Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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5 from 5 votes
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is heaven in a bowl! It combines the quick and ease of use of the Instant Pot with the sinful deliciousness of  creamy Macaroni and Cheese.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Time to come to pressure: 8 minutes
Total: 11 minutes
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is heaven in a bowl! It combines the quick and ease of the Instant Pot with the sinful deliciousness of creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a great beginner recipe for the Instant pot because it is fool proof and so good. The entire dish is made right in the pressure cooker.  There are no extra dishes to clean and everything is ready in about 11 minutes!

If you are dipping your toe into the Instapot craze. My Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners is a great place to find some quick and easy dinner ideas.


MORE MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Veal Cheeseburger Macaroni | Air Fryer Mac & Cheese Bites | Mac and Cheese with Ham

Mongolian pork on plate
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What We Love About This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • 11 Minute Meal: Hardly any mess and it is a super quick meal.
  • Easy Ingredients: All found in pantry or fridge and only a few ingredients. It is the perfect side dish.
  • Family Friendly: Everyone loves mac and cheese. Truly it is a real crowd pleaser.
  • Adaptable: Can make it low-carb, meat free, etc.
A blue plate of the Mac & Cheese with the instant pot in the background.

Ingredient Notes for Mac and Cheese Instant Pot Recipe

  • Dry Pasta: Elbows, cavatappi, rotini or fun pasta shapes for children.
  • All Purpose Season Blend: A special blend of seasoning, such as black pepper and garlic powder etc. mixed and ready to go.
  • Dry Ground Mustard: It gives just a little extra something to the cheese sauce.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted to add a creaminess to the macaroni and cheese.
  • Cream Cheese: This makes a super creamy sauce for the best Mac and Cheese.
  • Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese are used in this cheesy sauce recipe.

Equipment Needed for Instant Pot Mac n Cheese

How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

These are the basic steps for making great recipe for macaroni and cheese instant pot recipe. Please refer to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions and nutritional information.

Making the pasta for the Mac and Cheese.

STEP 1: MEASURE

First, measure out your Pasta and add to Instant Pot. Next add water to Instant Pot and then add Dry Mustard, and All Purpose Seasoning to the top of the pasta. 

STEP 2: COOK

Dollop Butter on top of your Pasta in the Instant pot and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes with a quick pressure release. Stir in cream cheese and allow to melt then pour in 1/4 cup of milk stir again. The use of a good nonstick spatula is a handy tool to use here.

STEP 3: STIR

Lastly, top with the remaining cheese and again stir until combined. Finally, stir in additional milk until you get to the consistency that you desire. You may not have to use all the milk.

Making the cheese sauce in the instant pot.

Prep and Storage Tips for Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

HOW TO MAKE THIS PERFECT RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME

Shred your cheese ahead of time and place in ziptop bags or other airtight container. The recipe only really takes minutes.

HOW TO STORE THIS EASY INSTANT POT RECIPE

This recipe for homemade mac will last up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator for the best comfort foods.

HOW TO FREEZE THIS ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD RECIPE

Place in a freezer bag or airtight container and store in the freezer for up to months.

HOW TO REHEAT THIS RECIPE

Warm through in the microwave or on the stove top in a sauce pan add a splash of whole milk.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE HEALTHIER?

Use gluten Free pasta or low fat cheeses and cream cheese.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE DIFFERENT CHEESES?

Ahh, cheese. The numerous nuances and flavors of cheese is what makes this dish a star. Use good cheddar cheese because of its meltability, Monterey Jack because of the flavor and cream cheese because it is what adds the creamy perfection to the dish. You can mix it up and use whatever cheese you like, though.  Some of my other favorites are fontina, smoked cheddar and Colby Jack.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED OR HALVED?

Indeed, adjust the amount for the number of people that you are serving. The cook time will need to be adjusted accordingly.

WHAT TYPE OF PASTA IS BEST FOR THIS DELCIOUS MAC AND CHEESE?

Any pasta that will hold the cheese sauce, avoid flat noodles for the best flavor.

A close up on the Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese.

Expert Tips for Making This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipes

  • Adult Version: Preplace the Monterey Jack cheese with Smoked Gouda and finish off with a little truffle oil to this pressure cooker recipes.
  • Meat: Cooked diced sausage, ham or bacon are an exceptional addition to this creamiest mac and cheese.
  • Grate: Grate your own cheese for a great fresh flavor.
  • Crunchy Top: Transfer to a casserole dish and add bread crumbs and broil for a few minutes for this easy instant pot macaroni.
  • Italian Version: Fontina cheese for a butter flavor and parmesan cheese on top.
  • Hot Sauce: Add your favorite or a little cayenne pepper for a little heat to the perfect mac and cheese for extra flavor.

What to Serve with Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
5 from 5 votes

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 6 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
Time to come to pressure: 8 minutes
Total: 11 minutes
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is heaven in a bowl! It combines the quick and ease of use of the Instant Pot with the sinful deliciousness of  creamy Macaroni and Cheese.
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups pasta, I prefer elbows, cavatappi or rotini
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon All Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  • Add pasta, water, House Seasoning Blend, dry mustard and butter to the Instant Pot.
  • Set Instant Pot to cook on Manual for 6 minutes.
  • When cooking is finished, quick release the pressure.
  • There will still be some liquid in the pot – do not drain it.
  • Stir in the cream cheese and allow it to melt.
  • Slowly stir in 1/4 cup milk until combined.
  • Add the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses and stir to combine.
  • Slowly stir in remaining milk until you reach your desired consistency. You may not need all of the remaining milk.

Expert Tips

  • Adult Version: Preplace the Monterey Jack cheese with Smoked Gouda and finish off with a little truffle oil.
  • Meat: Cooked diced sausage, ham or bacon are an exceptional addition.
  • Grate: Grate your own cheese for a great fresh flavor.
  • Crunchy Top: Transfer to a casserole dish and add bread crumbs and broil for a few minutes.
  • Italian Version: Fontina cheese for a butter flavor and parmesan cheese on top.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 812IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 485mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot, macaroni and cheese, pressure cooker

This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe.  I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible for the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.

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