Cheesy Chili Pasta is loaded with pasta, meat and of course plenty of cheese. Let me show you how to make this one pot casserole the whole family is going to love.
This recipe has been updated since it first appeared in 2017 with new photos and a new printable recipe card that includes nutritional information. I hope you enjoy the updates as much as I enjoyed working on them!
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One Pot Casserole Recipe
What’s not to love about a one pot recipe? With this recipe for Cheesy Chili Pasta Casserole, you get the best of chili along with mac and cheese all combined into a delicious one pot meal that’s perfect for dinner any day of the week.
And the best news is it’s easy to put together and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll have leftovers to reheat for lunch the next day.
Make sure you print out the recipe below and save it for later!
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Diced tomatoes; 14.5 ounce size
- Kidney beans; 16 ounce size drained and rinsed
- Mexicorn; 11 ounce size, drained
- Vegetable oil; 1 tbsp.
- 1 small onion; chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Chili powder; 2 tsp. or more if desired
- Cumin; 2 tsp.
- salt and pepper; to taste
- 8 ounces small shaped pasta; see note below for types to use
- Cheddar cheese; 1 cup shredded
- Sour cream, parsley for garnish
Tips for Making Cheesy Chili Pasta Casserole:
One of my favorite kitchen tools to use to help break up ground beef while browning, is the mix and chop. I originally purchased mine from Pampered Chef but you can get one now on Amazon, which means you can probably have it in your kitchen by the time you finish reading this post.
Always drain the ground beef after it has been browned. That way you get rid of all the excess fat that’s released as the meat browns.
Mexicorn is a combination of corn, red and green peppers. You can find it in the canned vegetable aisle at your local grocery store.
It’s really important that you rinse the kidney beans before adding them to the recipe. The cloudy liquid that’s in the canned beans is mostly starch and salt which can change the texture or taste of the casserole.
Let’s Get Cooking!
- In a heavy Dutch oven or large skillet, heat the oil over medium to high heat.
- Add the ground beef and begin to break it up. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the beef is browned. Drain off the excess fat if necessary
- Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, rinsed kidney beans, Mexicorn.
- Add the chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for 30 minutes and then add the dry pasta.
- Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked through. Depending on the shape of pasta you’re using, this could take 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and top with cheddar cheese.
- Put the lid back on for the cheese to melt or I put it under the broiler for a few minutes; which I highly recommend!
What Type of Pasta is Best?
For this recipe, I used elbow macaroni because my husband is a huge fan of that shape of pasta. Here are a few other shapes you could use that would work great in this recipe:
- Cavatappi – is a fun hollow, corkscrew shape of pasta that goes really nicely with thick cheese recipes.
- Small shells – creates a little pocket for the meat and cheese to fill up.
- Orecchiette – is great for scooping up chunky meat sauces which is this meal.
- Ditalini is another pasta that has holes which allows the meat to get inside the pasta.
Other Ways to Make this Recipe
Slow Cooker – you can definitely make this recipe in a crock pot.
- Start the recipe on top of the stove as directed above. Then place everything except the pasta and cheese in the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for about 2 hours and then add the pasta. Continue to cook for another 30 to 60 minutes or until the pasta is done.
- Finally, stir in the cheese until it melts and combines nicely with the rest of the meat and pasta.
What to Serve Alongside this Recipe?
One word…bread. That’s really all you need to add to this casserole to make it a complete meal. Here are a few of our favorites:
Did you make this recipe?
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You can use any smaller sized pasta shape your family enjoys. The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 19g
You can use any smaller sized pasta shape your family enjoys.
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.