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This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is so quick and easy to make – plus it tastes amazing! The sauce is cheesy, creamy perfection!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe is the quickest, easiest dinner that your whole family will love. It tastes a THOUSAND times better than boxed mac and cheese because it is made with real food (I don’t even want to know what that powdered “cheese” is made out of). This homemade mac and cheese only takes five ingredients to make and you probably already have them all on hand. Everyone loves this ultimate comfort food and it’s perfect to serve on busy weeknights.
What Type of Cheese Should I Use?
When you’re picking out your cheeses, you have to consider two factors: melt-ability and flavor. Most cheeses are meltable, but stay away from crumbly types like feta or cotija. Avoid using pre-shredded cheese as well. It contains preservatives and coatings that will make your sauce turn out grainy. As far as flavor, some of our favorite cheeses are extra sharp cheddar cheese (please don’t use mild – your taste buds will thank you!), gouda, gruyere, fontina, and parmesan cheese. The only cheese flavors that I don’t recommend is Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese – for some reason they’re just not right in mac and cheese.
Step by Step Instructions
- Put uncooked macaroni and water into the instant pot. You can also use low sodium chicken broth instead of water for added flavor. We like using a classic elbow macaroni but you could use whole-wheat elbow macaroni noodles. Whole wheat pasta and gluten-free pasta are great options.
- Add oil and gently push the pasta under the water. Do not stir.
- Sprinkle kosher salt, or table salt, black pepper, and garlic powder over the top. Cover the pot, set the vent to sealing, and cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, do a quick release. Once the pin drops, take the lid off and stir in the butter, cheese, and milk. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
A rich, creamy dish like this one only needs a couple of simple side dishes to make the perfect meal. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli, grilled veggies, or a green salad. We like to sometimes crumble bacon bits on top along with a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick. You can also try adding ground mustard or a little squirt of yellow mustard in the cheese sauce. Another favorite side dish in our house is our homemade applesauce. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. The delicious applesauce pairs so well with mac and cheese!
What our Readers are Saying About this Recipe
“I made this today with my kids! We’ve been having fun spending extra time in the kitchen. This recipe is certainly kid friendly! Easy to make and tastes great!” – Cindy
“I have only recently started making Instant pot Mac and Cheese and it is by far my favorite way to make it. There is no babysitting and the pasta comes out so creamy and delicious. Lovely recipe!” – Sandhya
“That looks so creamy and tasty! Yum! I always make mac and cheese using my instant pot!” – Rika
Read Next: 27 BEST Instant Pot Recipes
Other Instant Pot Recipes You Will Love
We love our Instant Pots! They make dinner quicker and easier, which means more time to spend with our families. Try some of our other favorite Instant Pot recipes!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese see post for the best types of cheese
- 1/2 cup whole milk or to taste
- Add the pasta, water, and oil to the Instant Pot. Gently press the noodles below the water without stirring.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper (to taste) over noodles. (Optional: Sprinkle garlic powder over noodles.) Cover the Instant Pot and turn the valve to sealing. Cook on the Manual setting on high pressure for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, immediately quick release the pressure.
- Once the pin drops, remove the lid and add the butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add the cheese. Stir until combined. Add up to ½ cup of milk, a little bit at a time. Top with more salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.
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