Southwest Chicken Chili Mac

This delicious Southwest Chicken Chili Mac is easy to make in a skillet and perfect for picky eaters! It’s packed with chicken, pasta and delicious chili flavors the whole family enjoys!

chicken chili mac in cast iron skillet

Southwest Chicken Chili Mac

It’s time for chili night! Break out your cast iron skillet or favorite pot, dinner is about to be served.  This is a flavorful chicken chili seasoned with fragrant southwest ingredients along with some fun wagon wheel pasta. My boys went nuts for this dish. Top with a little sour cream and enjoy!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Kids as well as adults love this fun dinner recipe!
  • It’s not only easy to make, but delicious!
  • Makes delicious leftovers too!

Try my Taco Turkey Chili Recipe too! Be sure to follow Picky Palate on Instagram for daily recipe inspiration.

chicken chili mac ingredients

What You’ll Need

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Southwest Chili Mac at home. See the recipe card located at the bottom of the post for full instructions.

  • small pasta shells– Use any small pasta shape you like. The wagon wheels are fun if you can find them.
  • extra virgin olive oil– Olive oil is used to saute the vegetables.
  • onion– I like to get a white onion. Finely chop before adding to hot pan.
  • bell pepper– Finely chop and de-seed bell pepper.
  • fresh garlic– Mince the garlic before adding to pan.
  • cooked chicken breast such as rotisserie– I use rotisserie chicken often for quick dinners.
  • diced tomatoes– Any canned diced tomatoes work great.
  • chicken broth– Look for reduced sodium chicken broth.
  • corn– Drain the can of corn before adding to chili mac.
  • white beans– You can substitute for any white beans you’d like.
  • chili powder– Chili powder adds that great chili flavor to the dish.
  • ground cumin– Cumin is smoky and aromatic. Great in chili recipes.
  • Ranch Dressing Seasoning mix– Find the Ranch Dressing seasoning mix in the dressing isle of the grocery store.
  • fresh cilantro– Fresh cilantro adds color and freshness to the chili.
shredded rotisserie chicken on a plate

How To Make Chicken Chili Mac

Cook Pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking.

Saute Vegetables. Heat oil in 9 inch deep cast iron skillet. Stir in onions and peppers, cook stirring until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute.

adding cooked pasta to chili mac

Add Chicken and Chili Ingredients. Place chicken, tomatoes, broth, corn, beans, 1 cup wagon wheel pasta, chili powder, cumin, Ranch seasoning and cilantro into pot, stirring to combine.

Simmer. Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.

chicken chili mac served in cast iron skillet

How To Serve

Serve Chili Mac hot, in individual serving bowls. Top with shredded cheese and more cilantro if desired.

How To Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Recipe Tips For Success

  • Be careful not to overcook your pasta, it will continue to cook some in the hot chili. I like to check my pasta 2 minutes before the package recommends. Once it’s al dente drain immediately.
  • Use different variations of pasta if you’d like. The wheels are fun, but any small shaped pasta works great.
  • You can substitute the beans for other varieties. Black, kidney and pinto all work well. You can even omit the beans.
  • Try using cooked beef instead of chicken for another varation.

Try More Delicious Chili Recipes

Image of Southwest Chicken Chili Mac

Southwest Chicken Chili Mac

This delicious Southwest Chicken Chili Mac is easy to make in a skillet and perfect for picky eaters! It's a healthy chicken pasta dish for the whole family!
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Southwestern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Jenny
Print Pin


  • Skillet
  • Stove
  • Dutch Oven or large pot
  • can opener
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing spoon
  • strainer for pasta


  • 8 oz wagon wheel pasta noodles
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet peppers or bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 10 oz can rotel diced tomatoes mild
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup corn fresh or canned
  • 1/2 cup white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dry ranch seasoning from packet
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cool water to stop cooking.
  • Heat oil in 9 inch deep cast iron skillet. Add onions and peppers, cook stirring until softened about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add chicken, tomatoes, broth, corn, beans, 1 cup wagon wheel pasta, chili powder, cumin, Ranch seasoning and cilantro.
  • Stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve.


Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 931IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: chicken chili, chicken chili recipe, chicken pasta dish, chicken pasta recipe, chili mac, chili mac and cheese, chili mac recipe, easy chicken pasta recipe
photo collage of chicken chili mac
71 Responses
  1. Anna

    I’ve made this several times and the measurements just seem off. The recipe says 8 oz of pasta but doesn’t say if it should be cooked or not. Then in the general instructions it says 1 cup. Also the directions omit when to add the corn. The Rotel Tomatoes are what makes the soup very spicy. I love spice but I cook a whole box of pasta and still 1 can is spicy. I just think a quick recheck of ingredients and portions would be good to do.

  2. Julie Thomas

    This is a hit! I used macaroni pasta and we add cheese and sour cream to the bowl and everyone is happy! Great leftovers too which is a bonus for making midweek life that much better!

  3. Julie

    This meal was not only very easy to make, but it was well received by even the PICKIEST eater in our family. Granted she picked out the corn and the bell peppers, but with some cheese mixed in, my little gal was very pleased. Others in the family added a little sour cream in addition to the shredded cheese that topped off our bowls. Great and easy one-pot meal.
    A true review from my littlest gal that she would like to add is: “Yum, yum, yum. I love this meal” – from Sally

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    楽天ブランドコピーはボッテガヴェネタコピーのバッグのをご紹介します。ブランドコピー,商品の 代引き販売.2015春夏新作 BOTTEGA VENETA?ボッテガヴェネタコピー?財布 新品 ヴィンテージ ラムスキン 編み込み L字ファスナー 長財布こちらは業界一人気のボッテガ?ヴェネタスーパーコピー専門ショップです!5年間以上 のボッテガ?ヴェネタコピー品販売実績を持っている信用できるスーパーコピーボッテガ?ヴェネタ専門店!当店はボッテガヴェネタ 財布 コピー を激安で通販しているネット専門店です。ボッテガ ラウンドファスナー財布コピーやボッテガヴェネタ二つ折財布コピーなどを取り揃えてい ます。全商品はプロの目にも分からないボッテガ財布スーパーコピーN品です。 楽天ブランドコピーはボッテガヴェネタコピーのバッグのをご紹介します。ボッテガヴェネタ新作のスーパーコピーボッテガ?ヴェネタ商品満載。ブランドコピーボッテガヴェネタ商品は人気商品です。是非ご覧 ください。

  5. Diana

    Want to make this but is it supposed to be the whole 8 oz. box of pasta like it says in the ingredients or the one cup of pasta after it is cooked like in the directions where is says to add it? Confused. Thank you for your help

  6. Charise

    Made this for my family and they loved it, though I used sausage instead of chicken cuz that’s all i had on hand lol and i’ll probably use a bit less of the cumin next time but its definitely a keeper recipe

  7. Rachel

    I have loved all of your recipes that I have made, but this one was a total miss. When a recipe calls for 8oz of pasta, that generally means 8oz of DRY pasta, not ONE CUP. I made it exactly as the recipe called for and it was bland and soupy. Really not thrilled with this. Thanks for posting though!

  8. Emily M.

    This was great. Are you sure about the Tablespoon of cumin though? I used a teaspoon and a half or so and it was plenty cumin-y and I’m a cumin lover. Just curious! Thanks, it was GREAT! I added jalapeno peppers. Super yum.

  9. Tannis

    I made this last night and it is was so good. I put chicken in the crockpot to cook while I was at work. Actually had my daugther shred it in the afteroon then came home from work and threw it all together. This is a keeper!! Loved the flavors.

  10. Lilah

    I am a kid and my mom has been doing bad on the dinner menu so I love your website!!!!!!! Thanks for being awesome!

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