Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese is absolutely loaded with flavor! Homemade Mac and Cheese with bacon, jalapeños, cream cheese, and a golden brown panko topping.
Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
My husband had a potluck at his office last week, and this was voted the best side dish! So maybe I should call this Award Winning Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese! 😄 This recipe is loaded: smoky bacon, spicy jalapeños and tangy cream cheese make this extremely flavorful. I went a step further and added a crispy panko breadcrumb topping for even more flavor and texture.
How to make Instant Pot Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
- Start by cooking the bacon using the sauté feature in the Instant Pot.
- Use a tablespoon of the bacon fat to sauté the jalapeños and garlic.
- Then cook pasta with water, butter and hot sauce in the Instant Pot on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- While macaroni is cooking, toast breadcrumb topping.
- Stir in evaporated milk, cream cheese, cheese and bacon.
- Top with breadcrumbs and serve.
- For easiest clean up, use a nonstick Instant Pot liner. It’s not pictured here, but it is what I usually use and it makes clean up so much easier!
- To control the heat, remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños before dicing. Wash hands really well after handling the jalapeños and be sure not to touch your eyes.
- I usually recommend shredding your own cheese, but for this recipe good quality pre shredded cheese works great! I recommend a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese for the most flavor.
More Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
Loaded with jalapeños, bacon, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. This Mac & Cheese is packed with flavor!
- 1/2 pound bacon diced
- 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound dried macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 dashes hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 oz parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Set Instant Pot to saute function and cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Spoon out all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from Instant Pot. Add jalapeños to pot and sauté until they start to soften. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
Turn off saute function, add water, macaroni, butter, hot sauce, and kosher salt. Stir together and lock lid in place. Make sure pressure valve is turned to sealing and set Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure, then countdown from 4 minutes. Once cooking is complete, turn pressure release valve to relase pressure, also called Quick Pressure Release. If any liquid starts to splatter, quickly close valve and try again in another minute.
While macaroni is cooking, season bread crumbs with salt and garlic powder. Melt butter in a small skillet over low heat and toast breadcrumbs until golden brown.
Stir in evaporated milk, followed by cream cheese. Once cream cheese is melted, stir in sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. Once cheese has melted, stir in cooked bacon. I like to save some bacon to sprinkle on top.
Top with toasted breadcrumbs, crumbled bacon, and jalapeno slices.
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