Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac
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This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac is a healthy meatless meal that the whole family will love! With a make ahead freezer to crock pot option.
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One of my goals here at Kristine’s Kitchen is to share lots of easy dinner recipes so you will always have a go-to list of what to cook for your family on busy days. I recently posted this list of Easy Kid-Approved Dinner Recipes – if you click through to that post you’ll see many of the meals that I routinely make for my family because my kids love them.
Today I’m sharing this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac as a quick dinner that you can prep earlier in the day. That way, when you’re busy running kids from place to place or helping with homework in the evening you won’t have to take the time to cook.
I like to use my slow cooker year round, so even in the spring and summer months I can prep dinner (or even dessert!) ahead of time.
I based this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac recipe off of another easy dinner recipe – my One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac. This one pot meal is a reader favorite, for good reason. Everything cooks together in one pan and it’s ready in just about 30 minutes.
Do you LOVE THE CONVENIENCE OF SLOW COOKER PASTA RECIPES?
Try my Healthier Slow Cooker Baked Ziti next!
I took my one pot recipe and adapted it for the slow cooker, so that you can enjoy chili mac for dinner even on nights when you don’t have time to cook. With this recipe, you won’t have to precook any of the ingredients so it’s really fast to get into the crock pot. You’ll add the dry pasta during the last 15 minutes of cooking and it cooks right in the slow cooker, absorbing lots of flavor along the way and making this a true one pot meal!
If you want to save even more time during the week, you can prep the ingredients for this meal ahead of time as a freezer pack. Then, all you have to do is thaw, transfer to your slow cooker and add the vegetable broth. So quick and easy! (You can get the handy freezer bag holder pictured below here.)
Along with the pasta, this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili Mac has beans (use your favorites), bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, seasonings, and cheese. Use as much cheese or as little as you like, or omit the cheese to make this a vegan recipe. The leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day!
Products I used to make this recipe:
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni pasta (uncooked)
- 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) cheddar cheese, divided (or Monterey jack or mozzarella)
- chopped green onions, for serving
- Place all ingredients except for pasta, cheese, and green onions in slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Stir in pasta and continue cooking on high for 15-20 minutes, until pasta is cooked through. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
- Serve topped with remaining cheese and green onions.
- To make this a freezer to crock pot meal:
- Place all ingredients except for broth, pasta and cheese in a heavy duty zip-top bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to cook, thaw and transfer bag contents to your slow cooker. Add the broth (you can pour some of the broth into the empty bag to get all of the spices, etc. out) and cook as directed above.
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