One Pot Cheesy Chili Beef Pasta

Make this easy one-pot meal for some serious deliciousness!  It’s cheesy, it’s beefy, it’s the Mac’ Daddy of one pot pasta dishes! Plus with it being only 1 dirty pot that means less time spent washing dishes and more YOU time!

So raise your hands, who out there are a fan of One-Pot meals? Yeah me too. It’s funny as most think this is a new concept, kind of like the latest rage of ‘sheet pan’ dinners. Um sorry but no, I can remember Mom and Grandma doing both of those things while I was wee little. And I’m old people, like crypt keeper old. HA!  This dish, yeah this was my Mom’s buuuuuuuut you know me, I have to Lori-fy it. What that means is remove the ginormous chunks of onions and nasty green peppers (god I hate them!) and give it more rich flavors.

This was something Dad called ‘Slop’. It honestly was a poor man’s meal – just some basic ingredients dumped into a pot, some spices and that was pretty much it. This was something Mom made quite often as it was a cheap meal but fed a lot. It was hearty and delicious. Well once I picked out the cucka chunks of veggies. LOL Mom always served this with her homemade white bread.  God my favorite meal with this was getting tons of sauce in my bowl, topping it with grated cheese and dipping warmed, buttered white bread in it to scoop it out.  Mmmm God I love bread…and carbs <insert thigh jiggle here> LOL

These days I’m finding that a good bit of my cooking is either pressure cooking or one pot/sheet pan meals. I’m in the midst of a HUGE upgrade project at work that has me pulling up to 100 hours a week (thank GOD I’m working from home) which leaves me little time for TKW (thank GOD you guys love me, are patient and understanding) and even less time to cook here. Yes there have been times when I’m like “honey can you just eat PB&J?”. Thankfully Mr. Fantabulous  is understanding and will even help out.

Between doing my day job, doing TKW, working on the house and life, there’s zero time for Lori. But I’m tough and I have an amazing support system. Plus I see the end of the tunnel for the work project and the flooring downstairs is about 60% done so soon I’ll be able to breath a little easier.

So back to this dish, er pot. LOL As I said Mom made this all time time. Hers were macaroni noodles which honestly I can’t stand. Yes I know a noodle is a noodle is a noodle. I get it but there is this ‘trigger’ with me when it comes the sound sauce goes through it when you stir it.  Kind of like the sound macaroni salad makes when you stir the cooked noodles with the mayo. And yes I’m seriously wigging out right now because I can ‘hear’ that sound in my head. That sound, for someone reason, is like nails on a chalkboard to me. It just positively grosses me out.

Perhaps that’s the true reason why I never shared my Mom’s cold Tuna Noodle Casserole with you as it’s made with elbow macaroni (and mayo). I love it but omg it it’s like self-inflicted torture for me to make it. It took me almost 10 years to get quasi-ok with making Mr. Fantabulous egg salad with mayo without hurling.

I know, I’m weird and I’m ok with that.

♥ you love me regardless ♥

You know what else you’re gonna love???


It’s one of those dishes where you can make it all year round as it’s not super heavy like say stew but it’s hearty enough that you’re left having a full belly. Now where this dish does differ is that it’s not like a traditional mac ‘n cheese with ground beef added in. By all means you can add as much cheese as you want and make it more on the mac ‘n cheese side of things but for me I wanted it to have that cheesy, creamy taste and texture in the sauce but not be mac ‘n cheese like – if that makes sense.

And before you ask:

  1. Yes you can use ground chicken or turkey in place of meat.
  2. No you do NOT have to use meat. You can totally go vegetarian. Use chopped portabello mushrooms in place of the beef. If you want to make it vegetarian then use vegetable broth/stock instead of the chicken.
  3. You can use any noodle you want – even nasty elbow ones
  4. Draining/rinsing the beans is totally optional. Mom never did on hers so I don’t on mine.
  5. You can add whatever you want to this – chopped celery, chopped peppers
  6. Yes it’s truly one pot.

Do you have a favorite One Pot recipe?

My latest fav is One Pot Pepperoni Pizza Pasta with Warm Pizza Dough sticks. But honestly I think what I love the most about these One Pot meals is the simplicity of them. The whole goal is to cook it all in a single pot. Sure you may have to strain this or scoop that out but for the most part it’s pretty much dump it all in and walk away.


One Pot Cheesy Chili Beef Pasta

Serves: 4-6

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  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20) (yes you can totally use ground chicken or turkey)
  • 1 16 ounce can black beans
  • 1 16 ounce can white beans
  • 1 16 ounce can cannelloni beans
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 Tbl sugar (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2 cups pipe rigate pasta, or any type of shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 4 green onions, whites and greens chopped
  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat add the oil.
  2. When the oil begins to shimmer add in the onions, stirring until translucent and softened. ~5-7 minutes.
  3. Add in the ground beef, 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp salt.
  4. Carefully break up while cooking until no longer pink. You can keep the ground beef in bigger chunks or break it up to finer pieces – it’s your call.
  5. When it’s cooked through, drain off all of the fat and discard.
  6. To the meat mixture add in the beans (I don’t drain mine but you can if you wish), rest of the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, rest of the kosher salt, black pepper and sugar. Give it a gently stir.
  7. Add in the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chilis and chicken broth. Stir, turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  8. When the mixture is boiling, add in the pipe rigate pasta, stir, cover and reduce the heat to low.
  9. Cook for 14-15 minute or until the pasta is cooked and al dente.
  10. Remove the cover, add in the cheese and green onions. Stir until blended and the cheese is melted



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