Gluten-free Chili Mac (dairy-free & keto option)

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This Gluten-free Chili Mac is a super easy dinner that the whole family will love! It comes together in one pan, and has a dairy-free option too!

gluten free chili mac in white bowl with spoon

I am always looking for easy healthy meals like our Pakistani Kima, Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets, Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie, Homemade Hamburger Helper, and Oven Barbecued Chicken. and this One Pan Egg Roll in a Bowl.

So you know I was thrilled to get this Healthy Chili Mac Recipe from Tessa of Tessa Domestic Diva. I love Tessa’s selection of healthy, attractive, and special diet friendly recipes (she’s got a beautiful site as well.)  I hope you enjoy this post by Tessa as she shares with us some quick, easy, and healthful options for getting dinner on the table—FAST!  

I can’t tell you how many times people around me have lamented how they wish they had more time to cook and put wholesome dinners down for their family every night.

Regardless of your time constraints: it IS possible.  

The key is pre-planning and picking the right recipes that cook quickly or in a crock-pot while you’re away managing your busy day.

Take a moment to organize yourself!  You will be saving yourself loads of money AND eating more healthy, wholesome foods than the grab and go fare you find in most grocery stores.

Best of all, you get to control what goes into your food.  Let me show you how!  With a little practice, this process of pre-planning should not take more than 30 minutes (unless you’re like me and adore pouring through recipe sources for pleasure!)

gluten free chili mac being prepared in pan

Tips for Easy Meals

1.  I have a post on how to menu plan to help you learn how to get the ball rolling.

2.  Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to take stock of items that need to be used up.

3.  Pick your recipes.
  Avoid recipes that have long cooking times or loads of prep work, save these for weekend cooking when you may have more time.

4.  Make a grocery list
.  Whatever recipes you pick, make a corresponding grocery list to pick up the things you do not already have on hand.  As I mentioned in my above menu-planning post, I keep pre-printed grocery lists on hand for this.  I group the foods I need by type and have them on my list in the order I hit them in my favorite store.

5.  Grocery shop with your list in hand.  STICK TO IT to ensure you are only spending money on items you’ll use. We do this as a family (even with all the “bumps” shopping with kids entails).  You may prefer to do it alone.  An organized list helps you move through the store efficiently, and I give my older kids jobs to help the process.

6. Enjoy your newfound health and freedom!  It feels good to feed your family well, and it is entirely possible and worth it.  Less stress is better for your body too…but I didn’t need to tell you that, did I?!

Here are some quick and easy recipes to get you started.

Recipe Notes

  • For tips on peeling garlic, see the Easiest Way to Peel Garlic.
  • I used diced tomatoes, but pureed them w/ my immersion blender first.  The puree hides the big chunks of tomatoes that my kids won’t eat.
  •  Here are some tips for making bone broth. This Homemade Veggie Broth works as well. If you’d prefer to buy broth, this company has amazing broth.
  • For gluten-free noodles, I really love Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows. Use veggie noodles, spaghetti squash or these noodles for a low-carb option.) Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta is also quite good.
  • TIP: Add any additional vegetables to this.  I bet bell peppers, carrots, spinach, or cabbage would all be good!
  • If you would like to top with garnishes, avocado slices, pickled jalapeños, hot sauce, fresh lime, shredded cabbage are all great options.
  • Grain-free Option: can be made grain-free using Konjac or another grain-free noodle.
hands scooping gluten free chili mac into bowl with wooden spoon


Can I make this with regular pasta and if so, do I need to adjust the amount of liquid?

Gluten free pasta tends to absorb more water than regular, but I see other non gluten free chili mac recipes that use even less liquid than this one and I have made this recipe with regular pasta and it turned out just fine.

hands holding gluten free chili mac with dairy free cheese in bowl
hands scooping gluten free chili mac into bowl with wooden spoon

Healthy Chili Mac (gluten free)

This Gluten Free Chili Mac is a breeze to make and tastes great–it's sure to become a family fave that you'll want in your meal rotation!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo
Keyword: gluten free chili mac
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 469kcal



  • Preheat a 10-12″ skillet with a tight fitting lid over medium heat.
  • Add the oil.
  • Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Crumble the ground meat and add in the garlic, stirring to break the meat up.
  • When browned, add in tomato paste, canned tomatoes, beef broth, oregano, and chili powder.  Stir to combine.
  • Mix in the noodles.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover.  Cook until the noodles are al dente, about 7-10 minutes.  The noodles will continue to soak up liquid as it sits, so don’t worry if it seems thin at first.
  • Stir in cheddar shreds until melted.  Serve with preferred garnishes.


Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 541IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 4mg | Net Carbs: 59g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

More Quick and Easy Meals:

Quick & Easy 2 Ingredient Pulled Pork

2-Ingredient Pulled Pork

Warm Chicken BLT Salad

Warm Chicken BLT Salad

Korean Fried Cauliflower Rice

Bibimbap - Paleo Korean Fried Rice

Easy and Yummy Bean Dip

(everyone asks for this recipe — not low carb but delicious!)

Vegan Black Bean Dip - gluten-free, healthy, easy, whole30, dairy-free, low fat

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets

Plate of chicken nuggets and a small bowl of ketchup

Indian Lentils

(ready in as little as 9 minutes – not low carb)

Indian Lentils on plate with Cauliflower Rice - next to serving bowl and 2 forks

What is YOUR favorite super quick meal?

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Recipe Rating



  1. Perhaps I was to cook the pasta before putting it in the chili?
    This is a Brown Rice Fusili and it expanded outrageously big! I’ll try a different pasta next time. Flavor was better before adding the liquid. I also probably should have added more chili powder.

  2. Im cooking it this minute! Had to test some and it was delicious but my tinkyada fusili needs lots more liquid and longer cooking! So far I’ve had to add 30oz of creamy tomato soup and 2 more cups beef broth. ,

  3. Recipe looks really yummy and easy! We will have to give this a try soon! I bet it freezes well also!

  4. Excellent post, Tessa, with some wonderful hints and tips and links to some very delicious recipes! I really like your Healthy Chili Mac too!

  5. Great recipe there – sounds healthy and tasty!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  6. This chili sound so yummy. I love the tips for creating menus. I don’t do it as often but every so often, I focus in cooking using what’s on the pantry without buying anything else until I use it all, and have come up with some great recipes!

    1. I cook that way too. Luckily I had the ingredients for this one in my pantry the other night. Changed it up a little but it was good!

  7. Your Chili Mac looks awesome. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. I switched to eating mostly Paleo for myself this week while still cooking regular real food for my family. I wanted to get the wheat out of my diet to see if that would help with my nasal congestion. It’s working! The nasal congestion is better, and I have more energy. I’m chronicling my changes at my new local food/cooking blog:

    I like that you mentioned the meals that are freezer-friendly. In these busy times of baseball and soccer, while I love cooking, I can’t always cook a full meal. Though, I do need to make a little extra time for the short-cuts to help me save time in the long run.

  9. Just made this for dinner, so good, huge hit! I didn’t have elbow shapes so I broke up the last of 2 boxes of spaghetti noodles and called it chili spaghetti. Thanks for posting it!

  10. Mmm, this sounds yummy. My daughter has celiac disease and we all eat Tinyada pasta. It’s good, huh?! Thanks for posting this recipe. I pinned it on pinterest!

  11. too true Alea! The irony right? I try and explain to that to my husband when he wants to eat out…I can have the food on the table quicker than the time it would take to go to a restaurant or wait for delivery!

  12. Great tips for serving your family healthy food. I find the pay off is worth the little bit of extra effort involved in cooking healthy food from scratch and when I cook fast and easy meals like you’ve shared I can do it in less time than it takes to heat a boxed pizza in the oven.

  13. Your Chili Mac sounds delicious! I love your tips on getting organized. I follow similar steps as well and it does save money, time, and especially frustration since I’m usually shopping with little kids. Thanks so much for sharing with the Hearth and Soul!