Quick and Creamy: Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Hey there, fellow food lovers and Instant Pot enthusiasts! It’s your friendly neighborhood chef, Ethan Harris, and I’m back with a recipe that’s so cheesy and delicious it’ll make your taste buds dance – Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. Whether you’re an Instant Pot newbie or a seasoned pro, this dish is a comfort food classic that’s sure to please. So, grab your apron and let’s dive into this creamy, dreamy adventure!

What is Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese, the ultimate comfort food, is like a warm, cheesy hug on a plate. This beloved dish features macaroni pasta smothered in a luscious cheese sauce that’s both creamy and decadent. It’s the kind of meal that takes you back to your childhood, evoking memories of mom’s or grandma’s kitchen. Whether you like it classic, with a breadcrumb topping, or jazzed up with some extra ingredients like bacon or truffle oil, Mac and Cheese is a culinary classic that never goes out of style. So, grab a fork and get ready for a delightful journey into the world of gooey, cheesy goodness!

Why We Love Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

In a nutshell, we love Instant Pot Mac and Cheese because it combines the nostalgic comfort of a childhood favorite with the modern convenience of the Instant Pot. It’s fast, it’s creamy, and it’s endlessly customizable. What’s not to love? So, why wait? Dive into the world of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese and savor the cheesy goodness.

How To Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Recipe by Ethan HarrisCuisine: Italian

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese: Creamy, dreamy, and ready in minutes – the ultimate comfort food for cheese lovers!


  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni

  • 4 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or your favorite mix)

  • 3 cups of whole milk

  • 4 tablespoons of butter

  • 1 teaspoon of mustard

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • Optional add-ins: crispy bacon, sautéed mushrooms, green onions, or whatever tickles your taste buds


  • Pasta Prep:
    Start by tossing those elbow macaroni into your trusty Instant Pot. Add a pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon) and give it a stir. Pour in just enough water to cover the macaroni, which should be about 1.5 cups.
  • Pressure Cooking:
    Secure the Instant Pot lid, set the valve to “Sealing,” and choose the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” function. Cook the pasta at high pressure for about 4 minutes. Yes, you heard me right – 4 minutes! When it’s done, perform a quick pressure release (turn the valve to “Venting”).
  • Creamy Dreaminess:
    Open the lid, and you’ll find perfectly cooked macaroni. Now, let’s add the magic. Set your Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode and add the butter. Once it’s all melted and sizzling, add the mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • The Cheesy Meltdown:
    Stir in that glorious mound of shredded cheese, but save some for topping later. Pour in the milk, and keep stirring until the cheese is all melty and the sauce is creamy. Don’t forget to taste along the way and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  • Extras, Anyone?:
    If you’re feeling fancy, toss in any of those optional add-ins like crispy bacon, sautéed mushrooms, or green onions. It’s all about personalization here.
  • Savor the Cheesiness:
    Dish up your Instant Pot Mac and Cheese and top it with a bit more shredded cheese (because you can never have enough cheese, right?). Enjoy every creamy, dreamy bite!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Flavor Variations

Bacon Bonanza: Crispy bacon bits are the ultimate mac and cheese sidekick. Fry up some bacon, crumble it into your cheesy creation, and watch it become an instant hit.

Mushroom Madness: Sautéed mushrooms add earthy richness to your mac and cheese. Simply cook some sliced mushrooms in butter until they’re tender and golden, then stir them into your cheesy masterpiece.

Spicy Spectacular: For those who like a little heat, add some chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes to your mac and cheese. The spicy kick will elevate the flavor and leave your taste buds tingling.

Truffle Elegance: Drizzle a bit of truffle oil over your mac and cheese to give it a touch of luxury. It’s a simple addition that takes this classic to gourmet heights.

Lobster Love: Feeling fancy? Consider adding some chunks of lobster to your mac and cheese. It’s a surf ‘n’ turf delight that turns an everyday dish into a feast fit for royalty.

Garlic Galore: If you’re a garlic enthusiast, try roasting some garlic cloves and mashing them into your cheese sauce. The result? Creamy, garlicky goodness.

Herb Heaven: Fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or basil can take your mac and cheese to a whole new level. Add them as a garnish for a burst of color and flavor.

Veggie Variety: Experiment with different veggies like sautéed spinach, roasted cherry tomatoes, or caramelized onions. They add texture, flavor, and a dash of healthiness.

Sausage Sensation: Browned and crumbled sausage, whether it’s spicy Italian or savory breakfast sausage, can be a game-changer. It adds a hearty and savory dimension to your dish.

Pulled Pork Passion: Ever tried adding tender pulled pork to your mac and cheese? It’s a flavor explosion that’s perfect for meat lovers.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Troubleshooting

Problem: Cheese Sauce is Too Thin

Solution: If your cheese sauce is too runny, don’t panic. Simply add more cheese, a handful at a time, and stir until it thickens. If that’s not doing the trick, you can make a quick roux by melting a couple of tablespoons of butter in a separate pan, adding a few tablespoons of flour, and stirring until it forms a paste. Slowly whisk in some milk to create a thickening agent. Add this roux to your mac and cheese and give it a good stir.

Problem: Cheese Sauce is Too Thick

Solution: To thin out a too-thick cheese sauce, slowly add more milk, a little at a time. Stir until the desired consistency is reached. If it’s still too thick, you can reheat it gently and add more milk as needed.

Problem: Pasta is Overcooked

Solution: If you accidentally overcook your pasta, there’s no turning back time, but you can still rescue your dish. Just reduce the initial pressure cooking time for the pasta. For example, if you initially cooked it for 4 minutes, try 3 minutes next time.

Problem: Pasta Sticks to the Bottom

Solution: Prevent pasta sticking by making sure all the pasta is submerged in water before cooking. If it happens anyway, don’t scrape the stuck bits into the sauce, as they may be overcooked. Instead, gently remove the unstuck pasta, transfer it to the sauce, and give it a good stir.

Problem: Too Salty

Solution: If your mac and cheese turns out too salty, you can try to balance it by adding a bit more milk and cheese to dilute the saltiness. Remember, you can always add more cheese to mellow out the saltiness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *