Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and cheese is a popular dish because it is the perfect blend of pasta and cheese. While the exact origin of this delectable combination is unknown, the first handwritten macaroni and cheese recipe was discovered in 1769 in Northern Europe. The dish made its way over the Atlantic Ocean to America by way of Thomas Jefferson, who returned to the Colonies with a pasta machine, so he could share his love for cheese-covered noodles. He even served it at a state dinner in 1802 (via Smithsonian Magazine).

Since the staple's humble beginnings, literally dozens of macaroni and cheese recipes have improved upon the dynamic duo, making it a versatile dish that vegans and meat-lovers alike love. A new way to make the dish involves using an Instant Pot, which recipe developer Susan Olayinka describes as "revolutionary" because it makes this mac and cheese easy, and delicious. And the best thing about this recipe? You can have it ready to eat in around 10 minutes!

Gather the ingredients for the Instant Pot mac and cheese

The secret ingredients that add flavor and texture to this recipe are chicken broth, of which you will need two cups, and cream cheese and heavy cream, of which you will need ½ cup of each. Olayinka says that the broth adds a "superior taste" to the dish that makes it more flavorful and rich. The cream cheese makes the mac and cheese more creamy while adding texture. The heavy cream acts as a binder for the rest of the cheese in the recipe, which allows the sauce to stick to the pasta. You will also need 2 cups of grated, mild cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 3 cups of dry macaroni pasta.

Add the noodles to the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is the star of this recipe. "I love the fact that pasta can be cooked in 4 minutes — wow!" says Olayinka, adding that the macaroni is so much easier to cook in the Instant Pot than on the stove or in the oven. Simply add the macaroni to the pot before stirring in the chicken broth. If you want a vegan or vegetarian option, simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Cook the noodles for the mac and cheese

Cooking noodles in an Instant Pot is easy, and that is why some cooks prefer to use one. For one, the pasta absorbs all of the water, so there is no need to strain. In addition, since there is no straining, the starch from the noodles acts like a thickener for any sauces you add.

That being said, it's time to get cooking! Close the lid to the Instant Pot and set it on high to pressure cook for four minutes. When the four minutes have passed, do a quick-release on the pot and open the lid immediately, allowing any pressure to escape from the pot. Now on to the cheese!

Add the remaining ingredients of the Instant Pot mac and cheese

Now, it's time to get to the good stuff — the cheese and butter. For a vegan version of this dish, use vegan butter. Likewise, you can substitute the cheese with vegan cheeses, but be sure to use the kinds that melt to get the best creamy, gooey result. Add them to the pasta. You may want to add them one at a time to ensure everything gets mixed well. Then, when everything is added, stir the mixture a little bit more to make sure the noodles and cheese are well combined. Top with chopped parsley for a nice pop of color.

Serve the Instant Pot mac and cheese immediately and enjoy

In no time, your mac and cheese is ready to enjoy! You can have a quick and simple meal in mere minutes that pairs well with a side salad and some garlic toast. You can also pop some broccoli in the oven for a healthy roasted side dish (or add it directly to the mac and cheese). You can also add it as a side to many entrees, including pork chops and grilled chicken. 

You can store any leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days. If you plan on keeping it any longer than that, you should plan on freezing it. Frozen mac and cheese can last up to two months (via Still Tasty). However you decide to serve it, this dish will impress your family and friends.

Instant Pot Mac And Cheese Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
Macaroni and cheese isn't the most complicated dish and an Instant Pot makes it even easier! This quick and easy mac and cheese is great as a side or main dish.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Instant Pot macaroni and cheese
Total time: 8 minutes
  • 3 cups dry macaroni pasta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Pour the macaroni pasta into the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour the chicken broth into the Instant Pot.
  3. Close the lid and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  4. After 4 minutes, do a quick-release on the instant pot and immediately open the lid.
  5. Add the following to the pasta: mild cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, and butter.
  6. Stir the mac and cheese and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 867
Total Fat 51.2 g
Saturated Fat 29.2 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 157.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 66.2 g
Dietary Fiber 2.5 g
Total Sugars 6.0 g
Sodium 846.8 mg
Protein 34.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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