Instant Pot Mac n Cheese

So, here goes my first instant pot post. Ok, Ok, so you are wondering, what is the big deal? Well, personally i have never used a pressure cooker of  fear of blowing the roof off! And then 4 yrs ago,i heard how fast and amazing these new pressure cookers work. Well, my hubby got me one for my birthday and my world has been transformed!

So , i thought i would start out with the famous, never can go wrong meal, MAC N CHEESE. Now  my kiddos are crazy about this and they have seconds and thirds. And did i mention it literally is done in ten minutes flat!? Of course, if you do not have an instant pot or other brand pressure cooker , I am sure you can make this on the stove top too,  just not in ten minutes.

Ingredient List

  • I box (16 ounce of elbow macaroni)
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream ( 1 can of evaporated milk(12 ounce) would work or even whole milk)I think I added a little more till I got the consistency I was looking for- (Tablespoon at a time)
  • 3 Tb of butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups of water

Inside the instant pot, place the macaroni, water, salt and butter. Set instant pot on 4 minutes manual , manual release pressure(quick release).  After that is done, take lid off and set pot on saute and add whipping cream, and stir. Then slowly add cheese as it melts! enjoy!

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mac n cheese

Mac n cheese

Mac n cheese in ten minutes
Mac n cheese in ten minutes

87 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mac n Cheese

    1. help! Everytime I try to get to the recipe it reloads this page. Can somebody please tell me how to find the recipe for this? My technology might be glitching. Can somebody please repost.

  1. Is “manual release pressure” the quick release or natural release of pressure? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

    1. 12 ounce can i believe. I personally have never used this, but was told it would work fine. I started with a cup of whipping cream and added a little more till desired consistency. probably another 2 ounces total extra. thanks for the question

  2. A touch I like is to put some in a oven ready ramekin, top with panko, under the broiler for a few minutes. Adds a nice “crisp” to the top

    1. yes, i agree that would be so delicious! i should try that. This is a very basic, easy recipe for all the newbie pot heads in my life! thanks for the suggestion.I should add it to the recipe!~

  3. Did you use the pre-shredded cheese or did you shred your own? I’ve heard pre-shredded doesn’t melt as smoothly do to the coating on it. (But I’m lazy, so will use it if it comes out as creamy as Panera’s!)

  4. I’m going to try this with organic brown rice pasta, unsweetened coconut milk, and pre-shredded daiya (non-dairy “cheese”). I’ll let you know how it goes.

    One question: I haven’t made pasta in the instant pot yet. I have heard that you’re supposed to cook it for 1/2 the time recommended on the box. Has that been your experience? Brown rice pasta usually has to cook for 15-18 minutes, which is significantly longer than regular pasta. I want to make sure I keep it in there long enough. Let me know your thoughts.

    1. how did it turn out? My son has dairy and gluten allergies. I would love to find a version for him so he doesn’t feel left out. Does the Daiya cheese smell like nutritional yeast? We bought the Daiua boxed mac and cheese and we didnt like that yeast smell and taste. Thank you!

  5. I have a different pressure cooket. Would this be high or low pressure? Thanks and I can’t wait to try it.

  6. Just made it with the whole wheat rigatoni since for some dumb reason out of elbow! (Probably because of this post!) anyway did 6min and used a cup of chicken broth & 3 of water then used half cup heavy cream & half cup sour cream along with cheddar/jack and is fabulous! I’m a kinda new “pressure cookerer” and first time with pasta! Was awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Newbie here. The Instant Pot directions say not to use pasta. I guess this is ok? I don’t want to blow the roof off! 🙂

  8. This is the second thing I’ve made in our Instant Pot and the whole family loved it! I shredded aged new York sharp cheddar from Aldi in our food processor and it was delicious! Thanks so much for this awesome, perfect recipe!

  9. My 18 year old son who loves Mac n cheese absolutely loved this! I add one teaspoon of dry mustard along with salt. Other than that I followed your recipe exactly and was amazed at how fast it was done. Keeper of a recipe. Thank you!

  10. I followed your recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! Thank you from a newbie instant Pot user.

  11. Not sure this website is working properly 🙁

    When I click ‘Continue Reading’ it just takes me back to the exact same page, with the summary text and another ‘Continue Reading’ link

  12. For some reason when I try to “continue reading” to get to the actual recipe it just keeps bringing me back to the same page. I’ve tried it on my phone, tablet and laptop…but no luck. I think I’ve pieced together the recipe through Google. The full recipe was working a few days ago when I pinned it, but not now. I hope it still comes out good since I’ve got two macaroni and cheese fanatics on my hands!

  13. For some reason the recipe is not opening up and I have it planned for dinner tonight… 🙁 Does anybody have it saved that they can send me?? 🙂

    Much appreciated!

  14. I have a different brand pressure cooker, in order to “manual time” I have to choose a preset then change it’s time. I chose the rice preset and changed to 4 minutes like you said, opened, and a lot of water was still there. End result after finishing the directions was very watery mac and cheese and not very cheese tasting. What did I do wrong?

  15. Does your recipe work with gluten free pasta? does it need any adaptation for that? I just got my instant pot tonight, and I would like to try this tomorrow. Thanks!

    1. yes it does! i made it the exact same way but i probably would have cooked it for 3 minutes instead. however, my sister who is gluten free absolutely loved it! she said I shouldn’t change a thing! hope this helps

  16. I made a gluten free version of this tonight and my daughter couldn’t stop raving about it. I had to tweak it a bit because the box was only 12 oz. and I added a little leftover Velveeta instead of the full 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Your recipe was definitely the key to a successful dish. Oh, and this was the first dish I’ve ever made in an instant pot. Thank you!

    1. oh that is just great! i was going to add an addendum for gluten free, as i just made it that way this past weekend for my sister! it is one of the easiest recipes, I have been making it now for 7 years when I had to experiment with everything because recipes were so rare for pressure cookers! thanks for giving me feedback! enjoy

  17. This recipe works out great every time. I only make half the recipe and use whole milk instead of cream and it is still rich and creamy.

  18. This may be a “user error” question. I’m very new to the pressure cooking. On my Instant Pot, I chose manual, then timed it for 4 minutes but it was not cooked at all. It was hot and cooking but not close to being done. Any suggestions?

    1. hmmm, i am not sure. Is it om high pressure? i put mine on high pressure. hope this helps, otherwise i am not sure what went wrong? sometimes you dont get a good seal and it doesn’t pressure cook, just heats like a crock pot would . did you have steam release when open valve?

  19. After 4 minutes my macaroni were raw, I started over +6 more minutes – raw., more water + 10 more minutes – better, but not ready – it took me an hour to cook 20 minutes stove meal

    1. something definitely did not work. i wonder if it sealed properly? did it have steam when released? I have never had it take longer than the times suggested? i would love to help further

    1. i have done it for a function at work and it worked out ok. how about for you? the only thing i would do different next time is add a bit more fluid. let me know how it worked for you!

  20. Made this today for my son and BF … they both LOVED it (I don’t eat pasta, so I have to go by their word 🙂 … worked perfectly. Thank you!

  21. This was a hit in our house. 4 kids 10 and under went nuts for it. We used fontina and sharp cheddar. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Question- Do you put the pasta in the pot, and then add water up to the 4 line on the inside? I’m a newbie. Thanks!

  23. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m wondering if you drain the remaining water before adding the cheese? I don’t see that specified, and thought that migh be why some others said it was watery.

    1. yes, i believe so. i think you will have to adjust the times for this. i would try 5 to 6 minutes on initial timing. but i have never made it , so i guess i have a new challenge to try

  24. Made this tonight and it was excellent! Thank you!! The only change I made was to cook it for 5 minutes instead of 4 since the pasta I use normally cooks for 10-11 minutes on the stove. Everything else was the same. This is actually faster than making a box of mac n cheese and so much better 🙂

  25. When we did the manual release it blew white pasta steam mixed with melted butter which made a mess. Anyone else experience this? I really want to know because it was absolutely delicious but the pasta steam was a downer.

    1. i am sorry that is happening! i have a tiny bit of water that comes out with steam but so little i dont even need to clean it up. I am not sure what happened? did you double the recipe? i always keep a dish rag near by in case of this happening, but made this today and no problems

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