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One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

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Simplify your weeknight dinner with the delicious combination of flavors in this easy one pot chili mac and cheese. This recipe combines the heartiness of classic chili with the creamy comfort of mac and cheese. All cooked together in one pot for a convenient and flavor-packed meal.

  • MILK

Start this one pot chili mac and cheese by browning some ground beef in a deep pot or pan. Then add in some chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Next comes some beef broth, water, and canned tomatoes with green chilies. Bring this all to a boil on the stove top.

Now you add in the uncooked macaroni. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Then add in some cubed cream cheese. This is our favorite past of this dish because it makes the sauce so rich and creamy.

Last, you add in some milk, lime juice, and shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is all melted. I must say that added lime juice really makes this dish fantastic. It adds just a little somethin’ somethin’ to the recipe.

Serve this up with some fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. Either one is fabulous.

This one-pot wonder is a family favorite that is perfect for any season. It’s hearty, satisfying, and easy to make, making it an ideal choice for dinner. Another great version of a homemade hamburger helper!

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

Can I use different types of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can use different types of pasta such as elbow macaroni, penne, or rotini for this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for the type of pasta you choose.

Can I add extra vegetables to the chili mac and cheese?
Feel free to add extra vegetables like bell peppers, corn, onions, or diced tomatoes to the recipe. This will not only boost the nutritional content but also add more flavor. Simply sauté the vegetables along with the ground meat until they’re tender before adding the other ingredients.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
You can prepare the chili mac and cheese in advance. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container for storage.

When you’re ready to serve, just reheat the dish on the stovetop or in the microwave until it’s heated through. If needed, you can add a splash of broth or milk to keep the creamy consistency.

What can I serve with chili mac and cheese?
Chili mac and cheese goes great with toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, cilantro, or avocado slices. You can also serve it with a side salad, garlic bread, or cornbread for a complete meal.

One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

Real Mom Kitchen

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 588 kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes with green chile undrained
  • 16 oz elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 8 oz cream cheese cubed
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a large deep pan or pot, add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off any excess grease.
  • Add the seasonings, beef broth, water, and tomatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the elbow macaroni. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is tender.
  • Add in the cream cheese and gently stir until fullly melted.
  • Add in the milk, lime juice, and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheddar cheese has fully melted. Top with fresh cilantro or parsley to serve Serves 6-8.


Calories: 588kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 845mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 964IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword beef, pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This recipe is adapted from Sugar and Soul.

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