Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a dream come true! Let your pressure cooker create perfectly cooked and creamy pasta that both kids and adults will love. Done in 20 minutes, this side OR main dish cooks absolutely perfectly every single time!
We love a good ol’ batch of boxed mac and cheese in our house, but I’ve been on a quest for years to create a version that far exceeds that easy meal. A few years ago I perfected a slow cooker mac and cheese recipe and I make this version OFTEN, especially on holidays. Recently I’ve become mildly obsessed with my Instant Pot and knew I had to create a perfect mac and cheese recipe made in its magical walls.
I cannot even tell you how perfectly cooked the pasta turns out and how cheesy and delicious this recipe is. In standard Instant Pot fashion, this mac and cheese recipe turns out perfectly every single time with total consistency. NO burned or clumpy pasta, no pre-cooking necessary and this pot of perfection is done in 20 minutes from start to finish. It’s a cheesy, comforting miracle!
WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO TO SEE HOW TO MAKE MAC AND CHEESE IN YOUR PRESSURE COOKER!
Enjoy the step-by-step video tutorial we have created for this recipe! Our goal is to make your time in the kitchen as easy as possible and to ensure that your version of this recipe is a success. See our full collection of cooking and baking videos on YouTube!
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY MAC AND CHEESE IN AN INSTANT POT!
Follow these simple steps to make the most perfect mac and cheese your lips will ever taste!
Add 16 ounces of elbow macaroni, 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth and/or water, 1/4 cup of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pressure cooker. Mix well.
Place the cover on the pot and set the timer to 5 minutes on high pressure (use the pressure cook setting). It will take the Instant Pot approximately 12 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking.
When the cooking is done, do an immediate quick release. Remove the cover and stir. Add the Velveeta, cheddar, mozzarella and milk and stir until creamy. The milk and cheeses work together to create the most creamy, cheesy version of mac and cheese you'll find! Serve immediately!
TIPS: MAKING INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE THE CREAMIEST AND DREAMIEST OF THEM ALL!
Use water or broth (or a combination of the two), but for optimal flavor I recommend using fully salted broth. YUM!
For a touch of spice (if that’s your thing!), add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
For an extra splash of flavor, add 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt!
Feel free to mix up the cheeses, not exceeding 4 cups and 3 different varieties total. Here are a few cheese options that have good flavor and also melt well: Mozzarella, cheddar, Velveeta (the loaf! the cheese loaf!), American, provolone, Gouda, Fontina, Gruyere and cream cheese.
Add milk 1/4 cup at a time if the mixture is too dry.
Just before serving, feel free to sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top for even MORE cheesiness!
For a touch of sweetness, replace the Mozzarella cheese AND regular milk with a 12-ounce can of evaporated milk.
HOW TO MAKE MAC AND CHEESE WITHOUT AN INSTANT POT
If you want to make this comforting food without busting out your pressure cooker, you have other options!
Here is a delicious stove top version of mac and cheese that involves cauliflower (this is a great way to sneak veggies into dinner!). If you wish to skip out on the cauliflower, replace it with 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, Mozzarella or Gruyere).
My Crockpot Mac and Cheese recipe is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make for holiday meals because you can set it and forget it until dinner is ready to serve.
BEST RECIPE TO MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT
Don’t limit yourself to mac and cheese, guys. The list of recipes you can make in an Instant Pot is endless! It can act as a slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker and pressure cooker. It can cook soup, chili, pasta, meat, potatoes, veggies, cake, beans and so much more. Here are just a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I love party food and this recipe is THE BEST kind of party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Here are some other options for you that will be easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
Fruit Pizza - The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
Taco Ranch Pasta Salad - This delicious pasta salad gets totally devoured at gatherings, no matter the season.
Sausage Cheese Dip - Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
7-Layer Taco Dip - This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you'll ever meet! It's the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
Crockpot Meatballs - These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Spinach Artichoke Dip - This hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a party staple! People always get excited about this dip and its so easy to make! It’s a filling, cheesy snack or appetizer that you can put on pita squares, crackers or chips. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
HOW TO CLEAN AN INSTANT POT
Keep your Instant Pot shiny, clean and scent-free by following these simple steps:
EXTERIOR - Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down any grease or gunk on the outside of the Instant Pot. Use a brush or the edge of a clean cloth to reach inside the rim to remove food that may have gotten stuck in the grooves. The exterior “housing” should never ever be immersed in liquid or run underwater.
INNER POT - The stainless steel inner pot can be hand-washed OR run through a dishwasher. See below tips for deep cleaning when needed.
COVER - The inside of the IP cover can usually just be wiped down with a clean cloth after use. If there is food stuck to the inside of the cover, remove the sealing ring and run the cover under hot water and scrub with a brush or cloth.
SEALING RING - The sealing ring can be easily removed from the Instant Pot and hand-washed with warm, soapy water OR run through a dishwasher when needed.
TRIVET - The trivet that is inserted into the Instant Pot can be scrubbed with a brush, hand-washed with warm, soapy water or run through a dishwasher.
DEEP CLEAN - If the inner pot starts to show signs that it needs a deep cleaning (cloudiness or discoloration), pour either 2 cups of white vinegar OR 2 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the pot. Place the cover on the pot and set to STEAM for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and remove the cover. Remove sealing ring and inner pot and allow to air dry.
Enjoy this creamy, dreamy, comfort food! Please stop back and let me know how it turned out for you. Thanks so much for being here, friends!