Hearty chili and rich mac ‘n’ cheese collide in this one pot chili mac and cheese that comes together in only 40 minutes with a handful of ingredients!
Tis the season for all the one pot dinners to make their triumphant return!
Not that one pot dinners ever go out of style, but they are most definitely the MVP this time of year with back-to-school schedules in full swing.
For when you want chili and mac and cheese at the same time, this killer chili mac has you absolutely covered.
Rolling these two classic comfort foods into one makes this dinner an absolute hit with even the pickiest of eaters!
If you end up with any leftovers definitely consider that a win.
This One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese features…
- Hearty ground turkey, beans, and tomatoes.
- A rich cheese sauce covering tender pasta.
- Only 40 minutes to make in one pot.
Making the One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Ground turkey
- Yellow onion
- Vegetable oil
- Chili powder
- Black beans
- Diced tomatoes
- Heavy cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Pepper jack cheese
Can I Use a Different Ground Meat?
Absolutely! This recipe works great with ground turkey, beef, chicken, or pork.
Note: make sure you drain the grease after browning meat if you choose to go with a ground meat that has a higher fat content.
Tips for Perfect One Pot Mac and Cheese
- Drain beans and tomatoes – give the beans a rinse as well before adding to the pasta.
- Use a short cut of pasta – we recommend elbows, ziti, penne, or cavatappi for easier stirring while it cooks.
- Don’t allow pasta to boil – since we’re simmering the pasta in milk and cream, it’s important to keep the pasta at only a gentle simmer to prevent overheating the dairy and breaking the sauce.
- Stir pasta frequently – this prevents the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add cheeses offheat – for easier melting we recommend using shredded cheddar and pepper jack.
Try these ideas for a different spin on this mac!
- Add vegetables – add diced mushrooms, sweet pepper, zucchini, carrots, or summer squash into the pot when you’re sauteeing the onions/meat for a sneaky veggie addition.
- Skip the meat – make this mac an entirely vegetarian meal and use veggies in place of the ground meat.
- Make it spicy – add a minced jalapeno or serrano for a little kick of heat!
- Change up the cheeses – try a sharp cheddar, gouda, colby jack, or havarti.
Storing Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese stores well in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Reheat any leftovers in individual servings in microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals.
If you’re a serious comfort food lover, this mac is everything you could ever want in life! The sauce is perfectly cheesy and combined with the hearty beans, meat, and pasta makes it so filling and perfect for the chillier days ahead of us.
And the whole one pot thing? You know that obviously seals the deal.
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
Watch this mac and cheese made step-by-step on Google web stories!
More one pot dinners to try next!
One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1-3/4 cups 2% or skim milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 lb pasta (elbow, cavatappi, etc)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a Dutch oven or a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add onion and ground turkey and brown until turkey is no longer pink. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika and cook 1 minute until fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium and add black beans, tomatoes, milk, water, whipping cream, and pasta. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 8-10 minutes until most of liquid is evaporated and pasta is tender.
- Remove pasta from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Season mac and cheese with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately while warm. Enjoy!