Instant Pot Mac and Cheese takes all of the creamy goodness of homemade mac and cheese and turns it into a meal you can have on the table in minutes!
Elbow macaroni and seasonings are cooked in the Instant Pot until perfectly tender. We add in the rest of the sauce ingredients (and CHEESE!) and simply stir. The result is a rich creamy saucy macaroni and cheese that you will not be able to have just one bowl of!
This is going to become your new go-to macaroni and cheese!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Cheese is probably one of my favorite things of all time. You can enjoy it hot, cold, in just about any dish, on it’s own… okay, I’m done… back to this mac and cheese recipe.
I’m kind of obsessed with homemade Mac and Cheese, so ooey gooey good and loads of creamy cheesy sauce. I love this easy recipe… it’s simple (no strainer, no roux, no extra dishes). While I often make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese for gatherings and parties, I love being able to whip it up quickly in my Instant Pot!
I do have to say, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you NEED one! It’s an easy to use (aka not-scary-totally-safe electric pressure cooker that will save you hours and hours in the kitchen).
This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese recipe is absolutely loaded with flavor. It starts out with pasta, seasonings and water cooked in the IP (I sometimes substitute half of the water in the recipe for low sodium chicken broth & skip the seasoning salt). Next we stir in cheese, cream cheese, and milk (or half and half if you want to make it even creamier!).
I’ve intentionally made this mac and cheese with no evaporated milk (and without Velveeta) because I prefer the flavor of fresh milk and cheeses. The sauce in this recipe comes out creamy and velvety with a bit of starchiness from the pasta water.
Seriously SO EASY right?!
What Goes With Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a creamy and rich (as a homemade mac and cheese recipe should be), so I like to serve it with a fresh side salad and some crusty bread (to make sure not a lick of sauce gets left behind)!
Depending on what’s in my fridge, I sometimes add in ham, or broccoli or even make it with chicken or bacon for the perfect main dish meal! If I have had a busy day at work, coming home and throwing everything in the Instant pot and having dinner on the table quickly makes my evenings stress-free!
If I’m not serving it as a main, this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is a perfect side with any dish (especially Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken).
Mac and cheese makes a great potluck food too, so if you decide to bring it to a potluck there will likely be a few great salad options (and a lot of requests for the recipe for this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese)!
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese
When you are saving macaroni and cheese to have leftovers, the starches in the macaroni noodles will suck up some of the moisture in the dish. The longer your macaroni and cheese sits, the dryer it will become!
Some dishes (like Slow Cooker Chili) are better the next day but sadly this one isn’t one of them. This dish is truly best enjoyed when it’s freshly made.
Of course it can be reheated but it’s not quite the same. When you reheat Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, it’s a good idea to add a splash of milk or cream (about 1 tbs per cup of mac and cheese) while heating. In the microwave, just add it to the bowl and remember to stir everything together halfway through the reheating process.
Regardless, once you try this Instant Pot Mac & Cheese recipe, it’s going to become a frequent side on your table! Fresh ingredients made into a simple side!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 2 1/2 cups dry macaroni noodles
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 oz cream cheese approx. 1/3 cup
- 3/4 cup milk divided
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
- Add dry macaroni noodles, water, onion powder, dry mustard, seasoning salt, pepper and butter to the instant pot.
- Set timer for 6 minutes on high pressure.
- Release pressure once completed, there will be water in the bottom – do not drain.
- Stir in the cream cheese to melt. Add the 1/4 cup milk slowly until blended.
- Stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheese. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk until the desired consistency is reached. You may not need the entire amount of milk.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)