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 is 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 to remove the ginormous chunks of onions and nasty green peppers (god I hate them!) and give it more rich flavors.
An Honest, Poor-Man’s Meal
This was something Dad called ‘Slop’. It honestly was a poor man’s meal.’
It’s made with 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.
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.
Ingredients to Make One-Pot Chili Beef Mac
This recipe uses basic pantry, fridge/freezer ingredients that most folks should have on hand.
- Ground Beef – you can also use ground turkey or chicken
- Shell pasta – you can use any type of pasta really or even gnocchi!
- Beans – I love beans in my chili so I use 3 different types. Plus it adds in a bunch more protein and makes it heartier
- Veggies – again basics of onions, tomatoes and a can of green chilis for heat
- Spices – pretty much standard chili spices
- Broth – I prefer using broth or stock as opposed to water as it adds a better depth of flavor
- Cheese – I mean this is a cheesy chili mac after all
Let’s Create Deliciousness Tonight!
Now, this is a fairly easy recipe that even the kiddos could whip up one night to give you a break!
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pan add some oil over medium heat. Once it starts to heat up and shimmers just sautee the onions as you want them to get soft and translucent.
- Add in the beef with the chili powder and salt. You add in some of the seasonings now as you want to season the meat while it cooks.
- Break up the meat as you want smaller chunks instead of one large chunk of meat. Once it’s cooked, drain the fat.
- Put the meat back into the pot and put it back on the stove. To that add the rest of the spices, tomatoes, green chilis and broth.
- Stir and bring to a boil.
- At this point, add your pasta and cook until the pasta is done.
- Remove from the heat, add in your cheese, green onions and stire until combined.
- Lastly.. DIG IN!
True Comfort Food!
This is 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.
If you wanted it uber cheesy and more like a mac & cheese consistency you could totally add more cheese. For me I wanted it to have that cheesy, creamy taste and texture in the sauce.
Ingredient Substitutions for Beef Chili Cheesy Mac
- Meat – you can totally swap ground turkey, chicken or pork for the beef
- Beans – you can omit or use chickpeas, edamame or corn
- Pasta – you can use any type of shell or noodle really. Heck even gnocchi would work
- Veggies – you can add in peppers, make it hotter or sweeter, celery, roasted corn
- Herbs – cilantro works really well in this
- Toppings – avocado, crema or sour cream is a great finish to the dish
Keto-Friendly, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Options
- Pasta – you can use zoodles, cauliflower rice or pasta substitute
- Vegetarian – swap the meat for chopped and sauteed portabello mushrooms. Add in shredded carrots, zucchini and chickpeas
- Broth – Use vegetable broth stock for chicken stock
Do you have a favorite One Pot recipe?
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 pretty much dump it all in the pot and walk away.
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20)
- 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 Red Pack/Red Gold/Tuttorosso 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
- In a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium heat add the oil.
- When the oil begins to shimmer add in the onions, stirring until translucent and softened. ~5-7 minutes.
- Add in the ground beef, 2 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp salt.
- 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.
- When it’s cooked through, drain off all of the fat and discard.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the mixture is boiling, add in the pipe rigate pasta, stir, cover and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook for 14-15 minute or until the pasta is cooked and al dente.
- Remove the cover, add in the cheese and green onions. Stir until blended and the cheese is melted.
Keywords: beefaroni, chili mac, beef mac, macaroni with beef, cheese chili, pasta beef, one pot pasta, one pot cheese mac, easy dinner