One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac is the perfect pantry meal. Ground beef pasta is easy to make in minutes, and the flavor of tomatoes, chili, peppers, and cheddar cheese makes this Mexican pasta dish irresistible.
Are you a meal planner? I am not the most consistent when it comes to having a weekly meal plan, and our dinner entrée is often decided at 4:30 pm when we will be eating at 6 pm. I'll look in my fridge or pantry and then scramble to make put dinner on the table.
Quick and easy dinners are a must in my household and pasta, like Pasta with Blush Sauce, is one of our frequent dinners because it can be cooked so quickly. We love Italian food, but we were in the mood for something different, and this One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac was born.
For non-planners, a well-stocked pantry is a must. I am big on keeping quick and versatile ingredients such as pasta, rice, chicken cutlets, frozen shrimp and a variety of veggies in my kitchen.
I also like to keep several packages of lean ground beef in my freezer. The meat can be defrosted in the microwave quickly, and ground beef is a staple in many of my dinners. Pasta and ground beef match up well together to make a delicious meal. You can easily transform from Italian pasta to Mexican pasta by swapping out a few seasonings and spices.
I know I should be better at planning, but when I can usually pull off my last-minute dinner tactics, there is no reason to change anything, right?
Ingredients Needed for Mexican Pasta
In addition to having a well-stocked pantry, learning to swap and substitute ingredients is a beneficial skill, and ingredients in this One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac ground beef pasta dish can always be substituted as necessary.
- Olive Oil – Any light, neutral-flavored oil will do.
- Ground Beef – My family loves beef but it can be swapped for ground turkey or chicken if necessary.
- Chili Powder – No chili powder? Add taco seasoning instead.
- Salt – Salt has this amazing capability to bring out natural flavors in a dish and can really amp up the flavor.
- Onion – Any kind of onion will work here. Use what you have on hand.
- Poblano Pepper – Two jalapeno peppers can be used in place of one poblano if you'd like the dish to be a bit spicier. You could also use dried chili peppers.
- Sweet Peppers – I like the sweetness and color of red or yellow peppers but green peppers will work as well.
- Garlic – Fresh grated garlic is always my preference and garlic keeps for a long time so I always have some on hand. In a pinch, granulated garlic will also add a rich, earthy flavor.
- Fired Roasted Tomatoes – Any canned tomatoes make a great substitute.
- Elbow Macaroni – Pasta stores almost indefinitely so I keep a variety of noodles in my fridge.
- Cheddar Cheese – Pepper jack, colby or gouda would be great substitutes for cheddar.
Use what you have on hand to make dinner easy.
Why make a one skillet beef pasta dish?
There are so many reasons to love this chili pasta.
One Pan – In addition to not being a meal planner, I despise washing pots and pans. So many pasta dishes use multiple pans and often, unnecessarily.
Well-Balanced – The meal contains every food group with pasta, meat, veggies and cheese in it.
Fast – This One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac cooks up in about half an hour. It is the type of meal you will want to put on your dinner rotation once a week!
Leftovers - I love dishes that guarantee leftovers because then I know lunch is also taken care of. This Mexican pasta can easily be reheated in the microwave.
More Ground Beef Pasta Recipes
One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac cooks fast, tastes great and can be taken for lunch the next day. I declare this beef pasta to be the perfect meal.
What's one of your favorite weeknight meals?
If you like this One Pot Chili Pasta, please leave a 5-star rating.
One Skillet Poblano Chili Mac
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus extra to taste
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 poblano pepper seeded, cored and diced
- ½ cup chopped sweet peppers red or yellow
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 can 15 ounce diced fired roasted tomatoes
- 3 ½ cups water extra if needed
- 8 ounces elbow noodles
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus extra for garnish
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add ground beef and cook for five minutes or until beef starts to brown. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt.
- Add onion and peppers. Saute for a few minutes or until onion is translucent and peppers are wilted. Add garlic to the pan and stir well.
- Add tomatoes and 3 ½ cups of water to the pan. Bring to a simmer and add noodles. Stir well.
- Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally. Add extra water while cooking if necessary. Stir in one cup of cheese and mix gently until cheese is melted.
- Remove pan from heat and season with extra salt to taste. Garnish with extra cheddar cheese if desired.
First Published October 2015 ; Updated August 2021