Vegetarian Chili Mac

See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

This Vegetarian Chili Mac is a family-friendly dinner that you can have on your table with very little time and effort! You will love this cheesy, spicy skillet meal made in one pot for easy cleanup.

vegetarian chili mac in a bowl topped with cheese and green onions

What is dinner prep time like in your house? If it’s anything like my house it’s a bit of a crazy time. I never know what to expect when trying to cook dinner with kids underfoot. Some nights things go smoothly and some not so much. Between helping with homework and keeping little ones busy there is never a dull moment. I guess there’s a good reason it’s called the dinner time rush!

This Chili Mac is delicious healthy homemade meal that is simple enough to make during the dinner time rush.

cheesy chili mac in a skillet with wooden serving spoon

My solution for dinner on crazy busy nights? Easy one pot meals, Slow Cooker recipes and Instant Pot dinners.  This One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is my new favorite!  Since the whole dish is made in one pot, you only have one pot to watch as it cooks, and one pot to clean after dinner. 🙂

Since first sharing this recipe, I’ve also made a slow cooker chili mac that’s also vegetarian. It is a great make ahead option!

After a long, busy day I want to sit down to a bowl of something warm and comforting for dinner. This chili mac is the perfect meal for those nights when you are short on time and energy but still want to make a nutritious meal for yourself and your family. I used whole wheat pasta and lots of finely chopped vegetables in this dish, plus two kinds of beans to provide protein in this hearty vegetarian meal.

picture of ingredients for vegetarian chili mac

I used RO*TEL diced tomatoes with green chilies in this one pot meal.  The green chilies are already diced up with the tomatoes, and they add a great pop of spice to this One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac. The finished dish is spicy, just how we love our chili mac. If you and your family want less spice, I’d recommend using mild RO*TEL or substituting another can of plain diced tomatoes.

If I can make this chili mac on my busiest of weeknights, so can you! You’ll start by chopping your veggies and then cooking them in the skillet until they are slightly softened. Then you’ll add some garlic and other seasonings, diced tomatoes, plus the pasta, beans and some water.

finely chopped onion carrots and red bell peppers in a skillet ready to sauteingredients, elbow pasta, kidney beans diced tomatoes, sauted carrots, onions and bell pepper in a skillet with serving spoon

Let that all simmer until the pasta is cooked, stir in some shredded cheese, and it’s time to eat! Since the pasta cooks right in the pot with everything else it absorbs so much yummy flavor.

close up of cooked chili mac in a skillet

This Vegetarian Chili Mac is going into regular rotation in my menu plan. Brad and I couldn’t stop talking about how much we loved this meal.  The leftovers reheat wonderfully, too, making it ideal to pack up for lunches during the week.

overhead shot of chili mac ready to eat in a bowl with skillet in background

Vegetarian Chili Mac

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5 from 1 vote
This One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is a family-friendly dinner that you can have on your table with very little time and effort! You will love this cheesy, spicy skillet meal!
Course Main Dish, One Pot Meal
Cuisine American
Keyword chili mac
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 6
Calories 497kcal


  • 1 small onion
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14.5 ounce can Hunt's diced tomatoes
  • 10 ounce can RO*TEL diced tomatoes & green chilies*
  • 8 ounces elbow pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 15 ounce can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups grated cheddar and/or Monterey jack cheese (I used 1 cup of each)
  • 3 green onions (chopped)


  • Finely chop the onion. Chop the bell pepper and carrots into small pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mince the garlic and combine the chili powder, cumin, and salt in a small dish. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the pan with the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the diced tomatoes, RO*TEL, pasta, beans, and water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in most of the cheese, reserving a little for sprinkling on top. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and chopped green onions. Serve.


*Note: This recipe makes a chili mac with some spice to it. The spice is not overwhelming, but if your family prefers less spice I'd recommend using mild RO*TEL or subbing another can of diced tomatoes without green chiles.


Serving: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 1008mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5061IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 394mg | Iron: 5mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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