Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – creamy, cheesy and perfectly cooked every time! This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is out of this world!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
This Instant Pot Maci and Cheese has become one of our favorite recipes and is going onto our Thanksgiving menu this year! Kids and adults love this creamy macaroni and cheese, and the Instant Pot makes it a complete snap to make. If you are just getting started with your Instant Pot, or are thinking of adding one of these handy electric pressure cookers to your kitchen, this is the perfect recipe to get started with! It’s easy to make, and it turns out perfectly every time.
How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Start by adding the uncooked pasta to the Instant Pot insert along with water, butter, salt, dijon mustard and a couple dashes of hot sauce. I promise, your kids will not notice the mustard or the hot sauce. They just enhance the flavor of the cheese.
- Once the pasta has cooked in the pressure cooker, stir in evaporated milk and shredded cheese.
- I like to use a blend of sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Mozzarella melts so smoothly and extra sharp cheddar really gives it that super cheesy flavor! Feel free to use any cheese you have on hand, I’ve made it with all sharp cheddar cheese as well and it is so good! I also like to alternate between shells and macaroni shaped pasta.
Seriously creamy and delicious, and so simple to make!!! I took this to a Halloween party and it was a huge hit, the bowl was literally scraped clean!
We have been making this recipe regularly for 3 years now and I discovered that it is actually better with store-bought shredded cheese! The preshredded cheese makes it even thicker and richer and save so much time.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese - creamy, cheesy and perfectly cooked every time! This Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is out of this world!
- 1 pound dried macaroni
- 4 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 2 dashes of Frank's Red Hot Sauce
- 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk or 1.5 cups whole milk
- 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 4 oz mozzarella shredded
In the stainless steel insert of the Instant Pot, combine dried pasta, water, butter, mustard, salt and hot sauce.
Lock Instant Pot lid in place and close vent.
Use manual mode to set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 4 minutes.
Instant Pot will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, then it will count down from 4 minutes.
Once Instant Pot finishes 4 minute countdown, immediately turn pressure release valve to venting (Quick Release) and turn Instant Pot completely off. IMPORTANT - if any liquid comes out of the pressure release valve use wooden utensil or pot holder to close the valve. Wait a minute and try to release pressure again. The keep warm mode should not be on to prevent overcooking the pasta.
Once Instant Pot has released all the pressure, turn lid to open, keeping lid angled away from you to prevent steam burns.
Stir in evaporated milk, followed by shredded cheese by the handful.
Continue stirring until cheese in completely melted.
Serve immediately, or switch warm setting back on to keep warm.
This recipe works best with store-bought shredded cheese. I've tested this recipe with both evaporated milk and whole milk and both work great! Evaporated milk has a richer flavor, but you can add extra cheese to thicken and enrich when using fresh milk.
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I liked the macaroni and cheese recipe. This is similar to the way I make it anyway. Takes about the same amount of time as it took 12 to 14 minutes to come up to pressure in my 5 qt Instapot. I am new to Instapot but not new to pressure cooking or pressure canning. Although I have never done pasta; I only used the pressure cooker for veggies. But when using the quick release for this recipe I was surprised with a volcano eruption of mustard colored steam that made a mess everywhere!! I would like to know what I did wrong since your recipe is very similar to everyone elses’ and no one cautions about the quick release venting!!
Oh no! I have a 6qt Instant Pot and it’s only about half full when I make a pound of pasta. I’m sure the size makes a difference!
hi, omg I was so mad , I just bought my new instant pot duo nova and Mac and cheese is the first thing I’ve ever made in it, I followed another rec ipe but it asked it to cook 5 minutes, I kind of thought, wow that’s a lot but I did it anyways and as soon as I released it , a volcano of pasta juice with mustard all over my kitchen, so no you didn’t do anytho g wrong, as a matter of fact I bet everyone doing this kind of recipe learned the hard way before realizing to put a cloth lightly over vent when releasing g lol so yah what a mess, at least this lady here told us what to do because of mess during venting lol good luck it took me forever to get my pot looking clean again also I noticed macaroni scars all over my insert , it will never come out there imprinted for good lol did that happen to you also?thanks
Just tried this tonight and it was delicious. I did add another heaping tablespoon of mustard, some black pepper and some green onion after everything was mixed to give it a touch more flavor. I’ll definitely be making this again! Thank you! 🙂
Can you use regular milk instead? If so how much?
Regular milk can’t stand up to high heat, so it would not work. You can try heavy cream or add milk after cooking. Hope that helps!
This was perfect to bring to a work potluck. Everyone kept raving about how fantastic it was.
Instant Pot mac and cheese is the best!
Soooo oozingly and deliciously cheesy, YUM!
This was so cheesy and SO good!! I can’t even wait to make it again!
My family devoured this! I will definitely be making this again!
Turned out great! Thanks! I need to make 21 servings for Thanksgiving. Would I just triple everything? Do you think 8 qt instant pot could do 21 servings at one time?
Awesome! I think it would double with no problem, but I’m not sure about triple though.
This is a fantastic recipe. I just had a holiday party of 35 people, and this was the highest consumed dish. People love a good Mac n Cheese! It does dry out quickly if not served right away. If you make it ahead of time, just put more evaporated milk in it and microwave for a few minutes on high. That gets it all cheesy/creamy again. But definitely best served straight out of the instant pot.
Also, I don’t understand why recipes list things in ounces. That is not very helpful for your average cook who is not using a food scale to weigh out ingredients. . Most foods have differing ounce-to-cup conversion rates. Even different cheeses do. For this recipe, 12 ounces of cheddar cheese = THREE CUPS. 4 ounces of mozzarella = ONCE CUP. Why not just put that in the recipe?!
I was asked by a ton of people for this recipe after the party.
Also, the quality of pasta shells you use DOES matter. I found a fantastic organic brand at Whole Foods that were only $2 per box (16 ounces). It’s called “Whole Foods Organic Pipe Rigate”. The shells are big and super creamy after cooking. Made all the difference in the world!
Thanks for that breakdown… must be why more cheese is needed at the end.
It was simple to make and turned out great but my family thought it didn’t have too much flavor. If we make it again I think we will add some onion and or garlic powder.
This is so dang good. The only thing I did different was add pepper and a little garlic and I added ham at the end Thank you for this recipe it is a keeper for sure.
Well, this recipe saves a ton of time as well as effort. The easy and effortless dish also tastes good. I make it while I’m in a hurry or too tired to make anything complex. Thank you for this amazing recipe.
This recipe really helped me out of a pinch last night. I was really tired and needed to make something easy and I got this recipe. It is really easy to make and excellent in taste. I will surely make it again. Thanks for this.
I made this tonight and it was cheesy good. I didn’t have evaporated milk or whole so I used a little 2% and a good scoop of sour cream at the end. The mustard really does add an additional flavor. Yummy!
We liked it. but I thought the mustard was a little too strong. I will be making it again, but with a little less mustard. Thanks!
As a note, I drained the water, added another squirt of Dijon, the milk, cheese (I thought I had a lot of cheddar but had more Asiago, some cheddar and mozzarella), and then put my IP on sauté mode and stirred and stirred and thickened up. I then let is sit for a couple of minutes while it continued to thicken. Came out in the end! Not sure if I did something wrong up front (maybe not enough noddles? How many cups?).
We love making this in our instant pot! So easy and hands off!
So easy and delicious! I love a good mac n cheese. And who doesn’t like the instant pot??
I will never make boxed mac and cheese again! This is the best!
I made this Mac and Cheese for my Granddaughters since that is all they will eat these days. The Mac & Cheese was easy to make and tasted great however the sauce turned out somewhat runny. What did I do wrong?
I think you can just add more cheese to thicken. 🙂
This is one of my family’s favorite meals right now. So good!!
This is one of our favorite recipes! My kids love making this! So yummy and delicious!
Mac & cheese has become our favorite meal to make in the instant pot. This meal is incredibly cheesy & your family will love it!
I can never go back to boxed macaroni again! My kids love this & love that it’s loaded with cheese.
My family doesn’t love mustard, so I used a bit less. I used evaporated milk, and it was so creamy and delicious!
This is my daughter’s favorite meal ever. It was just her birthday this past week and we had to make it for her again since it is the only thing that is acceptable for her on her birthday.
I’ve tried a similar recipe, but without the mustard. It really did improve the flavor, even though we aren’t big mustard fans. Delish, and so cheesy!
I’ve made this mac and cheese so many times because my family loves it! It’s ultra cheesy and so creamy!