Instant Pot Mac and Cheese — Don’t take all day! We know you’re busy, but don’t let your love of macaroni and cheese suffer because of it. With the Instant Pot, you can make a comforting dish in less than 10 minutes. Learn how to make this perfect potluck staple with our recipe below!
Reading this blog post may make you hungry. You don’t have to wait for the oven to preheat or worry about stirring and watching over a pot of boiling water. The Instant Pot makes macaroni and cheese so easy! It cooks it in minutes so you can enjoy your favorite comfort food without much hassle. All you need is a package of pasta, some shredded cheddar cheese, butter, milk, and it’s so good! Throw everything in the Instant Pot and set the timer for 5-6 minutes. Then you will make dinner before you know it!
Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is a time-consuming endeavor, but it’s much easier when you make this Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe. You can whip up this delicious family favorite in less than 15 minutes with your handy pressure cooker!
This dish is perfect for a cold holiday night or any day of the year!
If you love easy and delicious Instant Pot Pasta Recipes, some of my favorites are INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITA PASTA, INSTANT POT PASTA, FETA, AND TOMATOES, INSTANT POT PASTA CARBONARA, and INSTANT POT COPYCAT CHILI’S CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA.
What Is Mac And Cheese?
Macaroni and cheese is a dish that is loved by children and adults alike. It can be eaten as a side or served as the main course for dinner. The recipe varies from region to region, and some regions have their own signature macaroni and cheese dish, while others use different cheeses in their recipes than others.
One thing they all have in common though is the pasta noodles for this dish! Almost every single macaroni and cheese recipe is made with elbow macaroni. Elbow macaroni is the perfect way to get the most flavor in every piece of pasta.
Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Mild Cheddar Cheese
- Heavy Cream
- Parmesan Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Elbow Macaroni
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- Black Pepper
How To Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Grate the mild cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese, then set them aside (it is better to grate these cheeses fresh as pre-grated cheese is coated in either cornflour or cellulose which will make your Mac and Cheese thick and gloopy).
Pour the macaroni pasta into the instant pot container.
Pour the chicken broth and water into the instant pot container (do not stir as this will make your Mac and Cheese gloopy and thick due to the starches being released).
Spoon in the required salt. Close the lid and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, do a quick-release on the instant pot and immediately open the lid (or it will continue cooking).
Turn the instant pot on low, sauté mode for 1 minute and add the mild cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, and black pepper.
Stir the Mac and Cheese until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Water (Liquid): Add enough water to cover the noodles. Otherwise, you will end up with dried-out pasta. For best results, press your pasta down with a spatula and then cove the water slightly over the pasta.
Cheese: Shred your own cheese for best results since the pre-shredded cheese has cellulose in the cheese. It is always better to grate these cheeses fresh as pre-grated cheese is coated in either cornflour or cellulose, which will make your Mac and Cheese thick and gloopy.
Thickening: As time goes on, you will notice that your homemade Instant Pot Mac and Cheese will start to thicken. If you want to thin it down, add some milk, and mix well.
Seasoning: Add any of your favorite flavors. I often add some hot sauce or sriracha sauce for my son, who loves all things spicy.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE:
There are several different kinds of cheese that you can use for your sauce. Gruyère, Gouda, Fontina, and Mozzarella will all give the same smooth sauce, while Colby Jack is also great! Do not be afraid to experiment with other combinations, though- it’s always fun trying new things in cooking 🙂
This is a great way to get some protein into your Mac & Cheese Lover’s mouth. I love to add some protein. My favorites are cooked bacon, ham, pulled pork, and even shredded pork or chicken!
If you want to make a vegetarian Mac and Cheese, I recommend using vegetarian broth. But, you can also use chicken or beef broth, depending on which protein you are using. You can also use all water.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make your mac and cheese a little more interesting, try topping it with some extra ingredients. You can transfer the cooked cheesy mixture into a baking dish before putting on top either buttered panko breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz crackers, then broil until crispy! (you can also add the dish to the air fryer for a few minutes to get a crispy topping)
A less common add-in, but you can add broccoli, cauliflower, even shredded carrots! Another great way to sneak vegetables into your child’s pasta!
MAKING INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE AHEAD OF TIME
Mac and cheese can indeed be great, even better, when made ahead. But this particular recipe dries out in your fridge as the pasta absorbs more sauce over time- so make it before or right away!
I love making my own homemade version of this comfort food–it just doesn’t quite compare to what you get from scratch with fresh ingredients like milk instead of store-bought macaroni and cheese.
Add any leftovers that you have into an airtight container, and place them into the refrigerator. Best if eaten within 2 to 3 days.
You can reheat the macaroni and cheese by adding a couple of fo tablespoons of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter, which will help to rehydrate it. Mix well, and heat either in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
MORE INSTANT POT PASTA RECIPES:
- INSTANT POT CHICKEN FAJITA PASTA
- INSTANT POT PASTA, FETA, AND TOMATOES
- HOW TO MAKE PASTA RONI IN THE INSTANT POT
- INSTANT POT PASTA CARBONARA
- INSTANT POT GROUND BEEF AND PASTA
- 2 cups mild cheddar cheese
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tbs butter
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1 Tsp salt
- 3.5 cups dry macaroni pasta
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 Tsp black pepper
- Grate the mild cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese, then set them aside (it is better to grate these cheeses fresh as pre-grated cheese is coated in either cornflour or cellulose which will make your Mac and Cheese thick and gloopy).
- Pour the macaroni pasta into the instant pot container.
- Pour the chicken broth and water into the instant pot container (do not stir as this will make your Mac and Cheese gloopy and thick due to the starches being released).
- Spoon in the required salt.
- Close the lid and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, do a quick-release on the instant pot and immediately open the lid (or it will continue cooking).
- Turn the instant pot on low, sauté mode for 1 minute and add the mild cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, and black pepper.
- Stir the Mac and Cheese until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Serve immediately.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 877Total Fat: 67gSaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 203mgSodium: 1809mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
ForkToSpoon.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.