Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is easy, creamy, cheesy, and delicious. This is an Instant Pot Dump and Start recipe, and is so good. This pressure cooker mac and cheese recipe is perfect for a quick dinner!
So creamy, cheesy, and tasty! Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is a great beginner Instant Pot recipe.
Originally published on Sep 22, 2017
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is one of the best comfort foods. If you have an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, you can make this creamy mac and cheese recipe all in one pot. No need to boil or drain the pasta!
This easy Instant Pot recipe is one that I make over and over because it is so easy and delicious!
How to Make Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese
Add broth or water to the pot, plus butter and hot sauce. Add spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder).
Add the pasta to the pot, then stir it. Pressure cook the pasta.
After pressure cooking the pasta, stir in cheese, then stir in as much milk as you want.
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Tips For Pasta in the Instant Pot
- Make sure to measure your pasta, preferably by weighing. This recipe calls for 16-ounces of pasta, so that will look different in a measuring cup, depending on the type of pasta you are using. 16 oz is not always 2 cups.
- I highly recommend a food scale, or Google the type of pasta you are using if you aren’t sure what 16 oz looks like. For the small macaroni it is about 4 cups.
- With Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, you don’t drain the pasta! The starch stays in the pot and provides all the thickening you need. If you replace the water with chicken broth, the flavor will be richer (use low sodium!).
Liquid to Pasta Ratio
• This is the key to cooking pasta in the Instant Pot. Because the pasta cooks in the liquid (you don’t drain it), the ratio is important.
• The rule-of-thumb is 1 cup of liquid to 4-ounces of pasta. Again, a food scale is the best tool to measure pasta.
Tips For Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- For richer flavor, try using chicken broth as the cooking liquid. Low sodium chicken broth is best. If you don’t have low sodium, omit the salt in the recipe, then add salt to taste.
- Use seasoning. Pasta needs flavor added. I also add a little hot sauce to the cooking liquid. The hot sauce doesn’t make this spicy. It will add a nice flavor.
- Use a combination of cheeses for the best flavor. I like to use a mixture of sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack or mozzarella, and parmesan. When adding the cheese, do so a cup at a time, stirring well after each cup until it melts.
This is an easy, quick meal, and perfect for weeknights and those times when you don’t want to have to put together an elaborate meal. Just whip up some Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, and you’ll have your family running for the dinner table! Yay for the Instant Pot!
If you make this yummy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe, please let me know. Just leave a comment below with a star rating. I’d love to know how you liked it!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is simple, creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Make this fast in your electric pressure cooker, and in one pot!
- 4 cups Water or Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ¾ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Mustard (optional)
- A Few Dashes of Hot Sauce (optional, but it adds a nice flavor, not spicy)
- 16 oz Macaroni Pasta (1 lb, or penne, shells, etc.) weigh it for best results
- 2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (freshly shredded for creamiest result)
- 1 cup Shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella Cheese, freshly shredded is best
- ¼ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- ½ - 1 cup Milk (or half and half, evaporated milk) Add enough to get desired creaminess.
Add the water or broth, butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard, and hot sauce to the Instant Pot.
Stir in the pasta and close the lid. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button and use the +/- button to choose 4 minutes (or half of the time the pasta package directions recommends).
When the cook cycle ends, do a Controlled Quick Release of the pressure. Start slowly, using several small bursts of steam release, to make sure none of the sauce spews out with the steam (the butter usually helps keep the foam down). Then fully release the remaining steam.
When the pin in the lid drops back down, open the pot and give the contents a stir. You want some liquid in there, but if it looks too watery, take some out.
Add the cheeses, a cup at a time, and stir. Let it melt before next step.
Add the milk and stir until creamy and blended with the cheese.
Adjust salt to taste.
If it is too saucy, cover and let sit for a few minutes to soak everything up.
The mac and cheese thickens up as it cools. If you need to loosen it up, just add more milk as needed.
Resources to make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe and More
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