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One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

This super simple chili mac and cheese is filled with seasoned ground beef, black beans, peppers, and onions! It's a lightened-up version of your traditional mac and cheese and it's made in one pot!

Course Main, Pasta
Cuisine One Pot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% work best)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups whole wheat elbow pasta (or whatever short-cut pasta you like)
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, freshly grated + extra for topping, if desired
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add the ground beef, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika and cook until browned, 5-7 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, and add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté for another 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, black beans, chicken broth, and milk, and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil.

  3. Once boiling, lower to medium/medium-high, and cover. Cook for 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir every minute or so to help prevent sticking. I reduced the heat to medium halfway through the cooking time. Once finished, stir in the cheddar and cream cheese until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Sprinkle a little extra cheddar on top if desired, and cover for a couple minutes until melted. To serve, top with scallions and cilantro. Devour!