Instant pot macaroni and cheese is the perfect recipe for a family favorite. This quick and easy recipe gets you creamy, delicious mac and cheese in just a few minutes!
The following recipe for Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese was created by my teenage son, who loves Mac n’ Cheese.
He previously made a one pot stove top version, but when we purchased our new Instant Pot he quickly converted, raving that it was so much easier! He’s been making it for lunch for himself and his siblings since he was 12 years old.
The instant pot makes it so simple! You get creamy, homemade mac and cheese without standing over a hot pot stirring noodles for 10 minutes.
Just throw the pasta, water, butter and a dash of salt into the pressure cooker. Place the lid on the pot and allow it to cook for 4 minutes (that’s a total of maybe 10 minutes if you include the time it takes to come to pressure). Stir in milk and shredded cheeses and it’s done!
Easy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese:
You will need:
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni
- 2 T butter
- A dash of salt
- 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%, NOT evaporated milk!)
- 2-3 cups cheddar cheese- or a combination of your favorite cheeses
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Here’s how to make it:
Place the water, pasta, salt and butter in the bowl of your Instant pot and stir
Place the lid on your pot and hit the manual button and set the cook time for 4 minutes
Allow the pot to come to pressure, when the timer beeps do a quick release
One the pot has depressurized, hit the saute button and add the milk to the pasta.
Stir well and allow it to cook, while stirring for about 2-3 minutes or until the liquid shows signs of boiling
Stir in the cheese and mix until it is completely melted Remove the bowl from the pot to prevent burning on the bottom
Variations on this Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Use broth. Using chicken broth instead of water adds a whole new layer of flavors to your homemade mac and cheese. I like to use bone broth sometimes to add in extra nutrients and protein!
Mix up the cheese. I tend to make this with cheddar only (and maybe a little Parmesan) since I am serving to picky kids. But mixing in a variety of cheeses will make this so much better. Mix and match your favorite cheeses- just make sure it’s about 3 cups total cheese.
Spice it up! Again, we serve this plain (kids!) but adding in spices like garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, onion powder, or even some hot sauce will add new layers of flavor that you will love!
Mix in Favorites. Macaroni and cheese is great plain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix in a little something extra to make it a more complete meal or side dish. Try mixing in things like bacon pieces, ham, sausage, or vegetables like broccoli!
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese
Like many pasta’s this mac and cheese recipe gets drier the longer it sits. The noodles just suck all the moisture out of it!
While it’s better served fresh, you can definitely reheat leftovers (my son actually prefers it reheated!)
To reheat the Mac and Cheese, simply place a bowl in the microwave and heat at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it is heated through.
You can add a splash of milk to add a little moisture if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Don’t have an instant pot? You can also find my son’s One Pot Mac n’ Cheese recipe for an easy, one pot meal!
Try out my other Instant Pot recipes: Instant Pot Chili and Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos!
This worked great! We just got an instant pot and are loving it. I thought it was a little chewy so I’ll add another 1/4 cup of water next time. My 13 yr old son made it.
Will this work with whole wheat macaroni?
I would assume so…you would have to play around with the liquid amount and probably cook it a few minutes longer.
I tried this and like it. I think I will try 5 or 6 minutes. I also added 2 tbsp of flour to the milk as it heated up as I tried another instant pot recipe with no flour and didn’t like it as much as a proper roux.
All in all, super quick and yummy.
My daughter made this, her first time trying out the Instant Pot. She’s 17 and it was a huge success. She turned it into a carbonara by adding some dry fried ham. It’s a great little recipe. I wanted to let your son know on his blog but I couldn’t get it to work. So pass it on to him!
Mine was very liquidy and the cheese clumped up. Any ideas?
followed the recipe. I need more milk at the end as it was on the drier side, and a bit more milk for personal preference. Was very good. Homemade mac and cheese without the processed power. Was too cheesy for my hubby. But he likes Kraft Dinner. Will make make.
May add a bit of diced jalepanos to it for a kick
My cheese was just a big ball of slime and it was very watery. Any ideas?
My cheese ended up very stringy. Ideas on how to stop that from happening?
I did this recipe and used Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup. It was delicious…….
Question: How many does this serve?
Needed to cook the pasta longer, another 2-3 minutes. I love how quick it was, the cheese did great but the recipe dried out quickly and I added extra milk.
I will continue to play with it. I do not eat pasta so I am depend on my husband and son to critique.
If you double the recipe, should you double the cooking time as well?