Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

It’s been really cold here (well, cold for me) and that makes me want comfort food. One dish that I absolutely loved in the past but haven’t had a chance to remake is my One Pot Chili Pasta from the SNAP Challenge in 2014. That pasta not only saved my life as far as filling me up on an extremely restricted budget, but it was SO GOOD. I was really excited to make it again this week, but I had already spent a large part of this weeks budget on pork for my Nam Sod, so I decided to transform the old One Pot Chili Pasta into a new Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac.

The new version is very similar to the old, but it has no beef (obvi), more beans, some diced tomatoes, and uses vegetable broth in place of the beef broth. How did it turn out? OMG still so good. Like, so good that I’ve been eating it for breakfast all this week because I’m so excited to eat it every day that I can’t even wait for lunch. There’s something about the thick, tangy sauce with the smoky chili powder and just a hint of cheddar that is just irresistible to me. This is the type of food that I have to be very conscious about eating because if I don’t pay attention, I’ll just keep eating until my belly bursts. My stomach says, “No more, I’m full!” and my brain says, “But… but… it’s soooo good! Keep going!” It’s dangerous.


P.S. This makes a huge batch, like around 10 cups. If you know you can’t finish it all within 5 or 6 days, it can be frozen. Pasta does get a bit softer upon freezing and thawing/reheating, but for me that’s negligible for a dish that tastes so freaking good.

This rich and comforting Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac cooks in one pot and in just about 30 minutes, making it the perfect stress-free weeknight dinner.
Total Cost: $8.90 recipe / $1.11 serving
Author: Beth M
 Prep Time: 10 mins
 Cook Time: 25 mins
 Total Time: 35 mins
 (10 cups total)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.31)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp flour ($0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.60)
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes ($0.79)
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce ($0.88)
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans ($0.89)
  • 15 oz. can black beans ($1.15)
  • 15 oz. can pinto beans ($1.49)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels ($0.44)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.26)
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles ($0.50)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar ($1.25)


  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil in the bottom of a large pot (5 qt) over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add the flour and chili powder to the sautéed onions and garlic. Continue to stir and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the flour and chili powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, all three beans, corn, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any flour and chili powder off the bottom of the pot.
For full instructions you can go to :

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