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Chili mac is comfort food in a dish. Heartier than just regular macaroni and cheese, the addition of the beef and tomatoes will leave your family with full bellies. And the best part is that it won’t require spending hours in the kitchen or spending a fortune at the grocery store.

This simple dinner is an easy fix on a busy night. You’re guaranteed that kids will love it and even picky eaters will like the fact that it doesn’t have any unfamiliar ingredients. With beef, tomatoes, cheese, and macaroni, the flavors combine to make a tasty dish.

Chili Mac Recipe

Getting dinner on the table is sometimes a chore. Every night, the kids need food, whether you feel like making it or not. Sometimes you can pull through a fast-food drive-through, but this is expensive and unhealthy. But kids love chili mac and it won’t take any more time than driving to the nearest McDonalds and waiting in the drive-through line. It makes great leftovers for lunch the next day, too.

The best thing about chili mac is that you can easily change up the recipe according to what your family likes. If they don’t like green bell peppers or onions, you can leave them out (although because you’re sautéing and then baking them, they’re less likely to be noticeable.)

Some corn would be a great addition to this recipe. If your family doesn’t like spicier flavors, you can always use plain tomatoes instead of Mexican-style ones. Serving it with cornbread on the side is a perfect match.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

If you’re wondering if chili mac would work in a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, happily the answer is yes! The best thing about using an Instant Pot is how fast it cooks dinner, hands down. You just have to use things in a slightly different order.

First, you’ll want to cook the meat in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot makes cooking meat a snap. After you cook the meat, add the green peppers and onions to sauté them until they’re almost clear. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot (deglazing it) so it doesn’t burn the rest of the ingredients. Add seasonings and spices here as well.

You’ll want to add 2 cups of chicken or beef broth so that the recipe has enough liquid. Don’t be worried that this will significantly change the flavor of the recipe! You just need enough liquid to cook the pasta without making the whole thing a pasty mess. Add the pasta and bring the whole thing to a boil.

Select the cancel/keep warm mode while you add the tomatoes. Put the lid back on and seal it, then cook for 4 minutes.

Release the steam after cooking, then stir in the cheese. Make sure you don’t put the cheese in sooner because it will burn and make a big mess. The whole point of this dinner is that it’s supposed to be easy, so don’t give yourself a headache from the cleanup!

Chili mac is a quick and simple meal, whether you make it the conventional way or in an Instant Pot. It makes relatively few dishes and it’s all served in one bowl. You aren’t going to have a lot of dishes to clean up after making this either, which is another reason that it’s the perfect dish for busy nights.

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our Baked Rigatoni with Sausage Recipe and Penne With Vodka Sauce Recipe.

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Chili Mac Recipe

Chili Mac


  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Total Time: 50 minutes

Description

This simple dinner is an easy fix on a busy night. You’re guaranteed that kids will love it and even picky eaters will like the fact that it doesn’t have any unfamiliar ingredients. With beef, tomatoes, cheese, and macaroni, the flavors combine to make a tasty dish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 141/2 ounces Mexican or chili-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 11/4 ounces taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni cooked and drained
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Cook ground beef, onion and green pepper in large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; pour off excess fat.

3. Add tomatoes, water and taco seasoning; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Toss pasta with meat mixture. Spoon 3 cups of mixture into an 11×7-inch baking dish.

5. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; top with remaining meat mixture.

6. Cover with foil; bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.

7. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Return to oven 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chili mac recipe, instant pot chili mac