Fast or Slow Cheesy Chili Mac

Short on time? You can also make this easy chili mac recipe in your Instant Pot! To avoid any chance of cheese burning during cooking, our Test Kitchen recommends saving one cup of the cheese to top-off your chili when it's ready to eat.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chili Mac
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
15 mins
Slow Cook Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 15 mins
8 cups


  • 1 ½ pound ground beef

  • 1 ½ cup chopped onions

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

  • 2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth

  • 1 15 ounce can red kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup dried elbow macaroni

  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz.)

  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


Slow Cooker

  1. In a 12-inch skillet cook ground beef, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is browned; drain off fat. Stir in chili powder and oregano; cook and stir 1 minute.

  2. Transfer meat mixture to a 4- to 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

  3. If using low, turn to high. Stir in cooked pasta and 1 cup of the cheese. Cover and cook 30 minutes more or until heated through. Top servings with remaining 1 cup cheese and cilantro.

Pressure Cooker

  1. In a 6-qt. electric or stove-top pressure cooker combine ground beef, onions, and garlic. For electric cooker, use sauté setting to cook mixture until meat is browned; for stove-top cooker, cook mixture directly in pot until meat is browned. Drain off fat. Stir in next eight ingredients (through uncooked pasta) and 1 cup of the cheese. Lock lid in place. Set electric cooker on high pressure to cook 4 minutes.

  2. For stove-top cooker, bring up to pressure over medium-high heat according to manufacturer's directions; reduce heat enough to maintain steady (but not excessive) pressure. Cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat. For electric or stove-top cooker, release pressure quickly. Open lid carefully; stir chili. Top servings with remaining 1 cup cheese and cilantro.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

547 Calories
29g Fat
33g Carbs
37g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 547
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 1003mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 12mg 60%
Calcium 369mg 28%
Iron 4.6mg 26%
Potassium 701mg 15%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 57.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.4mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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