Instant Pot Chili Mac (Easy One-Pot Pasta Meal)
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.
❤️ 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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
- One-Pot Tortellini is a fast and straightforward recipe that starts with your favorite frozen stuffed pasta.
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta is another Instant Pot pasta recipe with Mexican-inspired flavors, plus chicken.
- Instant Pot American Chop Suey is an all-time favorite meaty and cheesy pasta recipe to keep in your back pocket.
Do you LOVE this recipe?
Leave us a review below to tell us why!
Instant Pot Chili Mac
Instant Pot Chili Pasta is a fast and savory one-pot dinner with ground sausage, tomato sauce and Tex Mex flavors.
- 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
- Select Sauté to preheat the cooking pot. When hot, add the oil and sauté the sausage, 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.
- Add sausage, water, macaroni, tomato sauce, green chiles, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to pressure cooking pot, and stir to combine.
- 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.
- Stir in frozen corn. Select sauté and cook until corn is heated and macaroni is tender. Stir in cilantro
- Serve hot topped with sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, and tortilla chips.
*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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Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve made it with chopped beef a few times and it’s become a favorite in our home. We unfortunately have some food intolerances so we leave out the chilies and cilantro and replace the garlic with shallots. Love how quickly this comes together. Perfect for busy weeknights. It’s in our rotation for sure!
That’s so great to hear – thanks Vanessa!
In the ingredients you say sausage, but in the directions you say beef. Which was it?
Hi Helen – it’s either-or, whichever you prefer.
I hope you answer quick!
I have this in my instant pot right now but how long does it go on high-pressure? I set the timer for five minutes but is that all supposed to be in there for?
Hi Lauren – yes, just five minutes plus the time it takes for the pressure cooker to come to pressure is as long as it needs. Enjoy!
How many does this feed? I need a whole 32oz bag of pasta to feed our family of 6. 2 cups of pasta isn’t enough. How much does this fill up the pot? I’m wondering if I could double everything, except the meat. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
Hi Erin – it feeds 4 – 6 people. You can fill the pot two thirds full. As long as you don’t exceed that, you can double the recipe. It will take longer to come to pressure so you may want to decrease the time at pressure by a minute. Let me know how it goes 🙂
Ok, I’m back again. As promised, made this dish Italian style. Used penne, Italian sausage, 1 T spaghetti seasoning, cannellini beans instead of corn. No chili powder, cilantro or chiles. It was phenomenal! Next time will add some spinach at the end for color and flavor. Can’t believe how easy and delicious this is!
Thanks for coming back to share your Italian version!
This was fantastic! Subbed chorizo for the chicken sausage. Otherwise followed recipe. Only had a 4 oz. can of diced chiles but it was plenty. Was worried about the pasta ending up either mushy or hard, but it was perfect! Hubby loved it.
Next time will try Italian style: Italian sausage and seasonings, crushed red pepper instead of chiles, penne, canellini beans instead of corn, and basil instead of cilantro.
I made tonight for dinner. Loved it. I added Velveeta cheese after cooking the corn. I also added cumin with the other spices. So good.
Thanks Janice! So great that you changed it up to suit your tastes.
Hi Barbara – thanks for another great recipe! I made this today and used lean ground beef and added sliced black olives and black beans – really, really good – so fast and easy!
Thanks much for another keeper!
Do you think there would be a time change if using gluten free pasta?
Hi Gordon – generally 1/2 the time on the box instructions works for pasta. I haven’t tried gluten free pasta in the pressure cooker though.
I made this tonight but also added 1 can of black beans and small can of sliced olives. It was a great meal. thanks for the recipe.
Thanks Vicki – sounds like delicious additions.
Silly question but is this ground Italian sausage?
Hi Konnie – you could use ground Italian sausage. My market has a ground country-style chicken sausage that I used. A ground chorizo sausage would also be great in this recipe. http://www.johnsonville.com/products/chorizo-ground-sausage.html
Can I make the peanut cup cheesecake in a larger size? If so how do I work out cooking time. My pressure cooker is 10 liters and will hold a much larger pan than 7″.
Hi Lynette – here’s the answer to your cheesecake question https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-samoa-cheesecake/comment-page-2/#comment-251769
So glad your recipes download directly to the Paprika app! Cooking with my iPad, who knew?
Hi Ingrid – I’m not familiar with the Paprika app. I’ll have to check it out. I love cooking with my iPad too.
We just bought a pressure cooker (electric) and I thought I needed to buy a cookbook. Thank you for the great recipes. I cannot wait to try this and so many others.
Just wanted to say that I followed your recipe with the exception of the 1 can tomato sauce. I did have 3 plump ripe tomatoes that I had to use. I just peeled the tomatoes (didn’t seed them) and diced them up with their juices and added them to the pot. It was delish!
Thanks Akiko! You can’t go wrong with adding fresh tomatoes this time of year.
This has grown to become one of my favorite pressure cooker cookbooks, too. I bookmarked this recipe, and I’m glad you beat me to making it. Your adaptions sound wonderful, and I definitely plan to make this one. It’s perfect for one of those evenings when I’m too tired to make a fussy meal.
This looks like something we’re gonna love. I too have that cookbook and am only partway through reading it-looks like I’d better get back to it soon-I’m missing some good stuff! Thank you Barbara. 🙂
Definitely something I think you’ll enjoy Carol. I need to pull it out more often too.
Thanks for this recipe Barbara – I also have really enjoyed “Pressure Cooker Perfection” which is a great addition to my growing pressure cooker cookbook collection.
Hi Ginny – what’s your favorite pressure cooking cookbook?
Made this for dinner, rave reviews! Used a few substitutions, ground beef, I didn’t have the tomato sauce sub crushed with 2T tomato paste, the other add I used was black beans. Will try adding black olives next time. This ones a keeper. Going in permanent rotation,
Thanks Jacki! So glad your family loved it. I like your changes. I thought of adding black beans too.
This sounds so good and something my family will love. Been looking for some recipes to use in my electric pressure cooker, that my family will eat. This just may be the one to try this week! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes!