AddInstant Pot Mac and Cheese is a game changer. Ready in less then 15 minutes with the same level of cheesy creaminess that we all love but with half the effort and time.
Making Mac and cheese is a favorite in our home! Try these delicious ways of creating a cheesy pasta with these fun recipes: Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese or Mac and Cheese Cups.
Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Who else agrees that the Instant Pot is the future? Its hands down my favorite kitchen gadget especially when it comes to easy, one pot recipes like this mac and cheese. You won’t believe how hands free this recipe is. It’s literally dump and cook which is how I wish dinner would be every single day.
Everybody loves a good mac and cheese but every mac and cheese is not made the same. This one has everything right — pasta cooked to perfection, creamy cheese sauce without any floury aftertaste, flavor, flavor, flavor and its ready in less time than it takes to boil pasta!
Homemade Mac and Cheese
We have all the usual suspects for mac and cheese plus a little extra to make this taste really really good.
Here’s a complete list of what you’ll need:
- Dried Pasta: any small variety of pasta will do
- Stock and Water: For flavor and to cook the pasta
- Butter: to keep things from sticking to each other and to add flavor
- Paprika and Mustard Powder: to balance out the cheese
- Garlic and Onion Powder: both these are flavor bombs
- Heavy Cream: to create the creamy sauce
- Lots of Cheese of course!
Creamy Mac and Cheese
It starts with dumping everything except the cream and cheese in the Instant Pot. We want most of the pasta to be submerged in the liquid to help it cook well. And then the Instant Pot does its thing.
After a lot of testing, we’ve figured that short pasta takes 4 minutes to cook with immediate manual pressure release. Any longer and the pasta starts to over cook. I bet this is one dinner that’ll make everyone happy. Trust me when I say, you’ll never make mac and cheese any other way again!
Top Tips for Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
We’ve eaten a lot of mac and cheese in our time, and tested many many bowls in the Instant Pot, and here are our top tips for the best bowl of comfort food:
- Use the ratios we’ve listed in the recipe. For every 4 ounces of short pasta, you’ll need 1 cup of liquid
- Paprika and Mustard powder help balance the cheese and cut through the saltiness and the creaminess, so we highly recommend you use them
- There will be some extra liquid in the pot when you open it, and thats what will help create that nice silky sauce for the pasta so don’t be tempted to drain it. You’ll see how things come together as you mix in the heavy cream and cheese
- DO NOT use pre-shredded cheese because it usually contains a substance that prevents it from clumping and melting well. Its worth it to shred your own cheese for this recipe
- This is one of those dishes that is best served immediately. It doesn’t do very well as a leftover as the pasta keeps soaking up the sauce as it cools
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Homemade Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Salsa erde Chicken Tacos
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounce dried Macaroni or Elbow Pasta
- 2 cups reduced sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Water
- 3 Tablespoon Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 3 cups shredded Cheddar
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Add pasta, chicken broth, water, butter, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder and black pepper to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Press the pasta gently with a spoon to submerge it, but don't mix it.
- Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing. Manually set to pressure cook for 4 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off and beeps, release pressure immediately by carefully turning the valve from sealing to venting. Let all the pressure release and open the lid.
- You'll see a little residual liquid in the pot which is normal. Mix in heavy cream and cheese in batches till you get a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve immediately.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
We made this tonight and it was delicious! I was a little worried at how much liquid was left in the pot after releasing the pressure but it thickened up after adding the cheese and letting it sit for a minute. I made some breadcrumbs with rosemary and red pepper flakes to sprinkle on top for some crunch. Can’t wait to make it again!