One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac
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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!
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 three kids underfoot. Some nights things go smoothly and some not so much. Between helping Julia with her homework, keeping William busy with his toys, and making sure Hannah’s not getting into something she shouldn’t, there is never a dull moment. I guess there’s a good reason it’s called the dinner time rush!
The day I made this One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac we had all of the above, and more, going on. And of course I was already exhausted from my day of running errands and taking care of the kids. These days, I’m more tired on the days when I’m home with the kids than the days I get up extra early to go to work teaching!
My solution for crazy busy nights? Easy skillet meals that cook completely in one pot. 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 vegetarian 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.
I used RO*TEL diced tomatoes with green chilies and Hunt’s diced tomatoes to use 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 another can of diced tomatoes.
If I can make this one pot 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.
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.
This One Pot 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.
- 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.
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