Instant Pot Chili Mac is two comfort food recipes that are combined together to make a simple 30-minute meal recipe. Loaded with flavor from the ground beef, macaroni, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilis, and of course cheese.
If you enjoy chili or mac and cheese then you are sure to love this simple chili mac recipe. It's like goulash that is kicked up a couple of notches because of the kidney beans, green chilis, and cheese.
One of the things I love about this recipe is it's a one-pot Instant Pot meal. This means easy clean-up. And you all know I'm all about easy clean up in the kitchen.
If you are a beginner at using a pressure cooker then this is a great recipe to start with. You may also enjoy our article for Instant Pot Terms. We have a glossary of terms that can be useful when it comes to cooking with the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Chili Mac Recipe
Because this is a one-pot meal that is made in the Instant Pot, makes it a total winner in my book. I love my IP's so much so that one of the two gets used at least 2 times a week, sometimes more. This recipe has been made in my 6-quart Instant Pot as well as my 8-quart IP.
Because this is a one-pot recipe we'll start by sautéing the onions in butter. Press the sauté button on the front of your IP, when it says hot add the butter. With the butter melted add the diced onions in. Sauté the onions until they are translucent, this won't take long.
With the IP still on sauté add the ground beef. As the ground beef starts to cool this is the perfect time to season the meat with the seasonings. Continue to cook the ground beef until there is no pink left.
Depending on the ground beef you use there may be grease to drain from the inner pot. A quick tip I have for draining grease is keeping a can under the kitchen sink just to drain grease into.
After you drain the grease from the burger I recommend wiping the bottom of the inner pot before returning it back to the pressure cooker. I do this just incase any grease is on the bottom of the inner pot doesn't get on to the heating element.
Moving on to the last few simple ingredients for this one-pot meal.
A Few Simple Ingredients
Along with the ground beef. Add into the inner pot the diced tomatoes, kidney beans that have been rinsed and drained, green diced chilies, tomato sauce, macaroni noodles, and the water.
I like to take a spoon and push the ingredients down some. This allows the water to cover the noodles. Don't stir the ingredients together. This might cause that dreaded burn notice to come on.
Placing the lid on the IP, press the pressure cook button and adjust the cooking time to 5 minutes. For my 6-quart I need to make sure to turn the sealing knob to sealing. Whereas my 8 quart is a self-sealing Instant Pot and seals on its own.
Depending on your IP you may or may not need to make sure the sealing knob is turned to sealing. It may take 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure then start the cooking time. For whatever reason, my 8 quart seems to come to pressure faster than my 6 quart does. Maybe it's because the 6 is older.
When the cooking time is done, do a quick release to release the steam. Because pasta is starchy and can send starchy water all over the kitchen with a quick release. I like to do little bursts of quick release at a time until all the steam is released.
Don't do a natural release because the noodles will become mushy. Now that everything is cooked it's time to add the cheese. Pre shredded cheese is coated with cellulose which helps the cheese from sticking together. Because of that, I like to shred my own block of cheese with a handheld shredder.
Add the shredded cheese into the inner pot and stir all the ingredient together.
One of the things that I enjoy about cooking is being able to get creative. For this recipe, a change that could be made would be with the meat. The ground beef could be changed for a healthier option like ground turkey or even chicken. More spices may be needed if using these leaner meats.
Another change that could be made is with the green chilies. As I was working at mastering this recipe I wasn't using green chilies, the recipe works without them. I also used a can of mild green chilies, you could add more heat by using a can of hot green chilies. Or even add more chili powder or a dash of red pepper flakes for added heat.
The red kidney beans could also be changed for chili beans. Adding green bell peppers would add a splash of color and added flavor to this recipe.
As far as the cheese goes a block of Colby jack would work or even a pepper jack. I definitely do recommend using a block of cheese and shredding it yourself.
Instant Pot Chili Mac recipe is quick and simple to make on busy weeknights.
My Creative Manner is answering the question "what's there to eat" with creative recipes ~ Jen
Other My Creative Manner recipe you may enjoy are:
- Instant Pot Chicken Chili
- Buffalo Tater Tots
- Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Gravy
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Instant Pot Chili Mac
This easy to make Instant Pot Chili Mac is two comfort food recipes combined. Make this simple 30 minutes dinner recipe for busy weeknights.
- ½ Large Onion diced
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Pound Ground Beef
- 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 (14.5 0z) cans Diced Tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) Can Red kidney Beans drained and rinsed off
- 1 (4oz) Can Diced Green Chiles
- 1 (15 oz) Can Tomato Sauce
- 2 Cups Macaroni Noodles
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Mild Cheddar hand grated
Turn Instant Pot on to sauté, when hot add the butter. Once the butter is melted add the diced onions. Cook onions until soft and translucent.
Once the onions are cooked add the ground beef, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Brown until the ground beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain any grease from the inner pot.
Into the inner pot with the ground beef add the can of diced tomatoes with the juice, kidney beans that have been drained and rinsed, the green chilies, tomato sauce, elbow noodles, and the water. Do not stir the ingredients. I do like to push the ingredients down to make sure the water is covering everything.
Place the Instant Pot lid on, turn the sealing knob to sealing.
Press the pressure cooker button making sure that it's on high pressure. Adjust the cooking time to 5 minutes.
Once the cooking time is done do a quick release. See notes.
Remove the lid from the Instant Pot, stir everything together. Working in smaller batches stir in the freshly grated cheese until all the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy.
It will take about 10 minutes for the pressure to build in the Instant Pot.
For the quick release, I like to do it in little bursts until all the pressure is out. That way there is no starchy splatter all over my kitchen.