Instant Pot Chili Mac (Easy One-Pot Pasta Meal)

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Instant Pot Chili Mac is a quick and easy one-pot pasta meal with fiery Tex-Mex flavors from sausage and green chilis and pops of fresh, sweetness from corn and cilantro.

Close-up shot of Instant Pot Chili Pasta, served in a white bowl and garnished with cilantro, shredded cheese, and white and blue corn chips, with a bowl of shredded cheese in the background

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This Chili Pasta is a fusion of chili and macaroni. It comes together quickly into an easy one-pot dinner made with ground sausage, tomato sauce, and Tex-Mex seasonings.

Here comes another family-favorite Instant Pot pasta recipe. This time, with fresh and just-spicy-enough Tex Mex flavors. This is a long-time favorite at my house, and I think it will become one at yours too!

If you love slightly spicy, savory flavors in a hearty and comforting dish, this recipe is for you. You can add any of your favorite toppings or eat it straight from the pot.

Update: I’ve updated this popular recipe with new tricks, tips and photos. Enjoy!

a direct shot of a black and white bowl of Instant Pot Chili Pasta with a cilantro garnish and white and blue corn chips, with an Instant Pot visible in the background

How to Make Instant Pot Chili Mac

This Instant Pot Chili Pasta recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL

This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe in one of my favorite pressure cooking cookbooks,  America’s Test Kitchen’s Pressure Cooker Perfection. I made a few simple swaps. First, I substituted ground sausage for ground beef to add even more meaty flavor. Then, I omitted the green peppers and doubled the green chiles for an extra kick. 

An overhead shot looking into an Instant Pot filled with macaroni, sausage, diced green chiles, and tomato sauce

Changing the Spice Level

My family loves the slightly spicier version of this recipe. However, If you don’t like your chili very spicy, reduce the chili powder and use a small can of green chiles instead of the large can.

An overhead shot looking into an Instant Pot after the pasta has started cooking, with sausage visible

Topping Ideas

This is a fun DIY dinner because everyone can add their favorite toppings to their Tex Mex bowls. We like to set out bowls of:

  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Shredded cheese (Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
  • Crunchy tortilla chips or strips
  • Sliced green onions
  • Fresh cilantro
A black and white bowl of Instant Pot chili mac, garnished with cilantro and blue and white corn chips, sitting on a yellow napkin with a spoon, with a basket of chips, additional cilantro, and cheese visible in the background

Can I Double the Recipe?

This Instant Pot Chili Pasta recipe makes enough to feed 4 to 6. If you’d like, you can double the recipe, just be sure not to fill the pot past the fill line. 

The pot will take longer to come to pressure when it’s fuller, so you may want to take a minute off of the cook time at High Pressure in this case. 

A close-up 45 degree shot of a white bowl of pressure cooker chili pasta, sitting on a yellow napkin garnished with cilantro, with a small bowl of grated yellow cheese visible in the background

More Fast Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

We love making pasta recipes in the Instant Pot. Here are more of my family’s favorite one-pot pasta recipes:


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Close-up shot of Instant Pot Chili Pasta, served in a white bowl and garnished with cilantro, shredded cheese, and white and blue corn chips, with a bowl of shredded cheese in the background
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

Instant Pot Chili Mac

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Instant Pot Chili Pasta is a fast and savory one-pot dinner with ground sausage, tomato sauce and Tex Mex flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground sausage (I used chicken sausage)*
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (7-ounce) green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, and tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

    1. Select Sauté to preheat the cooking pot. When hot, add the oil and sauté the beef, onion, and garlic until meat is browning and onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to remove excess fat.
    2. Add beef, water, macaroni, tomato sauce, green chiles, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to pressure cooking pot, and stir to combine.
    3. Select High Pressure for 5 minutes. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
    4. Stir in frozen corn. Select sauté and cook until corn is heated and macaroni is tender. Stir in cilantro
    5. Serve hot topped with sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, and tortilla chips.

Notes

*substitute ground beef if you prefer.

Adapted from Pressure Cooker Perfection

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1137mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.

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