This easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe takes 5 minutes of cooking time with only ONE pot to clean! It’s easy to customize by adding chicken and/or bacon as well!
Be sure to try my Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Stew recipe next!
When I have no idea what to make for dinner, creamy macaroni and cheese takes care of my family every time. I’m rarely organized enough to whip up my Crock Pot version, so I’m thankful to have this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe to fall back on.
The ingredients are simple, and there are a ton of delicious cheeses that you can use.
Be sure to check out my pro tips below on making sure your macaroni and cheese is super creamy.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities and full written instructions
- Elbow Macaroni
- Chicken Broth
- Dry Mustard
- Seasoned Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Shredded Cheese- I use a mix of cheddar and mozzarella
- Whole Milk
How to Make it
- Set the shredded cheese, butter, and milk aside at room temperature, they shouldn’t be cold when added to the macaroni.
- Pressure cook the macaroni in the chicken broth and seasonings for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the butter, milk, and cheeses until well-combined.
Best Kinds of Cheese to Use
Any combination of the following cheeses are fantastic in this recipe:
- White Cheddar
- Smoked Gouda
- Monterey Jack
Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese:
- Use a block of cheese and shred it yourself for extra creamy, non-grainy results.
- Let the cheese come down to room temperature before adding it to the macaroni.
- Sprinkle in the cheese gradually, the macaroni should be warm but not too hot.
Note: Bagged shredded cheese has cellulose added to it to prevent the cheese from sticking together in the bag. Cellulose repels moisture, which makes it melt poorly in comparison to cheese you shred yourself.
What Size Instant Pot Did I use?
-I used my trusty 6-quart Instant Pot for this recipe, which is what I recommend for most families, and is what most Instant Pot recipes are based on.
It can cook enough food for a family of four and won’t take as long to come to pressure as an 8 quart will.
Doubling This Recipe
-This recipe yields too much to double in a 6 quart Instant Pot, (which has a 4 quart limit), but can be doubled in an 8 quart.
- To add chicken, sear the chicken on saute mode with some vegetable oil.
- Remove the meat and add the chicken broth. Use a silicone spatula to remove any remaining flecks on the bottom of the pot.
- Mix the chicken into the macaroni once it’s cooked.
Cooked and crumbled bacon can also be added at the end.
What if the Burn Indicator Turns on During Pressure Cooking?
The more I use the Instant Pot, the more I see this message.
As I long as I’ve made sure that I’ve removed any specs from the bottom of the pan before pressure cooking, I don’t worry about the message as it will go away with a little bit of time.
Freezing Macaroni and Cheese
-Leftover macaroni and cheese can be frozen. and is best if used within 3 months.
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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni pasta
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 cups shredded cheese, a mix of cheddar & mozzarella works well
- 1 cup whole milk
- Parsley, to garnish
- Set the shredded cheese, butter, and milk aside at room temperature, they shouldn't be cold when added to the macaroni.
- Add the chicken broth and seasonings to the Instant Pot and mix until well combined. Pour in the macaroni. Secure the cover and ensure the quick release valve is closed.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes and flip the quick release valve when finished to allow the steam to escape and slow down the cooking process.
- Stir in the butter, cheese, and milk, until well-combined.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve!
Cheese Options to Use:
- White Cheddar
- Smoked Gouda
- Monterey Jack
I plan to try the Instant Pot method but I don’t have milk would sour cream be good to substitute?? Or coconut milk?
I want to make sure it turns out well because I’m making it for the first time in the Insta pot for my son, 35th birthday!!
Hi Julie, I would really recommend purchasing milk for this if the pressure is on for your son’s birthday, as I haven’t tested it with coconut milk.
So quick and easy! I didn’t have whole milk, but did have on hand a can of evaporated milk and used it as an alternate. Turned out great. This is a good recipe for those busy work / school nights.
I agree, definitely a great one during a busy week. Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review, I’m so happy you liked it!💗
Just made this as my very first Insant Pot recipe!!! Loved it! So did my teenage boys 😊- Thanks!! I just saw a glimpse of your other (Paula Deen) one- can that be done in the Instant Pot too? The only thing missing (according to the boys) was the crispy top they are used to from the oven. Was thinking next time maybe I could pop it in- but was worried about it getting too dry?
Hi Trishh! So happy that you and your boys enjoyed this recipe! I haven’t tried putting it in the oven afterwards for a crispy top, I don’t think it would be too dry if you did it though! 🙂 For the Paula Deen Mac & Cheese recipe I have instructions for the oven or Crock Pot, but haven’t tested how to do it in an Instant Pot unfortunately!
OMG The easiest way EVER. I actually added some gorgonzola to mine because that’s my traditional addition to “punch up” the flavor. I will definitely do this again and again. . . and again.
Hey Barbara! I am SO happy that you enjoyed this! Gorgonzola sounds perfect for this mac and cheese, it’s so nice and creamy!! I also recently discovered my love for adding some Smoked Gouda! MMM!! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate, always means so much to me! Have a great weekend! -Stephanie
Stephanie – this mac and cheese looks awesome! I will definitely make this and let you know how it turns out.
Hey Jim!! I am SOO excited for you to make this, I am a HUGE fan, I just made a recipe video for it yesterday and I’m going to add it to the post, hopefully by tomorrow, once I edit it! It’s SOO creamy and just unbelievably easy to make! Can’t wait to hear what you think! 🙂