★★★★★

One Pot Chili Mac

Are you looking for a one pot dinner that’s quick and nourishing? This One Pot Chili Mac is the answer! Made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, this chili dinner makes everyone in the family happy.

In just 30 minutes, you can have this easy, healthy ONE POT Chili Mac on your dinner table. Perfect for busy nights!

Last week I was planning on taking dinner to a family member, when I ran into a problem: I didn’t have all the ingredients for the recipe I’d intended to make.

Call it a grocery shopping oversight or lack of planning, but I was in a pinch. I’d promised to deliver dinner and deliver I would!

So, I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could whip up. I knew I wanted to make something at healthy so I settled on making something with the package of ground turkey I had in the fridge.

A box of elbow noodles and a couple of cans of tomatoes and beans later, I was in business!

In less than 30 minutes, I had a big bowl of comfort food and a fork in front of me! This Chili Mac reminded me quite a bit of a copycat Hamburger Helper only with a healthier twist.

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One Pot Dinner

My requirements for this quick and easy dinner recipe were:

  1. It had to be quick enough to be ready and delivered to my family member within the hour.
  2.  It had to use ingredients I already had on hand. No last minute shopping runs!
  3.  The meal needed to be somewhat balanced with protein, fiber and some vegetables.
  4. Most importantly. . . it had to taste great

It was a happy accident that this Chili Mac recipe ended up coming together with just one bowl. When I’m in a rush, the last thing I want to do is have to wash a ton of pots and pans after dinner time.

With this recipe, you can make a healthy and kid-approved dinner all in one pot. No side dishes needed either to make this a complete meal!

Best of all this one pot dinner turned out 100% delicious! My whole family was impressed and I know we’ll be making it again soon.

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Copycat Hamburger Helper

I can’t pretend to have invented the concept of adding macaroni noodles and beans to ground meat. If you grew up eating Hamburger Helper, this chili mac might seem familiar.

Fun fact: Hamburger Helper is sometimes called “American Chop Suey” because it’s an assortment of foods (often leftovers) cooked together in one pot!

To make this Chili Mac Copycat Hamburger Helper I used:

  • Ground turkey
  • Yellow onion
  • Chicken broth
  • Diced tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Beans
  • Garlic salt and chili powder 
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Sound simple? It is! You don’t even need to drain the beans! I’m all about being able to open a can and toss it right into a pot when I’m in a hurry.

While this recipe is ridiculously easy and the ingredients are nothing fancy, the finished meal is amazingly tasty!

In just 30 minutes, you can have this easy, healthy ONE POT Chili Mac on your dinner table. Perfect for busy nights!

How to make Chili Mac

STEP 1. In a large dutch oven (or soup pot), combine onion and ground turkey over medium high heat. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes, making sure to crumble as it cooks.

STEP 2. Add the remaining ingredients other than the cheese, along with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until noodles are soft and tender. Stir occasionally so the noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

STEP 3.  Add in the shredded cheddar cheese and stir.

To serve, ladle the chili mac into a bowl and sprinkle with additional shredded cheese, if desired.

One Pot Dinner Recipe

This recipe is a blueprint that’s easy to adapt based on your needs and what you have on hand.

A few substitution ideas. . . 

  • For the beans: I used the beans I had in my pantry this time, which were cannelini beans and red kidney beans. Black beans, navy beans and pinto beans would all work just as well!
  • For the meat: ground beef and chicken are delicious in chili mac as well! You could even try a vegetarian version with crumbled beef substitute, although I haven’t given this a shot and can’t vouch for it. If you try it, let me know how it works!
  • For the noodles: Other small noodles taste great here for a fun change. Shells, ziti, penne and rotini would all be perfect!

However you make this easy one pot dinner, just do it soon!

In just 30 minutes, you can have this easy, healthy ONE POT Chili Mac on your dinner table. Perfect for busy nights!

I’m always on the hunt for an easy dinner.

This One Pot Chili Mac is not only easy, but just like the name, it’s literally one pot.

Whether you refer to this dish as American Chop Suey, Chili Mac, Hamburger Helper  or American Goulash, you’ve got to try it!

In just 30 minutes, you can have this easy, healthy ONE POT Chili Mac on your dinner table. Perfect for busy nights!

What are you favorite busy night meals?

MORE Soup and Stews Recipes

Yield: 6-8 servings

One Pot Chili Mac

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Are you looking for a one pot dinner that's quick and nourishing? This One Pot Chili Mac is the answer! Made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, this chili dinner makes everyone in the family happy.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) dice tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannelllini beans (don't drain)
  • 1 can (16 oz) dark red kidney beans (don't drain)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 16 oz uncooked elbows pasta
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven (or soup pot), combine onion and ground turkey over medium high heat. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes, making sure to crumble as it cooks.
  2. Add the chicken broth, water, tomatoes, beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper and pasta. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, until noodles are soft and tender. Stir occasionally so the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add in one cup of the shredded cheddar cheese and stir into pot of chili.
  3. To serve, add a ladle of the chili mac to a bowl and sprinkle on additional cheese, if desired. ENJOY.

Notes

**I use sodium free diced tomatoes and add limited salt to my pot of chili mac. Add more salt as needed when serving, to taste!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1252mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on September 16, 2015

Comments & Reviews

  1. Aimee, what are your thoughts on using a slowcooker for this recipe?  I take care of an elderly couple and need hearty simple meals like this so I can put together and leave. 

    1. It would totally work. However, I probably wouldn’t add in the pasta until the last hour of cooking. Let me know if you try it!

  2. I hear ya on the busy!  It has been crazy town over here too.  I am always looking for easy peasy meals to feed this hungry crowd.  Pasta and chili is always a good combo!

  3. Yessss! I love one pot meals and I am so ready to start making chili nonstop! It’s so exciting when you throw something together and it ends up being a new favorite. This looks like the perfect fall meal 🙂

    1. Nope it would be perfect. I like to use low sodium chicken broth (even in beef recipes). I find low sodium beef broth doesn’t have as much flavor as the chicken version. But you can totally swap out and use beef broth for this recipe, and it will taste amazing 🙂

  4. Dear Aimee, delighted to see this recipe this morning. (My children will be too.) I boiled a pot of water the other day, added the pasta, and the water overflowed big time! Never had it happen quite like this. Something crucial must have gotten wet, and strangely, it put my entire oven out of commission. The door locked and the clock display doesn’t even work. Grrrr. I’m waiting on a repairman ’til the end of the week. The good news is the gas cook top miraculously still works and this yummy recipe doesn’t need the oven. Looking forward to dinner!

  5. Your kids are SO busy! But I guess that’s what I was like in high school too! I hope they tell you how much they appreciate you making dinner! 🙂

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