Discover the ultimate comfort food with our easy Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe. Indulge in creamy perfection with this quick and delicious dish.
This modern twist on a classic favorite brings together the convenience of the Instant Pot and the timeless allure of creamy, cheesy pasta. Get ready to savor every bite of this comforting delight that’s perfect for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and satisfying those mac and cheese cravings in no time.
Not only does this recipe take less than 20 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot, but it also only requires five ingredients!
This old-fashioned family favorite uses simple pantry staples, an Instant Pot, and a few minutes of your time!
This easy mac recipe will come in handy for busy nights when you need something quick or want to surprise someone with homemade comfort food without having much effort put into it.
Say goodbye to store-bought boxed mac and cheese – our recipe for 5-ingredient instant pot mac and cheese allows you to enjoy homemade goodness in record time.
Can You Cook Mac and Cheese in an Instant Pot?
Yes, you can absolutely cook mac and cheese in an Instant Pot! In fact, using an Instant Pot to make mac and cheese is a convenient and efficient way to prepare this classic comfort food. Here’s how to do it!
How to Make 5 Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz elbow noodles or a different pasta
- 4 cups water or chicken broth
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cups shredded cheese
- 1 tsp ground mustard, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder
Place elbow noodles and water into the inner pot liner.
Make sure the pasta is submerged.
Stir and lock the lid into position.
Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to the “Sealing” position, and select the “Manual” or “Pressure Cooker” mode for 4 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, perform a quick pressure release by carefully turning the valve to “Venting.” Wait for the steam to fully release and the float valve to drop before opening the lid.
If there is water left, you can strain it carefully.
Stir in evaporated milk and butter until melted.
Slowly stir in the shredded cheese until melted.
Stir well until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. If needed, you can set the Instant Pot to the Saute mode on low to help melt the cheese while stirring gently.
Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste; stir.
Feel free to customize the recipe by adding other ingredients like cooked bacon, vegetables, or different types of cheeses to suit your preferences.
Serve your mac and cheese immediately.
What to serve with mac and cheese?
Homemade Mac and cheese is a versatile and comforting dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some delicious side dish options to serve alongside mac and cheese for a complete meal:
- A fresh green salad
- Roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or carrots add a satisfying crunch and a touch of healthy goodness to your meal.
- Serve slices of garlic bread, cornbread or biscuits to scoop up the cheesy goodness of the mac and cheese.
- Fried chicken
- BBQ Pulled Pork
- Roasted ham
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese FAQs
For best results when making creamy macaroni and cheese, use real cheese, not a cheese sauce. Use your favorite cheese or a variety of cheeses. Our favorites are: medium medium cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, fontina cheese and mozzarella.
Yes, but I recommend you dilute it, using 6oz heavy cream and a half cup water, since the heavy cream has so much fat. You can also substitute the evaporated milk for regular milk or whole milk.
Reheat your on the stove top on medium high heat. Or, you can reheat portions in a small bowl in the microwave.
You can store your cheesy pasta in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Yes, you can use the “Keep Warm” function on an Instant Pot to keep mac and cheese warm after it’s been cooked. The “Keep Warm” function is designed to maintain a low and consistent temperature, preventing your food from cooling down too quickly while ensuring it stays safe to eat.
Here’s how to reheat mac and cheese in the instant pot:
Place the leftover mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, on top of the trivet or directly in the pot. Close Lid and Set “Steam” Mode. Depending on the amount of mac and cheese and how cold it is, you’ll only need a few minutes to reheat it. Start with 1-2 minutes for a small amount and up to 4-5 minutes for larger portions. Once the cooking cycle is complete, you can either allow for a natural release (letting the pressure drop on its own) or perform a quick release by turning the valve to “Venting.” Stir and serve.
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- 16 oz elbow noodles
- 4 cups water
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 16 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 oz shredded fontina cheese
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Place elbow noodles and water into the Instant Pot liner.
- Stir and lock the lid into position.
- Set the vent to sealing and press Manual for 4 minutes.
- Once the Instant Pot timer beeps, release pressure and remove the lid.
- If there is water left, you can strain it carefully.
- Stir in evaporated milk and butter until melted.
- Slowly stir in shredded cheeses until melted.
- Add seasonings and stir.
- Serve immediately.