This Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese is a hearty, healthy one pot pasta that comes together in 30 minutes or less! With step by step recipe video.
It’s actually difficult for me to write this post and not have a big bowl of this Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese here with me, because it’s so good and I’m so hungry!
This is one of those one pot meals that I could make over and over and no one would get sick of it.
It has a lot of our favorite things — lean and versatile ground turkey, pasta, sauce and cheese — and it’s made with just one pot and in 30 minutes or less, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights (and there seem to be a lot of those around here!)
We love using ground turkey for easy meals because it cooks up quickly and can take on a wide variety of flavors, so it’s perfect for almost anything you’re cooking. Burgers, meatballs, pasta and so many more of our favorites!
You should see the look of relief on my kids’ faces when they see this on the dinner table and it’s not another one of mom’s experiments 😉
Variations on this Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese:
- To make this Chili Mac dairy free: you can skip the cheese or use a dairy-free cheese.
- To make this Chili Mac gluten-free, you can substitute gluten free macaroni. Be sure to keep an eye on them for doneness as they tend to get soft much quicker.
- You can up the spice with a pinch or 5 of red pepper flakes, or a dash of hot sauce.
- You can add a barbecue twist to this Chili Mac by adding a dollop of your favorite barbecue sauce with the other sauces.
- You can add in more veggies, just use your own judgement as to when they should be added based on how long they usually take to cook. Mushrooms, spinach, finely chopped kale, shredded carrots or peppers are always great options.
How to prep Chili Mac ahead for a busy week:
- You can cook this Chili Mac entirely, spread into a greased baking dish, cover and refrigerate for 3 days. When you want to serve it, simply bake (covered) at 350 degrees F just until warmed through. If you know you’re cooking it ahead to bake later, leave a little more bite in the pasta than you normally would.
- You can keep 1lb portions of cooked ground turkey in the freezer for quick dinners on busy nights.
- You can chop the onion, shred the cheese and rinse the beans in advance to help cut back on prep time.
How to store Turkey Chili Mac:
You can store leftover Chili Mac in the fridge up to 3 days, provided your ingredients were fresh when you started cooking.
This Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese can also be frozen! Keep in mind that pasta does get softer after being frozen, so if you know you want to freeze it, it’s a good idea to leave the pasta with a bit of a bite.
To thaw and serve, cover with foil or a lid, and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-90 minutes until warmed through.
To heat faster, leave the baking dish at room temperature for 6-8 hours before baking.
More one pot pastas you’ll love!
*This recipe is generously sponsored by Turkey Farmers of Canada and I was compensated for my time in creating this post — thank you for supporting those that make The Recipe Rebel possible!
Turkey Chili Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 540 ml canned kidney beans, rinsed (19oz)
- 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
- 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable or poultry broth
- 3 cups whole grain macaroni, dry (340-375g)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large skillet, brown turkey (you may want to lightly grease the pan if your turkey is very lean) on medium-high heat.
- Add onion, chili powder, salt and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in beans, tomato sauce, and broth and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in dry macaroni. Bring back to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, just until pasta is tender, stirring often.
- Stir in milk and cheese (reserving a little for the top if you prefer). Serve.