The best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe. A macaroni pasta smothered in a homemade creamy cheese sauce and ready in about 15 minutes.
Is it just me or do we all have days we don’t want to cook? Days we just want the kids to eat what we make? Nights when we just want dinner on the table in 15 minutes (when cold cereal doesn’t count)?
This EASY Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe will be ready in 15 minutes and your kids are gonna love it.
Unfortunately we still have to cook to eat BUT this recipe is so easy I don’t think you’ll even mind making it.
I love my Instant Pot. I have a 6 and 8 quart and am in the market for a small 3 quart. For this recipe, I like to use my 6-quart pot. If you haven’t invested in your own Instant Pot, make the plunge. It’s so worth it.
Here are some other recipes you can enjoy with your Instant Pot:
HOW DO YOU KEEP THE PASTA FROM DISINTEGRATING?
Good question and the answer is simple. To help the pasta not fall apart when pressure cooked in the Instant Pot, follow the recipe cook times and use the right size/shape of pasta. If using the right kind of pasta size/shape this recipe will come out perfect every time.
The secret is to cook it a little less than al dente (firm to the bit). This allows the pasta to finish cooking during the final steps of the recipe (adding the ingredients for the cheese sauce).
DO I DRAIN THE LIQUID AFTER THE PASTA HAS COOKED?
There will be a small amount of liquid after the pasta has cooked. This will be absorbed into the pasta and cheese sauce.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE LARGE SPIRAL PASTA?
You can also use LARGE elbow pasta. These noodles are much bigger than the elbow noodles that come in a box of mac and cheese.
You can use smaller pasta noodles but you may need to adjust the pressure cooking time by a minute or 2 less than this recipe calls for.
READY IN ABOUT 15 MINUTES!
This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe is so easy and ready in about 15 minutes.
Start by adding the first set of ingredients: chicken broth (or water and bouillon), salt/pepper, hot sauce and pasta noodles to the Instant Pot.
Set valve to the sealed position.
Set Instant Pot to manual high 6 minutes.
When timer beeps, immediately release pressure. This will take a minute or two. When the pressure is released, carefully open the lid.
“Fluff” the noodles with a large spoon. There will be some remaining liquid. That’s normal.
Add remaining ingredients: cheeses, milk/cream/half and half. Stir until all the cheese is melted. Add as much liquid as you like until your preferred consistency is achieved.
I prefer to make the sauce fairly thin as it will thicken as it cools.
This recipe is so easy and better than any box mac and cheese. We love making this easy macaroni and cheese for potlucks, family gatherings and, of course, the occasional quick and easy dinner!
HERE’S THE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE. ENJOY!
Cook in 6 or 8 qt Instant Pot:
- 2 lbs large spiral pasta
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp hot sauce (we like Frank’s Hot Sauce)
Add after pasta is cooked:
- 5-6 cups shredded cheese (at least 3 cups sharp cheddar then the rest cheddar jack and/or mozzarella)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I just used the grated kind that comes in the bottle)
- 1 ½ - 2 cups milk, half and half or cream (2% or whole milk if using milk)
1. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Cook on Manual High pressure for 6 minutes.
2. When timer beeps, immediately set valve to “venting” to release pressure. Be careful of the steam (you can use a spoon. This will take 1-2 minutes to release all the pressure before you can open the lid.
3. When pressure pin drops, carefully open lid.
4. “Fluff” pasta with a large spoon. There will still be some liquid in the bottom.
5. Add remaining ingredients:
• shredded cheese (at least 3 cups sharp cheddar then the rest cheddar jack and/or mozzarella)
• shredded parmesan cheese (I just used the grated kind that comes in the bottle)
• milk, half and half or cream (2% or whole milk if using milk)
6. Stir until creamy and smooth. Add additional liquid until desired consistency is achieved. ENJOY!
- This recipe can be halved. Cook times will remain the same.
- Pasta and sauce will thicken as it cools.
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