One Pot Chili Mac – The Cookie Rookie®

Take your weeknight meals to another level with this one pot chili mac! So easy to make and ready to serve in 30 minutes!

cheesy chili mac in dutch oven

Chili Mac Recipe

If you like mac and cheese and love chili, then I have the perfect weeknight meal for you! This one pot mac and chili is so simple and easy to make and the flavors are out of this world!

This easy dinner is so hearty and comforting, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite in our house!

So next time you can’t choose between chili and mac and cheese, be sure to reach for this recipe!

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

Why you’ll love this Chili Mac Recipe:

  • One pot: Everything is all made in one pot, so clean up is a breeze!
  • Quick: Ready to serve in 30 minutes, this recipe is a real life saver after a busy day!
  • Kid friendly: Kids love this dish, even the picky eaters!
up close image of cheesy chili mac
chili mac lifted up by spoon

How to make one pot chili mac

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

  • Sauté the onion and garlic in oil.
  • Add the seasonings and brown the beef.
  • Stir in the both, tomatoes and beans and let simmer.
  • Add in the macaroni and simmer until cooked.
  • Top with cheese and serve.
bowl of chili mac
bowl of chili mac

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, this is a great make ahead dish and will keep well for 3 days covered in the fridge. Let it cool before storing. Reheat the chili mac on the stovetop to serve or in the microwave for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Recipe Variations

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

  • Add in other vegetables when you add the beef, mushrooms and carrots both work well.
  • If you like your chili to be more spicy, add in a little chili powder.
  • You can use chicken, beef or vegetable stock in this recipe.
  • I used pinto and chili beans in this recipe, but you can use whatever beans you have to hand.
  • Make it dairy-free by skipping the cheese or using a plant based variety.

What do you serve it with?

This is a hearty meal by itself. If you like you can serve it with Cornbread Muffins or cheesy garlic bread. Feel free to go all out on the toppings too, with some sour cream, sliced avocado, jalapeños and fresh cilantro or parsley.

bowl of cheesy chili mac
side image of cheesy chili mac


  • Make this chili mac in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan. It will distribute the heat more evenly making it less likely to catch.
  • Make sure that the macaroni is fully cooked before taking the pan off of the heat.
  • If making ahead of time, make sure that it is fully cooled before storing.
  • You can also freeze the chili mac for up to 6 months.
up close image of chili mac in white bowl

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

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