This delicious pressure cooker chili mac in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy, frugal weeknight dinner your family is sure to love!
Instant Pot chili mac is a super easy one-pot meal of cheesy chili and noodles–one your family will love!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase, this site may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Do you remember Hamburger Helper? And that glove with the face that was on the box?
Now that I think about it, why was there a glove on the box? I’m not really sure what a glove had to do with cooking dinner. It wasn’t even an oven mitt…just sort of a strange icon, really.
As a kid, Hamburger Helper was a regular evening meal in our house.
On days when my mom worked, my dad was often in charge of dinner prep, which meant quick and easy meals were in order. Hamburger Helper was just that–an easy way for him to get dinner on the table.
Now that I have three kids of my own, I can fully appreciate the need for some quick and easy dinner options. Can I get an Amen?
But I try to minimize our use of convenience meals, partly because making our own meals is usually cheaper, healthier, and tastier!
One of the many reasons I love using my Instant Pot is that meals can be ready in mere minutes! Seriously, minutes, people!
This pressure cooker chili mac is a great weeknight meal solution for those of us who are short on time.
Not only is it fast, but it doesn’t require any strange ingredients and it’s pretty inexpensive to make.
Why You’ll Love Instant Pot Chili with Noodles
I know some people like to cook plain pasta in the Instant Pot and add it to their favorite chili. That’s a fine option, if you prefer.
But you can also cook it all together in the Instant Pot for an easy one-pot meal! I’m all for less cleanup, aren’t you?
I adapted this Instant Pot pressure cooker chili mac from a non-pressure cooker recipe I found at My Incredible Recipes, which served as the inspiration for this family friendly, quick and easy dinner option.
Noodles and beef are cooked under pressure in a perfectly seasoned sauce, then some shredded cheese is melted in after cooking. Be still my heart.
The result is a deliciously hearty meal that your family is sure to love, and one that you’re sure to make again and again because it’s just that easy.
Making Instant Pot Chili Mac with Cheese
You may have heard that you’re not supposed to use dairy in pressure cooker recipes, and that’s because the high pressure can cause the dairy to curdle. Yuck!
So in this case, we add the cheese after the pressure cooking time is complete, so it melts in easily without turning into a clumpy curdled mess.
New to Pressure Cooking? Check out These Helpful Resources!
- How to Make Your Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes in the Pressure Cooker
- Everything You Need to Know About Making Easy Pressure Cooker Recipes
- The Best Affordable Gift Ideas for the Instant Pot Lover in Your Life
- 6 Useful Pressure Cooker Accessories to Make Life Easier
How to Make Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Chili Mac with No Beans
I don’t usually add beans to this dish, but you totally could if you wanted to. Kidney beans or black beans would be a great choice.
To start, you’ll simply begin by using the Saute function of the Instant Pot to brown some ground beef and cook some onions.
After those have cooked (drain the grease if you need to), turn off the Saute function by pressing Cancel.
Then you can add in some water, bouillon cube, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, chili powder, bay leaves, seasoned salt, pepper, and macaroni. Give it a good stir.
Lock the lid into place and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a 5 minute cook time at high pressure using the Manual/Pressure Cook setting. If you prefer slightly firmer pasta, I’d go with a 4 minute cook time.
After the cook time, allow a 10 minute natural release followed by a quick release.
Once the pressure has released, carefully open the lid. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the cheese until it’s melted.
The longer it sits, the thicker the sauce will become. You can also add more shredded cheese on top if you want!
Notes and Adaptations for Making Chili Mac in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker:
- You can use different pasta shapes if you prefer! The general rule of thumb I follow is to take the cook time from the pasta box, divide it in half, and subtract one minute. This will give you the Instant Pot high pressure cook time. I think bowties, penne, or rotini would work great.
- Feel free to add beans if desired! Drained kidney beans or black beans would be a great addition.
- I used mozzarella cheese, but you could also use cheddar or Colby Jack. One reader also suggested smoked Gouda, which I think is an excellent idea!
More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes You’ll Love:
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
- Beef Enchilada Pasta in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Recommended Equipment for Instant Pot Chili Mac:
Did you make it and love it? I appreciate your 5-Star Rating! Adapted from My Incredible Recipes As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I love seeing my recipes come to life "in the wild"--don't forget to tag @marginmakingmom or use #marginmakingmom on Instagram so I can see your creation!
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 81mg Sodium: 1152mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 7g Protein: 30g
Did you make it and love it? I appreciate your 5-Star Rating!
Adapted from My Incredible Recipes
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.