time to serve!

How to store chili mac and cheese

You can store leftover chili mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up 3-5 days. That’s if you have any leftovers! We find that everyone always wants seconds of this dish.

This recipe is great for meal planning ahead because it freezes very well. If you store it in an airtight container in the freezer, this macaroni and cheese chili will last up to 3 months! Try freezing it in portion sizes so that you only defrost as much as you will need.

If you are planning to freeze it, we recommend allowing the mac and cheese to cool down before storing it in the freezer. This will prevent the hot mac and cheese from changing the internal temperature in your freezer! In case you didn’t know, when you put hot food in the freezer, it can impact the temperature of the food around it. This could cause the food in your freezer to prematurely defrost, and develop freezer burn.

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One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

Alia and Radwa
Our chili mac and cheese recipe is easy to make, packed with flavor! Combines a classic mac and cheese with a hearty chili, all in one pot!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 414 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cooked lean ground beef
  • 1 small chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup canned red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes with chilis (do not drain)
  • 3/4 cup freshly graded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly graded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz mini farfalle or elbow pasta
  • 4 cups low sodium beef or vegetable broth
  •  

Instructions
 

  • Cook the ground beef in a dutch oven or deep dish pot. Drain the excess liquid.
  • When the beef is cooked, add the onions and garlic, followed by salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Sauté everything together in the pan over medium heat until nice and fragrant.
  • Add in the kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes and farfalle pasta. Pour broth into the pot, bring it all up to a boil and cover.
  • Cook everything together until the pasta reaches al denté texture. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
  • Then add both types of shredded cheeses and mix together over the heat. Allow the cheese to melt and turn into a gooey sauce.
  • When the cheese is melted, it is time to serve!

Video

Notes

Note: If the pasta seems runny at first, don't panic! Let stand for 10 minutes in the pot and it really absorbs all the liquid!

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1072mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 711IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword easy one pot meal, one pot chili recipe, one pot mac and cheese, one pot macaroni and chili, one pot pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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