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Mac and Cheese in a brown bowl on a wooden board and blue napkin

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is simple, creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Make this fast in your electric pressure cooker, and in one pot!

Course Dinner, pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword pressure cooker mac and cheese recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 497 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 4 cups Water or Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt (optional, but it adds a nice flavor)
  • A Few Dashes of Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 16 oz Pasta (1 lb macaroni, penne, shells, etc.) 4 cups of macaroni May vary for your type of pasta
  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I prefer sharp cheddar, freshly shredded for creamiest result)
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded fresh
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Heavy Cream (or half and half, or 1 can evaporated milk, or whole milk) Add enough to get desired creaminess.


  1. Turn Instant Pot on Sauté mode by pressing the Sauté button.

  2. Add the water, butter, ground mustard, salt, and seasoned salt to the Instant Pot and bring to a simmer.

  3. Cancel the Sauté mode.

  4. Stir in the pasta and close the lid. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.

  5. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button and use the + or - button to choose 4 minutes (or half of the time the pasta package directions recommends).

  6. When the cooking cycle ends, do a 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 steam.

  7. When the pin in the lid drops, open the pot and give the contents a stir. You want some liquid in there, but if it looks too watery, take some out.

  8. Add the cheeses, half at a time, and stir. Let it melt before next step.

  9. Add the cream and stir until creamy and blended with the cheese.

  10. Adjust salt to taste.

  11. Cover and let sit for a few minutes to soak everything up.

  12. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

The mac and cheese thickens up as it cools. If you need to loosen it up, just add more milk as needed.