Ultra hearty and satisfying, this Easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is the perfect game day meal, just in time for the Super Bowl! Have I told you how much I love my Instant Pot (affiliate link) lately? As evidenced by my last recipe for Easy Vegetarian Chili. I took that chili recipe and modified it to make it heartier…and cheesier. Enter CHILI MAC!
For the 60-second video on how to make this recipe, watch the video below!
I haven’t had anything remotely close to chili mac since I was a kid and my grandmother used to make Hungarian goulash. I remember not caring for it that much but chili mac is 238309x better. We’ve eaten it twice in the last few weeks now (the joys of recipe testing) and have loved every bite.Before intuitive eating, I probably would have had some thoughts or beliefs about this dish. Like chili AND pasta, now that seems indulgent. But now I’m able to see this as a balanced meal. Pasta, beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cheese. Ultimate macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat) package there!
Not to mention the satisfaction factor! OH MAH GAWD. It’s so hearty and satisfying, which makes it perfect for a Super Bowl dish. And since it takes 5 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot, it will be super easy to make (and clean up!) for your Super Bowl party.I made this with both regular elbow pasta and whole-wheat elbows and I liked the whole-wheat better. I thought it provided a little more nuttiness and satiety but you can use whichever speaks to you! If you’re vegan, omit the cheese or add non-dairy meltable cheese. If you’re not vegetarian, you can easily add some ground beef and leave out the black beansd.
I love how the cheese adds a level of creaminess to this dish. Top it off with some cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and you’re good to go!We’re heading over to our friend’s house on Sunday to watch the game and I have a feeling this dish will be making an appearance :). What are your plans for the big game? Anyone else in it just for the food and commercials, or is that just me?Print
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Serves about 6
Ultra hearty and satisfying, this Easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is the perfect game day meal, just in time for the Super Bowl!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced*
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow pasta
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- Optional toppings: Greek yogurt, cilantro
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to sauté function for 1 minute to allow oil to heat up. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder and salt and stir to combine. Set sauté function for 5 minutes. Add in garlic and set to sauté for 1 minute.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, kidney beans, elbow pasta and vegetable broth and stir to combine.
- Secure lid onto Instant Pot and set to pressure cook/manual for 5 minutes.
- Use quick release valve to release steam.
- Once pressure is released, open lid and stir in cheeses until melted and combined.
- Optional: serve with chopped cilantro and dollop of Greek yogurt.
This recipe has some kick to it! Be sure to remove the ribs and seeds of the jalapeno pepper to make it less spicy. Or, you can always leave it out if you’re not feeling the heat!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: vegetarian, instant pot, chili mac
What are you making in your Instant Pot lately?
I made this recipe today and absolutely loved it. It was easy and delicious. So glad I found it. Thank you!
YAY! That makes me so happy to hear, Chris. Thanks for sharing that!
Hello I have a question, I don’t have an instant pot how would I cook this?
Hi Melina – do you have a slow cooker? It’s easy to make in a crockpot. Place all ingredients except for the pasta and cheese in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in pasta and cook on high until pasta is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheeses until melted.
Excellent recipe! I added the pasta last and pushed it down to cover instead of stirring it in- YAY! No burn message!! Really flavorful and satisfying for meat eaters too. A keeper, thank you
Hi Lindsey, I’m so glad you enjoyed my recipe. Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂
Hi, I’m a newbie to pressure cookers and just wanted to confirm that the 5 minutes in Step 3 starts after the pressure cooker pressurizes (~10 minutes)? Thank you for sharing this recipe, looking forward to trying it!
Hey Lily, yes – the 5 minutes of pressure cook/manual is after the pressure cooker pressurizes. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂
I can’t even count how many times I have made this recipe. It never disappoints. Ever.
This is an excellent comfort dish with tasty left overs for me and my husband, and a great care meal to whip up and give so others. I honestly keep a jar of diced jalapeños just for this (yes, fresh is best, but I make this often enough that a shortcut is nice. 😉 )
Hi Sara, thank you so much! Happy to hear that you enjoy this recipe so much 🙂
I am always so amused with the comments on food blogs. I like to read them in order to look out for trouble spots in recipe. But this turned out great and I didn’t have any trouble with “liquidy” or “burn” issues. I added the broth right after sautéing the vegetables. Added the tomato items then gently added then noodles and just tucked them into the tomato liquid. Our carnivorous household will certainly be adding this to our routine!
Woohoo! So glad you didn’t have any issues with the recipe and that your whole household loved it!
Loved the flavor of this!!! Mine came out a bit more liquid-y… any suggestions?
So glad to hear it!! Never had that issue but you could always hit the saute function and let some of the liquid cook off.
Do you think I can replace canned tomatoes with another can of tomato sauce! I seem to dislike the texture of diced tomatoes.
It might make it more liquidy but you can give it a shot! Let us know how it turns out!
Does this recipe work in a slow cooker?
Yes! Place all ingredients except for the pasta and cheese in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in pasta and cook on high until pasta is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheeses until melted. Enjoy!
Hi, where is the nutritional info for the Veggie Chili Mac recipe?
Hi Meg! I don’t include nutritional information in my recipes. You can learn more here: https://karalydon.com/intuitive-eating/why-i-dont-include-the-nutrition-information-for-my-recipes/
I have made this three times (so far!) this year, exactly as instructed and using whole-wheat elbow noodles. It is SO good and satisfying. My husband and I love it every time. It comes together quickly, requires easy ingredients I typically have in the pantry, and feels nourishing. Thank you!!
Thanks Rosy! I’m so glad that you enjoy this chili mac so much. 🙂
Made this as a quarantine lunch for my family and it’s so good. Didn’t have black beans so I used 2 kidney, didn’t have elbow macaroni so I used ditalini, no diced tomatoes or tomato sauce so I used peeled plum tomatoes and some tomato paste. Lots of substitutions, but still amazing! Thank you for this recipe.
That’s great, Alyssa! Thank you for trying out this recipe!
Do you have the nutrition information for this recipe?
Hi Marc! I don’t include any nutrition information in my recipes. You can read more about why here.
Excellent recipe, delicious! Realized partway I was out of kidney beans so threw in veg crumble on a whim and it was still perfect. And am super excited that I saw your gigantes recipe while I was cooking– besides fava dip, it’s my fave Greek dish. Cannot wait to recreate! Thank you.
Thank you for the kind words, Sarah! I love how simple it is to adapt this recipe when needed. 🙂
I’ve discovered how to stop it from not coming to pressure due to the “burn” error. Solved it by adding the pasta last and NOT stirring it into the rest of the dish. Hope this helps everyone having issues with this!
Thanks for sharing, Harry!
Amazing! We double this recipe so we have it for the entire week for lunch. It is absolutely amazing and I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!
That’s awesome, Kory! I’m glad that you love this chili mac. 🙂
I have an InstantPot Ultra. I’ve made this twice now. The first time, I got the burn message twice, but I was able to salvage it. The second time I made this, I tweaked the recipe. I skipped the first step which instructs to saute the veggies and instead I threw all the ingredients in together and set it to pressure cook on low for 5 minutes. No more burn message and saved me some time. 🙂
That’s great, Daisy! Nothing wrong with tweaking recipes. 🙂 Gotta keep them tasty!
This was fantastic!! Definitely a keeper!!
Yay! Glad to hear it, Paula!
This was delicious! Added a little jalapeño salsa and a dollop of guacamole once served. Will definitely make again. Thanks for the great recipe!
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed, Gladys!
Delicious! I didn’t have a jalapeno, but I’m kinda glad I didn’t! We like spicy food, but maybe my chipotle powder is on the hot side? Anyway, it was perfect and I wouldn’t have wanted it hotter. I added homemade dairy-free cheezy sauce and mixed it in, then served it with a few corn chips. Yummy! We’ll definitely make this again!
All of that sounds delicious, Shannon. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this recipe!
This was amazing, super easy, fast and delicious! Made the recipe exactly as is and loved it. I was just wondering if you’ve tried to make it with more veggies like adding in zucchini or cauliflower or even an extra bell pepper? I was going to try that next time, but I am wondering if you recommend adjusting the cook time or liquids in any way?
I have not tried that yet but I’m sure it would be fine. If you’re going to add a lot more veggies, I might add more broth. Glad you loved it!
This looks incredibly delicious! 🙂
I love this, it’s so cold here I’m craving anything warm to eat 🙂
This is perfect for cold weather!
Do you saute the olive oil by itself for 5 minutes? Just looking for some clarification…
No I sautéed the onion, peppers, etc. in olive oil. Will adjust directions to make that more clear.
Have made this twice successfully, but have had to work around the dreaded BURN error both times with my 8 Quart Instant Pot Duo. Follow your recipe to a T, but when the pot is attempting to pressurize, I get the burn error, so I just shut it down, open/stir and then attempt to come to pressure again and when the second burn error hits it’s done perfectly. Maybe next time I’ll try low pressure instead of high. I even added a cup of lager beer to the recipe to try and get around the BURN, but still no luck. Oh, I also doubled the cheese and it comes out real good. Great recipe though.
That’s so strange! I’ve never experienced a burn error all of the times I’ve made it. Glad you found a work around though and that it still tastes delicious!
In my experience the burn error is from stirring the tomatoes and tomato sauce. You should always layer ingredients into the pot when using tomatoes, adding tomatoes and tomato sauce last and DO NOT STIR. Also, if using an 8 quart you may need more liquid than in a 6 quart pot.
Great recipe! Turned out perfectly, although I may cut the heat a bit the next time I make it. Thank you for sharing!
Awesome! Glad to hear!
Yes, it’s got a kick to it! Glad you enjoyed it!!
Doubled the recipe for my 8 quart thinking it would be fine, but realized I had to leave the beans out until after cooking because I was just a tiny bit over the max fill for expanding foods and didn’t want to risk the thing exploding. Added the beans before the cheese and it turned out fine. Thanks for the recipe!
Glad it turned out fine. Thanks for sharing, Harry!
Thank you for the recipe! I have a 3 quart instant pot. Is that big enough for this recipe? If not how much should I scale the quantities down?
I have a mini (3 qt), and I just cut all the quantities in half. Seemed to work pretty well.
Good to know! Thanks for sharing!
It looks like cutting it in half should do the trick!
Wow! We just finished eating this and it was delicious! Everyone loved it, including the non-vegetarians!
Woohoo! So glad everyone enjoyed it, Christy!
I’ve made this twice in two weeks. It’s pretty great and super easy.
Awesome! So glad you’re enjoying it, Susan!
I made Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac for my husband and myself for supper. My husband said it was some of the best chili he ever had. We had it again and I still had some leftovers. I took it to my daughter’s, who sent it to work for my granddaughter’s lunch. She is a vegetarian. She loved it so much that she requested it again the next day. Definitely a major hit in my family! I’m not sure if my daughter got any or not. Thanks for a great recipe which is healthy and easy.
Hi Edith! I’m so happy to hear that it was a hit with the whole family! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
Would love to know nutritional break down calorie count per serving, really. Any clue?
Hi Jenn! I don’t include the nutritionals for my recipes because it doesn’t align with my nutrition philosophy. You can read more about this decision here: https://karalydon.b.wpstage.net/intuitive-eating/why-i-dont-include-the-nutrition-information-for-my-recipes/
Unfortunately I don’t have an instant pot, so I was wondering what would the cooking time for this recipe would look like if you were to use a crockpot.
Cook all the ingredients except pasta and cheeses for 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Add pasta and cheese and cook on low for additional 15 minutes. Let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!
So very good!! I just made this. Use pinto beans instead kidney beans and also use normal chilli peppers cos don’t have jalapeños peppers. I follow almost same except add all tomato at end on top and no stirring to prevent burn error. Works fine!
Defo will make this again.
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it, Jay!
No clue what I might have done wrong, as I followed the recipe exactly, but I got a BURN error on my instant pot. We were still able to salvage some of it and that part of it was tasty. 🙂
Oh no! What a bummer. I’m honestly not sure what could’ve happened as I’ve made this a few times now with no issues. You used all the liquid called for? It sounds like maybe there wasn’t enough liquid? Glad at least the part you were able to salvage was tasty!
The recipe mentions 6 servings and I’m making it for 1 person with the intent of leftovers. How large is 1 serving?
At what point could I add ground meat to the recipe? At the same time as sauteing the veggies or before/after?
this looks delicious! 2 questions – would this work just as well with gluten free pasta, and do you think if i doubled it, it would still fit in a 6qt instant pot? thanks!
I’ve never tried cooking gluten-free pasta in an Instant Pot but I would think it would cook just as well. And I don’t think it would fit if you doubled it – there’s usually a fill line on the pot – I would just be careful not to fill over it. If you try it, please report back!
Hi Kara – VERY belatedly following up. Gluten free pasta works great! A bit mushier, but I mean, it’s mac n cheesy and totally delicious! I’ve made this several times now and it’s always awesome. (And I never attempted a double recipe – one batch makes lots!) Thanks again!
Awesome! Thanks for following-up! Glad to hear it works well with GF pasta!
Woohooo! Glad the GF pasta worked well! Thanks for following-up!
This recipe was a complete winner! I’ve now made it twice and both times it came out perfectly and honestly, was well received by all.
I will admit that the 2nd time I made it I added some browned ground beef, which also was quite good, but the veggie version was great too.
Awesome, Mike! So glad to hear it! And I love that you made it your own by adding some ground beef!
I don’t have chipotle powder. What can I substitute?
You could try smoked paprika or canned chipotles in adobo sauce.
Add some bulghur for meatlike texture
Great suggestion, Joan!
If I add ground beef I would need to brown it first right? Can I do that In the instant pot?
You can brown it in the Instant Pot! Just set it to saute function to brown first.
I have a couple carnivores in the house si u added about 10oz of ground bison. Yum! Instant Pots Rock! Keep the great recipes coming, please!
Awesome! My husband would love that addition! Thanks for sharing, Jason!
I made this for a gathering, used red lentil pasta and successfully doubled the recipe with no change in time ( kept it at 5 min) and it was delicious! A bit spicy but nothing a little cheese and light sour cream couldn’t cure. Everyone was able to eat it no matter their dietary needs. Before I left I cooked some ground turkey and ladled some over it for my husband and he loved it!!
Hey KarrLa, Thanks for sharing! Red lentil pasta sounds delicious! It does have a bit of kick to it but you can always omit the jalapeno to bring it down a notch 🙂
I made this tonight and it was delicious!! Thanks for an easy and nutritious Instant Pot recipe!!!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it Valerie!
Chili Mac difinitely brings back the childhood memories… this was one of my mother’s weekly (sometimes more) dinners, and most often served with hot dogs cut up into it or along the side. Thankfully, I’ve revised my cooking considerably! I like your choice of pasta here. 😉
Haha thanks, Catherine!
This looks like the perfect comfort food!
Thanks, Anne! Couldn’t agree more 🙂
This chili looks so delicious + full of flavor! I love my InstaPot and am so looking forward to trying your recipe. I am obsessing over all of that cheese! This is total chili goals 🙂
Haha #ChiliGoals. Love it. Thanks, Whitney!
You’re definitely making me want an Instant Pot more and more! If I cave, it’s because of you!
Haha I’m willing to take the heat. You won’t regret it!
Awesome! This sounds perfect for the instant pot and the kiddo!
Thanks, Abbie! Hope you all enjoy 🙂
This sounds so good! I just started using my instant pot and am obsessed!
Same!! I feel like I’m on an Instant Pot recipe bender right now ;).
Yum! Looks delightful. I can’t wait to get an Instapot.
You’ll love it, Lauren!
Wow, this looks delish! Will have to try!
I just got an Instant Pot so I’m always looking for new recipes – and meatless Monday recipes…and chili recipes. Trifecta of deliciousness!
Woot, woot! Checks off all the boxes! 🙂
That looks delicious, Kara! I’m an instant pot superfan, so I love finding new *easy* recipes you can make in the instant pot.
Awesome, Alexandra! I hope you love this one too!
This looks so good. I mean i add cheese to every bowl of chili, so of course I would love this. Also, i know the instant pot is fast, but I’m amazed this is done in less than 15 minutes!
Thanks, Jessica! Chili without cheese is a serious missed opportunity, IMO ;).
I really need an Instapot! Where brand do you have?
I have the Instant Pot DUO80!