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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

The best easy instant pot mac and cheese recipe. Make homemade super creamy macaroni and cheese in just 10 minutes! Everyone will love this one!

scoop of instant pot mac and cheese

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a game changer!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the recipe that turned me from an instant pot skeptic to a raving fan!

This recipe basically blew my mind. Insanely creamy, cheesy, crazy delicious homemade mac and cheese made in just TEN minutes. So delicious, so simple, and so little clean up.

It is one of our favorite uses for the instant pot, along with the classic favorite instant pot broccoli and this super easy instant pot stir fry. Instant Pot Creamy Pasta is another one of our favorites and you can’t go wrong with buttery instant pot cauliflower.

Mac and Cheese Instant Pot ingredients

  • elbow macaroni noodles: this recipe has not been tested with another kind of noodle, you will need to research cook times if you change the type of pasta.
  • vegetable broth: or chicken broth
  • water
  • butter
  • freshly grated cheese: bagged shredded cheese is not a substitute
  • heavy cream
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder

What is the best pasta for mac and cheese?

Elbow macaroni is the best and most commonly used pasta for mac and cheese. Its small size makes it easy to eat and prepare.

What are the best cheeses for mac and cheese?

For this recipe, I use good quality freshly grated sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese for best creaminess and taste. We love this flavor combination for mac and cheese, but you can also use all sharp cheddar cheese.

You can experiment using different cheeses for new flavors, I just suggest using a quality cheese that you grate yourself for best results!

ingredients needed to make instant pot macaroni and cheese

How to make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Step 1: add the uncooked macaroni noodles, vegetable broth, spices, and water to the instant pot.

Step 2: cube 3 tablespoons of butter and stir it in.

Step 3: place the lid on, set the valve to sealing, and set the instant pot to manual for four minutes. Once the 4 minutes are up, do a quick release.

Step 4: Once the quick release is finished and the pin has dropped, safely open the lid and stir in the heavy cream and shredded cheese.mStir the mac and cheese until the cheese is melted and the pasta is creamy.

an instant pot full of macaroni and cheese

Little did I know just how powerful and amazing the instant pot is before I finally gave in and got one. Honestly, this mac and cheese alone is reason enough to buy an instant pot!

This mac and cheese is easily the creamiest I have ever tasted!

We even made it for a Thanksgiving side dish which WAY cut down on cook time and was a breeze to throw in 15 minutes before the big meal was served. If you got a new instant pot for Christmas, this is the perfect recipe to start with!

instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl

How to serve Instant Pot Mac N Cheese

  • As a side dish: pair this easy mac and cheese with a vegetable and protein for a delicious meal.
  • As a main dish: add frozen peas or cut up hot dogs for a simple dinner recipe.

How do you keep mac and cheese warm in the Instant Pot?

After the macaroni and cheese has finished cooking, switch the Instant Pot over to the “keep warm” mode until you are ready to eat. Note that this should only be used for a short amount of time, or it could cause the pasta to dry out.

Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese storage

  • storing: Store leftover mac and cheese in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • reheating: To reheat, either microwave the pasta or place it in a sauce pan with a small amount of milk to help loosen the cheese sauce up.
spoon taking a scoop of instant pot mac and cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese FAQs

Why is my homemade mac and cheese not smooth?

It is important to use freshly grated cheese when making macaroni and cheese. Pre-packaged cheeses contain additives in them that can prevent a smooth sauce.

What makes mac and cheese better?

Using freshly grated cheese makes mac and cheese taste better. High quality cheeses can make a big difference in the taste of your macaroni and cheese.

How do you keep mac and cheese creamy?

Do not overcook: overcooking the pasta make it mushy, leading to a less creamy finished pasta
Melt the cheese: make sure to melt the cheese well, stirring it continuously until completely combined for the best creaminess.

Another favorite instant pot recipe is this creamy instant pot sweet potato pasta

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

Are you making this recipe? I want to see! Don’t forget to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!

instant pot mac and cheese in a bowl

Looking for more instant pot recipes? Be sure to try this instant pot buttered cabbage!

Be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow Build Your Bite on Pinterest for all the latest delicious recipes!

scoop of instant pot mac and cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The best easy and delicious instant pot mac and cheese recipe!


  • 2 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream


  1. Add the uncooked macaroni, vegetable or chicken broth, water, butter, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to the Instant Pot. 
  2. Place the lid on the pot and set to sealing. Cook on manual function for 4 minutes. 
  3. Once the 4 minutes is up, do a quick release
  4. Stir in heavy cream and cheese and stir until creamy.


It is important to use freshly grated cheese. We used 2 cups of freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese, but you can use any kind of cheeses that you like

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 1062mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag me on instagram @buildyourbite and hashtag #buildyourbite with your recipe creations!

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a star rating below!

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Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Can this be done in a crock pot instead?

Joy Shull

Saturday 28th of October 2023

This recipe is not made for crock pot use


Saturday 15th of July 2023

I love it! Does it freeze well? If so how long does it take to thaw?

Joy Shull

Monday 24th of July 2023

I have not tried freezing it, but typically mac and cheese does not reheat the same once frozen.

Leah Naylor

Monday 7th of November 2022

I use fat free evaporated milk, much healthier and a lot less calories and fat. It’s just as creamy.

Mirella Sanabria

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

I made this and my son loved it.


Friday 29th of July 2022

hands down THE BEST.... family favorite!! my kids and nephews LOVE it.... a weekly request!

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