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You will love this Chili Mac and Cheese recipe. It is a quick, easy-to-make, delicious, and comforting vegetarian dish. The perfect meal for lunch or dinner that the whole family can enjoy and is ready in just 30 minutes.

a white bowl of macaroni recipe with chili topped with fresh sliced green onions
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Love chili but also crave mac and cheese? Well now you can have your two favorite meals in one go! This chili mac is vegetarian and made without any ground beef or meat. It is made with beans, corn, pasta, tomatoes, and some other pantry staple seasonings and ingredients. Perfect for young and old because it is so tasty, filling, and a comforting meal.

Recipe highlights

  • Comforting: this recipe for chili mac will comfort you during the cold season or even all year round. Something about combining pasta and chili that just makes you feel so good and satisfied.
  • Delicious: the combination of chili and mac and cheese will blow your mind. Packed with flavor and it is so tasty.
  • Easy to make: This chili mac recipe is super easy to make and takes just about 30 minutes to put together all in one pot. Plus is it vegetarian-friendly and it can easily be altered to add some ground beef if needed.
top view of macaroni made with beans and chili seasonings, topped with green onions

Ingredients for this classic chili mac

  • Dried Pasta (I used gluten-free corn macaroni) or whole wheat: use any other short pasta of your choice.
  • Oil: we used Olive Oil, but avocado oil or another oil of your choice will work
  • Sweet Onion: or purple onions
  • Red Bell Pepper, or yellow bell peppers
  • Mushrooms: we used Button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • Frozen Corn: or you may use canned corn kernels
  • Beans: we used Black Beans and kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tomato Paste: canned and organic
  • Diced Tomatoes: canned diced tomatoes
  • Chili seasonings: Smoked Paprika, Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Dried Oregano
  • Broth of choice: vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian. But you can use any broth like beef broth, bone broth, or chicken broth.
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese to garnish: optional
side shot of a bowl of chili  mac recipe with  fork on the right side

How to make this recipe

  • Heat oil in a large skillet, saucepan, or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and spices, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the pasta, tomato paste, and broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.
  • Pour into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
bowl of chili mac and cheese with fork on the right

Storing and Reheating

  • To store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This dish does not freeze well because it will end up being a bit on the mushy side.
  • Reheating: It is best to reheat this chili mac recipe in the microwave when ready to serve.

Recipe notes and tips

  • Add some heat to this easy chili mac recipe by adding some chopped jalapenos or some cayenne pepper.
  • You may add some shredded cheese to your chili mac, or top your dish with some shredded cheese of your choice.
  • Any short pasta of your choice will work, elbow pasta, bowtie pasta, penne pasta, shell pasta, and so on.
  • Any beans of your choice will work too, we used kidney beans and black beans, but use whatever beans you have on hand
  • Use any mushroom of your choice, but we love button mushrooms.
  • Do not overcook the pasta, cook it al-dente. Pasta will continue to cook even after it is drained.
  • Want to add more protein? Add some lean ground beef or ground turkey, and sautee it first along with the onions.
top view close-up of a bowl of macaroni recipe with chili and cheese

Frequently asked Questions

What toppings go with chili?

There are so many different toppings that will go well with chili or chili mac and cheese. Among those options would be, grated cheddar cheese, yogurt or sour cream, freshly chopped coriander, sliced green onions, sliced avocado, sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, red onions, and fresh cilantro.

What cheese goes with chili best?

Shredded Cheddar Cheese is the most popular and best cheese to serve over chili. Whether you use mild, moderate, or sharp would be a personal preference. If you prefer not to use cheddar cheese you can also use Monterey or pepper jack cheese.

What can I add to mac and cheese?

If you are here just to find out what you can add to a simple mac and cheese recipe, then there are a few options for you. Try crumbled bacon bits, grated parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, shredded cheese, hot sauce, steamed broccoli, grilled chicken, smoked salmon or ham. If you are making this Chili Mac and Cheese recipe, I’ve listed some topping options in the recipe below.

top view of a round bowl of mac and cheese chili recipe topped with melted cheese

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close up view of chili macaroni topped with cheese and green onions

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5 from 6 votes

Chili Mac and Cheese

By: Rena
Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
top view of a round bowl of mac and cheese chili recipe topped with melted cheese
Two comforting meals combined to make a perfectly delicious lunch or dinner. Made without any ground beef and a combination or beans and tomatoes along with other pantry stale ingredients. Ready in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz Dried Pasta, (I used gluten-free corn macaroni) or whole wheat
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 Cups Chopped Button Mushrooms
  • 1 15 oz Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 OZ Can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 15 oz Can Tomato Paste
  • 1 8 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 ½ Tsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 Cups Broth of choice
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • grated cheddar cheese, yogurt or sour cream, Freshly chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, sliced avocado etc.

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, diced tomatoes, corn and spices and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add the pasta, tomato paste, and broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.
  • Pour into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional facts:
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
  • use any pasts of your choice
  • you may also add some ground beef to add more protein to this dish.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 12gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 498mgPotassium: 638mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1530IUVitamin C: 46.4mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 3.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Tried this recipe?Mention @healthyfitnessmeals or tag #healthyfitnessmeals!

About Rena Awada

Hi, I’m Rena! Welcome to my blog. I am here to help you prepare delicious, light, fresh meals that your whole family will love!

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really yummy! I added ground chicken and cut the mushroom….I only had a few on hand. Turned out great. Kids loved it as well.

  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!!!!
    Easy, straightforward, filling and delicious.
    I prep my meals for the week and this gave
    Me a week of lunch. I’ll be making this in the future