Dinner’s done folks!
This one-pot Chili Mac and Cheese is a delicious weeknight dinner recipe that is loaded with flavor and packed with healthy protein. Three different types of beans - kidney beans, black beans, and chili beans - team up in this tasty meal.
This post was sponsored by Faribault Foods. The opinions are my own.
There's nothing like a big warm bowl of chili on a cool fall evening. But you know what would make it even better? Mac and cheese.
Yes, we've paired up two of our all time favorite comfort foods in this tasty one pot meal.
This recipe takes all the flavor of our famous chili mac (the most popular recipe on the blog!) and takes it up a notch with a cheesy finish!
This Chili Mac and Cheese is:
- Deliciously cheesy.
- Packed with protein from meat and beans.
- A kid friendly recipe that the whole family will eat.
- The ultimate comfort food!
- Perfect for busy school night dinners.
Weeknight meals need to be time-savers, and this meal can feed a crowd and takes just 25 minutes to throw together from start to finish.
And better yet, it's a one pot meal! That means less work in the kitchen, and a whole lot less dishes to clean up afterwards. Who wouldn't love that?
How to Make Chili Mac n Cheese
We've provided step by step photos to show just how easy this recipe is to make, and to show you why you shouldn't be overwhelmed at all - even if you're new to cooking.
1 - Saute Onions and Bell Pepper
For the first step, simply heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add in some chopped green bell pepper and onion. Stir and cook for a few minutes.
2 - Brown the meat.
You can certainly use something other than lean ground beef, but we'd stick with lean meat for the lower calories and fat content.
You could also try using half beef and half ground turkey. Both are equally good and flavorful choices.
Add the meat to the pan with the peppers and onions. Brown the meat and drain the grease away before proceeding.
We love using this combination of beef, onions, and pepper with other recipes too.
It is delicious added to a box of store bought mac and chase for a fast meal, and it's the perfect base for our Game Day chili recipe too!
3 - Add the beans.
It's finally time to add the beans! I really love the flavor and quality of Mrs. Grimes Beans and was delighted to create this recipe to show them off!
Mrs. Grimes Beans are available at select Walmart Stores, HyVee, and Fareway stores. You can get a coupon here to try them for yourself!
Beans are high-fiber, low fat and all natural. I consider ingredients like those a win all around.
I used a combination of Dark Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, and Chili Beans as the base for our tasty Chili Mac and Cheese recipe.
4 - Add Seasonings and Diced Tomatoes
After adding the beans, it's time to toss in the diced tomatoes and all of our flavorful seasonings. And we all know, the seasonings can make or break a recipe!
We also add in chicken broth. Using broth instead of water adds another layer to the flavors. I substitute broth for water in most savory recipes. A homemade vegetable stock would also work well here.
5 - Add PASTA and Cook!
Adding elbow macaroni to this delicious pot of goodness is what turns it from regular old chili into chili mac and cheese!
Once you've added the macaroni, bring the whole pot to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and allow the pasta to cook and the flavors to all meld together over the next 13-15 minutes.
Occasionally stir the chili mac and cheese to allow the ingredients to mix and mingle and the seasonings to hug every little piece of elbow macaroni in the pot.
6 - Add the cheese!
Finally, the step you've all been waiting for - the cheese.
We've added both shredded cheddar cheese and a shredded Hot Jalapeño & Habanero Jack Cheese cheese - both of which add a ton of flavor!
Don't worry if you don't have the same exact cheese that I used. Any type of spicy pepper jack style cheese will work well here.
Stir the cheese into the chili mac until it's melted into gooey perfection, and serve!
Chili Mac Toppings
We decided to top our Chili Mac and Cheese with just a little bit of cilantro and an extra sprinkle of shredded Cheddar cheese.
Some other delicious topping ideas that are perfect for all kinds of stews and chilis:
- A dollop of sour cream.
- Crumbled tortilla chips for crunch!
- Your favorite fresh herbs - try parsley or basil.
- Slivered jalapeno peppers for extra spice.
This one-pot Chili Mac n Cheese is truly meant to be served on its own. But if you're planning to feed a crowd and want a more complete spread, you can serve it up with a fresh salad or a slice of homemade rosemary bread.
And if you're looking for more delicious recipes, we've got them! Check out these tasty ideas:
- 15+ Can't Miss Chili Recipes
- 40+ Easy Weeknight Dinner Ideas
- 25+ Easy Homemade Mexican Recipes
- Browse our Latest Pasta Recipes
One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ red onion medium, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper chopped
- 1 pound ground lean meat we used ground beef
- 15 oz Mrs. Grimes Chili Beans canned
- 15 oz Mrs. Grimes Dark Red Kidney Beans canned
- 15 oz Mrs. Grimes Black Beans canned
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes canned
- 32 oz chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups macaroni noodles uncooked
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¾ cup Hot Jalapeño & Habenero Jack Cheese shredded, or pepper jack
- extra shredded cheese
- fresh cilantro
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add in green bell pepper and onion. Stir and all to cook for a few minutes.
- Brown the meat and mix together with the onions and peppers, letting the flavors meld together. Once the meat has finished browning, drain the grease.
- Add in Dark Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, and Chili Beans, mixing all the ingredients together.
- Combine seasonings, diced tomatoes and chicken broth.
- Add in uncooked macaroni. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cook for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted and combined.
- Serve and enjoy!