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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!

best Instant pot mac and cheese recipe

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

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.

I think it’s safe to say that this recipe is a winner!

creamy homemade mac and cheese

How to make mac and cheese in the instant pot

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

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

Step 3: set to manual for four minutes.

instant pot recipe

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, milk, and cheese.

At first, it will look like too much liquid, but once you stir for a few minutes, it will thicken.

If you are worried, just be patient.

It will look soupy at first, but after sitting for a few minutes and stirring, it becomes thicker and creamier.

All of that liquid and cheese makes for an ultimately super creamy instant pot mac n cheese.

What type of cheese to use

For this recipe, I use good quality freshly grated sharp cheddar for best creaminess and taste.

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

Instant pots have been all the rage for quite some time now, but I had no interest.

To me, it was just another kitchen appliance that I would have to learn to use.

Until the Pioneer woman came out with the most gorgeous instant pot I have ever seen in my life!

pioneer woman instant pot

So, the pioneer woman was ultimately the reason I bought my first pressure cooker. 

Little did I know just how powerful and amazing the instant pot is!

Honestly, this mac and cheese alone is reason enough to buy an instant pot!

Mac and cheese made with the instant pot

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

I wanted to eat the whole batch for lunch it was that good.

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

I am beyond excited to try so many new recipes in my instant pot!

Another favorite of ours is this creamy instant pot sweet potato pasta

beginner Instant pot recipe

This instant pot mac and cheese has so much flavor.

I was a bit nervous to use the instant pot for the first time, but the directions were easy to follow, and I googled a few things to make sure I did the quick release right.

If you don’t have an instant pot, I HIGHLY recommend it!

I’ll say it again – this mac and cheese alone is worth the investment!

Instant pot mac and cheese recipe

I like this quick and easy recipe. I make this for my son few times a month. He loves mac and cheese! – Jasmin

Mac and Cheese Recipes

Hungry for more cheesy goodness? Here are some reader favorites!

creamiest mac and cheese

This was absolutely delicious and very easy to prepare! Will certainly pass this on as an excellent side dish.

Slam dunk! This was universally loved by my family. – Emily

Mac and cheese instant pot

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Instant pot mac and cheese recipe

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

Yield: 6 servings

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

instant pot mac and cheese

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

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups grated freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Add the uncooked macaroni, vegetable 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. Do a quick release
  4. Stir in heavy cream, milk, and cheese, and stir until creamy and thick

Notes

When you first add the heavy cream and milk, the mac and cheese will appear too runny. Don't worry! Just keep stirring and it will thicken given a few minutes to sit and absorb

It is important to use freshly grated sharp cheddar, as cheaper small shred cheddar may end up stringy. I have not had this happen, and have always used either tillamook thick shreds, or grated the cheese fresh myself

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 746mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 22g

Did you make this recipe?

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

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Deb

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Absolutely amazing! I threw in a package of the three pepper sausage (diced up) and it was a hit! I was just wondering if anyone has tried doubling the recipe and if it turned out OK ?

Joy Shull

Wednesday 23rd of December 2020

I have doubled it many times! Just double all ingredients but keep the cook time the same, it will just take a little longer to come to pressure. You'll need a 6 qt or bigger for a double batch.

Christy

Sunday 13th of December 2020

Would you make any changes if you wanted to put this on a smoker for an hour? Add more liquid or cheese so it stays saucy and doesn’t dry out? Crumb topping?

Julie

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Thank you for sharing his recipe! It's SO easy and delicious! I've made it several times and actually preferred using the pre-shredded cheese (believe it or not lol!) I used the thicker cut, extra sharp cheddar. Stir it in a little at a time to avoid clumps. I also replaced the 1/3 cup of milk with 1/3 cup of sour cream, and kept the 1/3 cup of heavy cream. Yummo! As for the spraying starch water, yes, that does happen during quick release. If you use a kitchen towel to let out steam but keep spray under control, that works very well. :)

Joy Shull

Sunday 13th of December 2020

So glad you enjoyed the recipe Julie, thanks for sharing!

Brenda

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Has anyone tried making this with gluten free pasta?

Erin A

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

@Brenda, We always make it with GF pasta. Barilla works best. It turns out perfect every time. I’ll often put it in a baking dish when it’s done & finish it off in the oven to develop a nice crust.

Jill Parkhurst

Sunday 20th of September 2020

I loved the Mac n cheese, super easy to make, I think I will leave the garlic powder out next time, it just had that after taste, but it was still good! Nice and cheesy!!

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