Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This extra creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese cooks in just 5 minutes with only a single pot to clean! It’s easy to customize by adding chicken (and/or bacon), and various kinds of cheese!

Be sure to try my Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Stew recipe next!

A hand reaching for a white bowl filled with macaroni and cheese on a light white surface with rolls in the background.

I’ve had a lot of mac and cheese in my day, and I have to say, this recipe’s got it.

I’ve learned a trick or two for making sure that your macaroni and cheese is the creamiest it can be, so definitely check out my tips for that:

Tips for SUPER-Smoothy and 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 Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

-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.

What Kind of Cheese is Best to use?

-I like to use 2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella.

-You could also make this a three-cheese blend and throw in some Velveeta or even Monterey Jack cheese

Cabot and Tillamook are definitely my favorite brands of cheese to use, I always have blocks of their cheeses in my fridge!

Adding Meat:

Meat, such as chicken, is easy to incorporate into this meal and adds even more flavor to it!

The meat can be seared in the Instant Pot on saute mode along with some olive or vegetable oil.

Once it’s cooked, remove the meat and add it back to the pasta at the end.

After cooking the meat, deglaze the bottom of the pan by pouring in chicken broth.

Use a silicone spatula to remove any remaining flecks of meat from the bottom of the pan. This will give more flavor to the sauce but will also help to prevent the burn indicator from turning on.

Macaroni in the Instant Pot next to a bowl of shredded cheese.

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.

Can I Freeze Macaroni and Cheese?

-Leftover macaroni and cheese can be frozen, and it makes for easy future meals for hungry kids. I like to freeze portion sizes in foil packets and pop them in the oven when I need a quick meal for my toddler.

To reheat, I just pop the closed foil packet in a 350° oven for 15 minutes or so.

-Frozen macaroni and cheese is best if used within 3 months. 

Instant Pot Cooking Times for Other Kinds of Pasta

An easy rule of thumb when trying to determine how long to cook other types of pastas is to cut the stove-top cooking time in half, and possibly subject one additional minute.

  • Small/Medium Shells: 5 minutes
  • Rotini: 5 minutes
  • Penne: 6 minutes
  • Ziti: 7 minutes

A bowl of macaroni and cheese with chopped parsley sprinkled on top and around the bowl.

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5 from 1 vote
Servings: 8
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
 
Author: Stephanie
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, instant pot macaroni and cheese

This creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese cooks in just 5 minutes with only ONE pot to clean! It's easy to customize by adding chicken and/or bacon as well!

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in the butter, cheese, and milk, until well-combined.

  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!
Recipe Video
Recipe Notes

-Velveeta Cheese and Monterey Jack cheese may also be incorporated!

-This can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container, it's best if used within 3 months. 

PRO TIPS for an extra creamy consistency:

  • 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.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 277, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 877mg, Potassium: 195mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 14g, Vitamin A: 450%, Vitamin C: 8.3%, Calcium: 256%, Iron: 0.7%
This super creamy Instant Pot macaroni and cheese cooks in just 5 minutes with only a single pot to clean! Your whole family will love this extra easy, cheesy meal! | The Cozy Cook | #macaroni #cheese #instantpot #dinner #pasta