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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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A close up shot of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese in a bowl
Creamy and delicious, this extra cheesy Instant Pot mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and will make your taste buds come alive.
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Table of Contents
  1. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This easy Instant Pot mac and cheese is a creamy, homemade comfort food favorite we love. It’s absolutely delicious with tender pasta and lots of cheesy and yummy goodness.

A close up shot of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese in a bowl

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients

You’ll need:

  • 1 (16-ounce) box of uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley, optional garnish

PRO TIP:

We’d recommend grating your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese tends to be coated with a preservative that prevents it from melting well.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHICKEN BROTH: If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can substitute water plus ½ teaspoon of salt for the chicken broth. 

PAPRIKA: Add a dash of paprika to the mac and cheese mixture if you’d like a little extra seasoning.

How To Make This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Make sure to consult your Instant Pot manual to ensure you are using the correct settings for your specific model.

STEP ONE: Combine the uncooked noodles, broth, butter, and garlic powder in the Instant Pot.

noodles, broth, butter and garlic powder stirred in a pot

STEP TWO: Place and lock the lid.

STEP THREE: Set valve to sealing.

STEP FOUR: Press Manual Mode twice to turn off the keep warm function.

STEP FIVE: Set to High Pressure for 4 minutes.

STEP SIX: Perform a Quick Release as soon as the cycle is complete.

STEP SEVEN: Pour in the milk.

Milk poured into the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

STEP EIGHT: Add the cheeses.

STEP NINE: Stir continually until the cheese is totally melted and incorporated.

STEP TEN: Add salt and pepper to taste.

STEP ELEVEN: Serve hot.

How To Serve

I like to serve this creamy mac and cheese along with a fresh, crisp cucumber salad, steamed veggies, broccoli, or a tangy classic coleslaw salad as a side dish. 

Need more dinner inspiration? This bacon mac and cheese is always a winner. You won’t want to miss this classic chili mac, either.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container. If you have leftovers, it’s simple to reheat and serve again. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze homemade mac and cheese and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Wait until it is fully cooled then store in an airtight container.

REHEATING: As mac and cheese sits, the starches in the noodles dry out the dish. To combat this, you should add a splash of milk or cream before reheating. 

The rule of thumb is about a tablespoon of milk for every cup of mac and cheese you’re reheating.

a close up shot of a fork with a piece of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This homemade mac and cheese is creamy comfort food at its best — you’ll love it! With a creamy cheese sauce, this simple recipe is the kind of comfort food that is always sure to hit the spot. Our family loves this easy twist on a Southern, old-fashioned classic, made in an Instant Pot.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why did my cheese not melt properly?

If you are using pre-shredded cheese, it comes coated with a preservative that prevents it from melting well. It is best for this recipe to shred your own cheese.

How do I spice up my mac and cheese?

Adding some hot peppers such as jalapeños, a dash of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, or a spicy cheese would be great ways to make your creamy Instant Pot mac spicier.

Can I freeze this macaroni and cheese?

This cheesy macaroni can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.

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A close up shot of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese in a bowl

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

5 from 3 votes
Creamy and delicious, this extra cheesy Instant Pot mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food and will make your taste buds come alive.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounce box uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley, optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Combine the uncooked noodles, broth, butter, and garlic powder in the Instant Pot.
  • Place and lock the lid.
  • Set the valve to sealing.
  • Press the Manual Mode twice to turn off the keep warm function.
  • Set to High Pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Perform a Quick Release as soon as the cycle is complete.
  • Pour in the milk.
  • Add the cheeses.
  • Stir continually until the cheese is totally melted and incorporated.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

  • We’d recommend grating your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese tends to be coated with a preservative that prevents it from melting well.
  • Make sure to consult your Instant Pot manual to ensure you are using the correct settings for your specific model.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 943mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 697IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 551mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Lei10 says

    5 stars
    Quick easy plus adult and kid approved. I also used vegetable broth instead of chicken because I was out. No complaints. Next time I might transfer to a dish and melt more cheese on the top to make a little fancier!

  2. Teresa Gerber says

    5 stars
    I don’t have an Instant Pot, but I think I could cook the same way in my pressure cooker?? What do you think? Thank you for all your great recipes…very easy to follow also:)!!