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Oh my creamy, this Chili Mac with cheese is so good! If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to Mac and Cheese, then look no further than this recipe. With puree and diced tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper, it delivers on the vegetables. But, thanks to the ground beef and cheese, though, it doesn’t skimp on flavor. This Instant Pot Chili Mac is a deliciously, cheesy pasta meal.
What You’ll Need to Make This
Most of the ingredients needed for this cheesy pasta are already in your refrigerator and pantry.
- ground beef
- bell pepper
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- tomato puree
- diced tomatoes
- brown sugar
- Colby Jack cheese
Pro Tip: A few minutes of meal prep will go a long way! To make this and other ground beef-based dishes easy dump-and-go-meals, prepare a large batch of ground beef in advance.
Sauté 5 pounds of ground beef at once in a large skillet, and separate into 5 small freezer bags. Then just pull out what you need to make slow cooker and Instant Pot dishes – like this Instant Pot Chili Mac recipe – without any last-minute sautéing!
Plus, you can also reheat precooked meat with seasoning for delicious tacos, chili, enchiladas, soups, or nearly any recipe that calls for ground beef.
How to Make Instant Pot Chili Mac with Cheese
If you are new to Instant Pot cooking, read THIS first.
To get started with the one pot Chili Mac with cheese dinner, chop up two onions and one red bell pepper.
Instant Pot Sautèing
Select the sautè feature on the Instant Pot and allow it to come to temperature (mine says “Hot” when it is ready). Add the ground beef, onions and bell peppers.
Cook until the ground beef is almost browned and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes or so.
Then add your minced garlic and spices, and cook until fragrant. Stir frequently. This takes about 1- 2 minutes.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooking
Stir in the tomatoes, puree, hot water, and pasta. Add the lid and turn the sealing lever to closed/sealed. Hit cancel, and select high pressure, and set to 5 minutes.
TIP: using hot water will speed up the cooking process in the Instant Pot by allowing it to come to pressure quicker.
Once the pressure cooking is complete (my Instant Pot emits a long beep) use the quick release method to release the steam.
I use a long handled spoon to slide the lever from sealing to venting. Make sure the venting steam is facing away from you.
Making Instant Pot Cheesy Pasta
Check the Instant Pot to ensure the “Keep Warm” button is lit, then stir in the brown sugar and grated cheese. Stir occasionally to distribute the cheese. Allow about 5 minutes for it to completely melt.
Dish the one pot Chili Mac with Cheese into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. I recommend grated cheese and sour cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make this on the stovetop by preparing the pasta separately and reducing the liquid to 1/2 cups – 1 cup of water. Mix all the ingredients together in a soup pot and heat through.
If you don’t have tomato puree, strain a can of whole or diced tomatoes and blend them in a blender or food processor first.
Yes you can.
Instant Pot Chili Mac with Cheese
Instant Pot Chili Cheese Mac
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 28 oz. can tomato puree
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1.5 cups hot water
- 8 oz. elbow pasta
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup (8 oz.) grated Colby Jack cheese, plus more for topping
- To prepare the Chili Cheese Mac: Saute ground beef, onions, and bell pepper until almost browned (about 5 minutes), Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Saute until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Stir in canned tomatoes and puree, water, and pasta. Add lid, close sealing lever, and select high pressure at 5 minutes.
- Use quick release once cooking cycle is done. Be sure the venting steam is pointing away from you. With the Instant Pot in “keep warm” mode, stir in sugar and cheese, and let melt for about 5 minutes. Serve warm with extra grated cheese and sour cream.