Chili mac is a classic vegetarian comfort food recipe that’s made in one pot in just 30 minutes. This recipe is great for last-minute dinners or to share on game day!
Alright, y’all. This is a warning: this is my one last winter comfort food recipe before I jump headfirst into spring, summer, and all things fresh fruit and veggies.
It’s fitting to have this vegetarian chili mac (and cheese) as an end of winter celebration. This is a recipe that I’ve been trying to share forever, but I always find another recipe to share. Better late than never?
So, here it is in all of its glory: chili mac and cheese made vegetarian, or even vegan if you just sub or omit the cheese.
Chili mac draws from my Midwestern comfort food roots. We spent many a dinner at Steak ‘n Shake, where my mom always ordered the chili mac. That spaghetti and chili combo inspired me to make a vegetarian version that’s equally cozy. But maybe a little more healthy and a little less meat-y.
This vegetarian comfort food recipe is
- Made in 30 minutes
- Made in one pot
- Full of plant-based protein (kidney beans!)
- Healthy vegetarian comfort food at its finest!
Recipe Notes for customization
Beans. You can use whatever canned beans you have on hand for this recipe. I use a combination of light and dark kidney beans. Try out one can of garbanzo beans, white beans, or black beans with one can of kidney beans for a twist on the base recipe.
Pasta. I use elbow pasta for chili mac, but you can use any small pasta for this recipe.
Cheese. I use cheddar cheese (my fav!) but Monterrey jack is also a delicious option. Shredded vegan cheese can be used to make this recipe vegan.
It may look like a lot of ingredients, but don’t worry! This recipe is very straightforward.
You’ll saute the onions and mushrooms until soft, then stir in the spices, liquids, and beans. Simmer uncovered until the pasta is fully cooked.
Top with green onions and maybe a little bit of hot sauce. This recipe makes five large servings.
One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces white mushrooms chopped
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 10 ounces dry elbow pasta
- 2 cans (15 ounces) kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (4 ounces) tomato sauce
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- chopped green onions for topping
- Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add the chopped onions and diced onions, sprinkle with salt. Saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions and mushrooms have softened.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously to prevent burning.
- Pour in the elbow pasta, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes (with juices), tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until pasta is tender, about 12 minutes.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese. Serve topped with chopped green onions. Enjoy!