Instant Pot Chili Mac with Turkey and Cheese | Recipe at

Instant Pot Chili Mac with Turkey

A hearty, tummy-filling dinner that's so easy to make in the pressure cooker, Instant Pot Chili Mac with turkey and cheese might just become your go-to dinner in a hurry this winter!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chili mac
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Pressurize/depressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 410kcal
Author Karen Gibson


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta cubed or chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium/large onion diced
  • 4 ounces green chiles canned or fresh*
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 ounce can beans**
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • 2 heaping cups shredded cheese***

Suggested toppings:

  • sliced green onions
  • sour cream
  • pickled jalapenos
  • shredded cheese
  • chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley


  • Press the Saute function button on the Instant Pot, and adjust to medium heating. Add the oil to the inner pot of the unit and let heat until shimmering. Once the oil is shimmering (the unit might not yet display "Hot"; that's okay), add the pancetta and the turkey. Cook, stirring frequently, until the turkey is browned.
  • Spoon out the pancetta and turkey into a separate bowl, and set aside.
  • If you used lean turkey, there should be the right amount of fat in the inner pot. If there's more than a couple of tablespoons, carefully spoon out the extra and discard.
  • Turn off the unit (see notes).
  • Add the onions and green chiles, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Move the onions around to inspect the bottom of the pot. Scrape up any brown bits with a metal spatula and mix them into the vegetables (if there is stubborn residue, use a splash of red wine to help deglaze).
  • Sprinkle the next 5 spices and salt over the vegetables and stir to mix.
  • Return the pancetta and turkey to the pot. Add the beans, and level out the contents in the pot.
  • Add the tomato products on top, followed by the pasta.
  • Pour the chicken broth over the pasta just to cover (you might not use all of the broth). Use a spoon to pat down the pasta below the level of the liquids. Do not stir the contents; just pat down the pasta.
  • Close the lid and seal the vent.
  • Set manual pressure to high, and adjust for 4 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, quick release the pressure (cover the valve and vent with a towel to catch the steam and protect your hand). It could take a couple of minutes for the unit to depressurize.
  • When the valve drops, carefully open the lid away from you, taking care to watch the drips from the lid.
  • Stir the contents well. Add the milk and the cheese, and stir to incorporate completely. Ladle into bowls and serve with toppings. (If serving is delayed, leave the unit on warm; otherwise, turn off).


* You can use Hatch green chiles for mild flavor, or poblanos for a little heat.
** Use your favorite beans. I used pintos in the photos, but have also tested with great northern and black beans.
*** I'd recommend using a blend of cheeses: one that's really melty (like fontina) and one that's aged and distinctly flavored (like extra sharp).
A note about the "burn": it's fairly common when cooking full meals in the Instant Pot that the unit will throw a "burn" message. This happens most often when (1) using the Saute function, (2) cooking with tomato products, and (3) having too little liquid in the pot. For this recipe, 1 and 2 are in play. To avoid the burn message, turn the off the unit after browning the turkey, to let things cool down a little bit. Note that the pot will still actually be quite hot for sauteing the aromatics, but adding just a little cooling time before starting the pressure cooking makes a big difference. For the tomato products, make sure you add them in the order specified in the recipe (i.e., that they're not on the bottom of the pot), and don't stir the contents before affixing the lid, no matter how much you want to!


Calories: 410kcal