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Instant Pot Chili Mac

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Looking for a hearty, comforting meal that’s as easy to make as it is delicious? Look no further than this Instant Pot Chili Mac! Combining the rich flavors of classic chili with the comforting goodness of macaroni and cheese, this dish is sure to become a new favorite in your dinner rotation. Best of all, it’s made entirely in the Instant Pot, meaning minimal cleanup and maximum flavor in every bite. Whether you’re feeding a hungry family or just craving some cozy comfort food, this Chili Mac recipe is sure to hit the spot. So grab your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking!

This recipe takes the traditional chili mac to new heights by infusing it with a perfect blend of spices, tender ground beef, hearty beans, and cheesy goodness. The Instant Pot works its magic by quickly cooking the ingredients together, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop. Plus, with the convenience of pressure cooking, you can have dinner on the table in no time, making it perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends alike. So whether you’re a seasoned Instant Pot pro or a beginner looking to try something new, this recipe is sure to impress with its simplicity and taste. Get ready to dig into a bowl of piping hot, comforting Chili Mac that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Instant Pot Chili Mac has become a beloved staple in our household, eliciting excitement from both young and old alike. There’s just something irresistible about the combination of savory chili flavors and creamy, cheesy macaroni that keeps us coming back for more. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s also a lifesaver on busy days when time is short and hunger is high. With just a few simple steps and the magic of the Instant Pot, we can have a steaming bowl of hearty goodness ready to enjoy in under 30 minutes. It’s the ultimate comfort food that never fails to satisfy our cravings and bring us together around the dinner table. Whether it’s a chilly evening or a lazy Sunday afternoon, Instant Pot Chili Mac is always a hit in our household, making mealtime both delicious and stress-free.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Instant Pot Chili Mac

This dish is perfect for the chili lover and pasta lover.  We are all of the above in this house so it was a culinary match made in heaven.

Instant Pot Chili Mac


Is It Chili Or Macaroni

Chili Mac is the perfect recipe for those who enjoy pasta and chili. It is neither a full-on chili or pasta. So, you will find it is a unique dish that offers bold and bright flavors that will stand out from other recipes you make.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Variations For Chili Mac Recipe

The beauty of this recipe is you can easily adapt it to your liking. Let me share some variations for chili mac to see if it fits you better.

  • Meat | Skip ground beef and reach for ground turkey, ground chicken, or opt for a meatless chili mac.
  • Beans | Feel free to play with the beans. I used red beans but you can swap with black beans or even white beans if you prefer.
  • Veggies | Toss in a bag frozen corn for a twist, or even diced bell pepper or a diced jalapeno for heat factor.  

Instant Pot Chili Mac

What To Serve With Chili Mac

Not sure what to pair with your chili mac? Here are some of the ways I serve my Chili Mac, to give you an idea!

  • Cornbread
  • Bread and butter or dinner rolls
  • Side of Corn, Roasted Broccoli, etc.
  • Crisp Green Side Salad

Instant Pot Chili Mac

How Long Can You Store Chili Mac

You can store chili mac in the fridge for up to three days. If you go longer use your best judgment, as eating expired food can make you very sick. To store your chili mac just make sure it is covered and in an airtight container.

Can You Freeze Chili Mac

You should be able to freeze this recipe rather easily. It might slightly affect the texture of the pasta but should reheat okay. Just place in a freezer friendly container and leave room at the top for it to expand as it freezes. Then freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge the night before you plan to eat it.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Best Way To Reheat Chili Mac

You can warm this up on the stove top in a pan on low heat, warm in the microwave, or even in the Instant Pot on saute. Just heat until it is heated through then serve. Top with some shredded cheese, green onions or serve as is.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

What Type of Pasta Is Best For Chili Mac Recipe

A smaller shaped pasta is best for chili mac. I used elbow but you could use bowtie or any other smaller shaped dry pasta. Don’t use fresh pasta in the Instant Pot as it will break down too much as it cooks under the high pressure.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Choose the Right Pasta: Opt for sturdy pasta shapes like macaroni, penne, or rigatoni that can withstand pressure cooking without turning mushy.

  2. Brown the Meat: For extra flavor, consider browning the ground beef or turkey using the sauté function before adding other ingredients. This step adds depth to the dish.

  3. Adjust Liquid Levels: Be mindful of the liquid content in your recipe. Too much liquid can result in a watery dish, while too little can lead to burn errors. Follow the recipe guidelines closely, adjusting as needed for your preferred consistency.

  4. Let It Rest: After cooking, allow the chili mac to rest for a few minutes before serving. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.

  5. Add Cheese Wisely: If using cheese, such as cheddar or Monterey Jack, add it after pressure cooking is complete. Stir it in while the mixture is still hot to ensure it melts evenly and creates a creamy texture.

  6. Garnish Creatively: Customize your chili mac with your favorite toppings. Chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, or sliced jalapeños can add a burst of freshness and flavor.

  7. Make Ahead: Chili mac is a great make-ahead dish. Prepare it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for longer storage. Simply reheat it when ready to serve.

  8. Experiment with Add-Ins: Feel free to get creative with additional ingredients like diced bell peppers, corn kernels, or black beans to customize your chili mac to your taste preferences. Just be mindful of adjusting cooking times and liquid levels accordingly.

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Instant Pot Chili Mac


  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with chopped green chilies 15 oz
  • 1 can tomato sauce 8 oz.
  • 1 can red beans, rinsed 15 oz
  • 1 can corn, drained 15.25 oz
  • 1 c elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1 c water
  • 1 pkg. taco or chili seasoning packet


  1. Turn Instant Pot to saute and onions and ground beef.
  2. Brown meat until cooked. Turn off IP. Carefully drain off some of the excess oil.
  3. Add all other ingredients and stir.
  4. Turn IP to manual, pressure, high, for 4 minutes. Close steam valve.
  5. When done do a quick release and carefully open lid. Serve topped with cheese.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 537Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1212mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 38g


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