Instant Pot Chili Mac


When mac and cheese meets chili, you better plan on a second helping.

Instant Pot Chili Mac
Photo: Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins

The ultimate comfort food just got easier. Many of us have fond memories the boxed version of this family classic that made a weekly appearance on your parents' dinner table, but this recipe is all grown up–homemade and filled with flavor, not boxed preservatives like the store-bought stuff. Better yet, the seasoning is slightly milder than you might remember, making it perfect for toddler and adult palates alike. You can thank your trusty Instant Pot for the quick and simple cooking time of this one dish wonder–just 30 minutes total to be exact. Don't forget to brown the meat and sauté the onions before completing the final steps. It's crucial for building that classic flavor. Pair it with a side salad, and you'll have a dinner full of flavor without a lot of effort in no time.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound 93/7 lean ground beef

  • 1/4 medium-size (about 9 oz.) yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)

  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 10 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)

  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), plus more for serving


  1. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, add oil to cooker, and allow to preheat 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Add macaroni, pressing to ensure pasta is submerged; do not stir. Press CANCEL.

  2. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. (It will take 10 to 12 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  3. When cooking is finished, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 5 to 10 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Add cheese, and gently stir pasta mixture until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Serve with additional cheese.

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