This Instant Pot Chili Mac Recipe is a great dinner for busy weeknights. It cooks up really quick in one pot and is a family favorite. Macaroni noodles are cooked with ground beef, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices and finish with melty shredded cheddar cheese. It is sure to become one of your favorite comfort food recipes.
Why It’s So Good
- The pot is only set for 1 minute! That is a short cook time.
- Super easy clean up, only one pot!
- It’s a very easy recipe with simple ingredients.
- It’s not totally a pasta dish, it’s not totally a chili dish. It’s the perfect combination of the two.
- The cheese stirred in at the end adds the perfect amount of creaminess.
- Make it for dinner tonight!
An Instant Pot, also called an Electric Pressure Cooker, is a great way to make easy weeknight dinners! I use the 6qt 9-in1 Duo Plus (affiliate link), which means that it is 6 quart in size, a great size for a family of 4-5, and has 9 functions in one pot.
Pictured are the items that you need to make this easy weeknight meal, plus some tips on a few ingredients:
Ground Beef- For this recipe you will want to use a 85/15 or 90/10 lean ground beef. It is lean enough so your chili mac doesn’t turn out greasy, but has enough fat to be flavorful.
Cheese- I always recommend that you use fresh shredded cheese (and believe me, nobody hates shredding cheese more than me!!). The pre-shredded cheese is coated anti-clumping powders that prevent it from melting creamy.
This recipe for Instant Pot Chili Mac does not use beans. However, if you really want to use beans you can add a can of drained black beans or kidney beans when you add the diced tomatoes.
Step by Step Picture Instructions
- Start by browning and crumbling the ground beef in oil.
- If there is excess grease, drain that as best you can.
- Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté for 2 mins.
- Now add the seasonings, vinegar, pour in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water.
- Add the macaroni noodles to the top, making sure they all touch the liquid.
- Set the pot to cook for 1 minute.
- Do a 5 minute natural release, then quick release.
- Add the cheese and stir it in.
Serve your Instant Pot Chili Mac topped with extra cheese. You can also add some green onions, jalapenos, or sour cream on top. Add some garlic bread and a green salad on the side and you have a really hearty meal the whole family will love.
Just like chili, it is even better the next day. You may need to add a little water or beef broth to reconstitute it when reheating.
Keep it covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More Excellent Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Chili Mac Recipe
- 1 lb. 85/15 ground beef
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped- (other color bell peppers work fine too!)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- pinch of all spice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 16 oz. tomato sauce
- 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ cups macaroni noodles
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Start with the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Add the oil then crumble/brown the beef until it is mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- If there is a lot of excess grease drain some before moving on.
- Add the bell pepper and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Then turn off sauté mode.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, all spice, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juices, and the water. Give everything a good stir!
- Now add the macaroni to the pot and VERY lightly** stir so that the macaroni is in the liquid, but not all at the bottom of the pot. **You just want to incorporate the pasta into the liquid at the top of the pot, if it is all at the bottom you risk the burn warning and the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Lock the lid in place and turn the pressure valve to "sealing". Set the Instant Pot to cook on manual mode, high pressure for 1 minute.
- Do a 5 minute natural release at the end of the cooking time. Then finish with a quick release of remaining pressure.
- Add the shredded cheese and stir it into the Chili Mac so that it melts.
- Serve while it is hot/warm!
- Serve your chili mac in bowls topped with extra cheese.Other topping options: sour cream, green onions, or jalapenos.
- Goes great with a side of garlic bread and a green salad.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.
- You may need to add a little water or broth when reheating. It will thicken in the fridge.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.