One Pot Chili Mac (30 Minute Recipe!)


Chili Mac is a hearty, delicious dish filled with ground beef, noodles, cheese, beans, and so much more. Now you can take your weeknight meals to another level with this one pot chili mac recipe! It’s so easy to make in just one pot, and it’s ready to serve in 30 minutes.

a pot of chili mac next to a plate

Chili Mac

If you like chili, and you like mac and cheese, then I have the perfect weeknight meal for you! This one pot chili mac recipe is the best of two favorite comfort foods. It’s quick and easy to make, and it tastes out of this world!

This easy, cheesy dinner is so hearty and comforting. It’s filled with beans, ground beef, cheese, macaroni, and lots of other good stuff. This has quickly becoming a family favorite in our house!

So next time you struggle to choose between chili and mac and cheese, be sure to reach for this recipe instead. Add some cornbread and you’ll have the best comfort meal!

Why you’ll love this Chili Mac Recipe:

  • ONE POT DINNER: Everything is cooked and combined in one pot, so clean up is a breeze!
  • 30 MINUTE MEAL: This chili mac is on the table and ready to eat in just 30 minutes. It’s a real life saver on busy nights.
  • KID FRIENDLY: This is something the whole family will love. Kids will eat this right up, even the picky eaters!

For more chili recipes, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Chili and Cincinnati Chili Recipe.

wooden spoon laying in a pot of chili mac
large pot of chili mac and cheese

Ingredients List

  • Macaroni Noodles
  • Ground Beef: Substitute ground chicken or turkey if you like.
  • Chicken Broth: Or substitute beef or veggie stock.
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Tomatoes: I like fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but you can use any can of diced or chunky tomatoes.
  • Beans: Pinto and chili beans are great, but you can substitute black beans or another type.
  • Seasonings: White and black pepper, and cumin. Add other seasonings or spices as desired.
  • Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese finishes off the chili mac. Add another type, like Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack.

How to Make Chili Mac in One Pot!

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil.
  2. Add the seasonings and brown the beef.
  3. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and beans, and let it simmer.
  4. Add in the macaroni and simmer until noodles are fully cooked.
  5. Top with cheese to melt, then serve hot!
chili mac and cheese in a white pot
close up on a spoon digging into chili mac

Recipe Variations

This one pot chili mac is delicious exactly as it is, but you can easily adjust it to suit your tastes.

  • No Beans: If you want more of a saucy, beefy mac and cheese, just skip the beans. The rest of the recipe won’t change.
  • Spicy: If you like spice, add in some chili powder with the rest of the seasonings.
  • Mexican: Make a Mexican-inspired version by adding pepper jack cheese and taco seasoning.
  • More Veggies: Add in other vegetables (like broccoli bits, peppers, or mushrooms) when you add the beef.
  • Dairy-Free: You can still have a hearty chili mac without the cheese! Just skip it at the end.
Can you freeze chili mac?

Yes, this dish actually freezes quite well. Let it cool completely, then scoop it into freezer-safe containers or bags. Freeze for 3 months, then thaw before reheating.

Can I use different noodles?

Macaroni is perfect for chili mac, of course, but you can use other types of pasta as well. I recommend using short pasta shapes, like penne, rotini, or bowtie.

How long does it take to cook chili mac?

Total cook time for this one pot recipe is only about 20 minutes! Add a little bit of prep time, and you’ll have dinner ready in half an hour.

Serving Suggestions

This chili mac and cheese is a hearty meal all by itself. It’s a one pot meal and one dish dinner! But I LOVE serving this up with some bread to help scoop up any lingering bits.

Serve this with Cornbread Muffins or cheesy garlic bread.

a plate of chili mac and cheese with a fork


  • Make this chili mac in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan. It will distribute the heat more evenly.
  • Make sure that the macaroni is fully cooked before taking the pan off of the heat.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge, covered, for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat the chili mac on the stovetop, or in the microwave for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • If making ahead of time, make sure it’s fully cooled before storing.
  • You can also freeze chili mac for up to 3 months.

What toppings go with chili mac?

There are already lots of ingredients in this dish, but a few extra toppings never hurt anyone. Here are a few ideas!

  • Add a handful of corn chips or tortilla strips.
  • Sprinkle more cheese on top, or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Add sliced jalapenos for a little heat.
  • Slices of avocado add a refreshing twist.

Can you make one pot chili mac ahead of time?

Yes, this is a great make ahead dinner! Everything is cooked together in one pot, so it’s easy to make and store together. It actually gets even better after it sits in the fridge, and it reheats beautifully.

You don’t have to do anything differently, but if you like, you can make the whole dish without the pasta. Then cook the macaroni fresh to mix with everything else. This works especially well if you plan to freeze this.

More Chili and Mac and Cheese Recipes:

large pot of chili mac

This hearty chili mac recipe is so easy to make with just one pot. It’s so flavorful, so comforting, and so perfect for weeknight dinners. The entire family is going to love this!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

One Pot Chili Mac Recipe


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