Creamy Mac & Cheese: A Delicious Comforting Recipe

Welcome to my Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe! As a chef, I know that Mac & Cheese is that one dish that can be eaten at any time of the day and practically by anyone. Whether it’s comforting you and filling you up after a long day or bringing out the kid in you, this dish truly never fails to disappoint.

This recipe combines classic macaroni noodles with a creamy cheese sauce made from a combination of cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, and evaporated milk. It’s quick, easy, and extra creamy in texture with just the right amount of spice. Oh! Did I mention that it’s made entirely in your Instant Pot? Yes! This is the perfect recipe for busy weeknights where all you need is one pot, minimum prep work, and maximum flavor.

Now, if you are still here reading this introduction, it’s safe to say that you love Mac & Cheese as much as I do. Let’s get started on making the best Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe out there!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese
Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese

If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food, look no further than this Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese recipe. This dish is the ultimate combination of indulgent creaminess and classic cheesy goodness that will satisfy any craving.

But that’s not all. What sets this recipe apart is how quick and easy it is to make using an Instant Pot. No more slaving over a hot stove endlessly stirring pasta water or struggling to get the consistency just right. In just 15 minutes, you can have a piping hot, perfect pot of mac and cheese ready to serve up to your family, friends or guests.

Moreover, this recipe offers flexibility for those who prefer different types of cheese or spice levels. With a wide range of substitutions and variations, you can use your favorite spice mix or switch out the cheeses to make it your own creation. Plus, with the addition of cream cheese and evaporated milk, this mac and cheese comes out extra creamy and decadent.

So why not try this Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese recipe today? It’s sure to become a family favorite and perfect for all occasions, from game day snacks to weeknight dinners or even special occasions.

Ingredient List

 Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this creamy mac & cheese recipe!
Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this creamy mac & cheese recipe!

This recipe requires 16 oz of elbow macaroni which will be cooked in the Instant Pot under high pressure.
– 4 cups water
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

As for the cheese ingredients, you will need:
1 can of evaporated milk (12 oz)
4 oz of cream cheese, soft and cut into cubes
16 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese

These ingredients are essential in making Instant Pot creamy mac and cheese. If you want an extra creamy texture, you can use condensed milk or cheddar cheese soup in place of evaporated milk. Also, for a different twist on your Mac and Cheese, make it loaded by using Velveeta cheese sauce or baking in the oven with additional toppings like bacon bits or breadcrumbs.

The Recipe How-To

 Picture-perfect macaroni and cheese that is easy to make in your Instant Pot.
Picture-perfect macaroni and cheese that is easy to make in your Instant Pot.

Step 1: Prep your Instant Pot

  • First, take out your Instant Pot and plug it in.

  • Secondly, pour 2 cups of water into the Instant Pot and add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the water. This will ensure that the macaroni is properly seasoned.

  • Press the “saute” button on your Instant Pot and once it has heated up, add in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Tip: Using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt that goes into your macaroni and cheese.

  • Stir until the butter has melted and then turn off the Instant Pot.

Step 2: Add Macaroni and Seasonings

  • Add uncooked elbow macaroni (4 cups) into the pot with the melted butter along with seasonings such as 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

  • Stir well to coat the macaroni with all the seasonings.

Step 3: Pressure Cook

  • Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth or water, then close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure it’s set to “sealing.”

  • Set your Instant Pot at “high pressure” for 4 minutes, using manual mode.

  • After cooking, do a quick release by flipping the valve from sealing to venting.

Tip: Make sure you’re using an oven mitt or towel to avoid any steam burns!

Step 4: Add Cheese and Milk

  • Once you’ve released all of the steam and there is no more pressure inside your Instant Pot, remove the lid carefully.

  • The macaroni should be cooked perfectly – tender but firm to bite!

  • Turn on your Instant Pot to “saute” mode again.

  • Drain any excess pasta water by holding the pot lid and using a colander to strain.

  • Add ½ cup of evaporated milk to the macaroni, along with 4 oz of cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.

  • Stir until all of the cheese has melted and is well combined.

Step 5: Enjoy your Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese!

  • Serve warm and enjoy your restaurant-quality mac and cheese at home!

Optional: You can even add some toppings like chives, chopped bacon, or jalapeños for a little extra kick.

Now that you have mastered the recipe, you can easily make this instant pot creamy macaroni and cheese recipe for a quick weeknight meal or as a side dish for your next gathering.

Substitutions and Variations

 You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade mac & cheese in just minutes.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this homemade mac & cheese in just minutes.

Looking to switch things up or cater to different dietary needs? This recipe is flexible and can be modified to fit your preferences. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations:

– Cheese: While we love the combination of cream cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar, you can use any cheese you like. Try swapping out one of the cheeses with provolone or pepper jack for an extra kick.

– Milk: If you don’t have evaporated milk on hand or prefer a dairy-free option, try using almond milk or oat milk in its place. Both will still give you that creamy texture.

– Spices: Feel free to adjust the seasonings based on your taste preferences. Add in some chili powder or cayenne pepper for a bit of heat, or increase the black pepper for a more savory dish.

– Pasta: Though this recipe calls for elbow macaroni, you can use any pasta shape you like. Try rigatoni, penne, or fusilli for a fun twist.

– Broth: Instead of chicken broth, you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option. Or skip the broth altogether and just use water – it will still come out delicious.

– Add-ins: This recipe is delicious as-is but if you want to take it up a notch, try adding in some cooked bacon, diced tomatoes, or sautéed mushrooms for an extra pop of flavor.

No matter what modifications you make to this recipe, the end result is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 This mac & cheese recipe is creamy, rich, and oh-so-cheesy!
This mac & cheese recipe is creamy, rich, and oh-so-cheesy!

Once you try this indulgent and creamy Instant Pot mac & cheese, you’ll never go back to the boxed stuff. To really make your meal shine, add a few finishing touches that will wow your taste buds.

When serving, feel free to sprinkle a light dusting of chili powder or cayenne pepper over the top for a little kick, or freshly ground black pepper for a classic Italian touch. I recommend pairing this recipe with a crisp salad dressed in vinaigrette or a slice of warm garlic bread to round out the meal. The bright acidity of the salad dressing cuts through the richness of the mac & cheese sauce nicely, while the bread helps to mop up every last drop of sauce.

For an extra level of decadence, try adding 2-3 ounces of cream cheese and/or mozzarella cheese during the cooking process to ramp up the cheesy goodness even further. If you’re feeling bold, experiment with incorporating other cheeses like sharp cheddar or monterey jack cheese into the recipe for an added depth of flavor.

This creamy Instant Pot mac & cheese is adaptable to just about any taste preferences or dietary needs, so feel free to go wild with toppings and add-ins! Bacon bits, fresh herbs like basil and parsley or sautéed mushrooms are all delicious options. No matter how you serve it, this mac & cheese recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any dinner table.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This is the ultimate kid-friendly meal that will please the whole family.
This is the ultimate kid-friendly meal that will please the whole family.

One of the best things about this Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready to serve. This is especially useful for busy weeknights or meal prepping.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions and let the mac and cheese cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Save some pasta water in case you need to add more liquid when reheating.

You can store the creamy instant pot mac and cheese in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. If you freeze it, make sure to thaw completely before reheating.

When you’re ready to reheat, there are a few options. You can microwave it on high until heated through, stirring every minute or so. You can also reheat it in a saucepan on low heat, adding extra milk or pasta water as needed to maintain the creamy consistency.

If you’re reheating a large batch, consider using the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F, transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Whatever method you choose, remember that reheated macaroni noodles tend to soak up liquids quickly, so have extra milk or pasta water on hand to maintain that extra creamy texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Upgrade your ordinary mac and cheese with this Instant Pot version that is sure to impress.
Upgrade your ordinary mac and cheese with this Instant Pot version that is sure to impress.

Now that you know how to make the perfect Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese, let me share with you some tips and tricks to ensure you get the best possible results.

Firstly, when adding the macaroni noodles to the Instant Pot, do not stir them in. Instead, gently tap the top layer of noodles down with a spoon until they are submerged under the water. This will prevent clumping and ensure that your pasta cooks evenly.

Secondly, make sure to use a quick release after the pressure cooking is complete. This will prevent overcooking and make sure that your macaroni noodles are al dente.

Thirdly, do not substitute evaporated milk for regular milk as it will result in a thinner sauce.

Fourthly, if you prefer a more “loaded” mac and cheese recipe, feel free to add additional ingredients such as bacon bits, diced tomatoes or green chilies. However, keep in mind that these additions may change the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Fifthly, if you find that your macaroni noodles are sticking together after cooking, simply add a small amount of pasta water back into the Instant Pot and stir gently to loosen them up.

Sixthly, for an extra creamy mac and cheese recipe, try adding cream cheese or Velveeta cheese sauce along with the other ingredients.

Seventhly, if you would like to make this recipe in a slow cooker instead of an Instant Pot, simply add all of the ingredients (except for the macaroni) into a slow cooker and cook on high for 1-2 hours. Then add cooked macaroni noodles and stir until combined.

Lastly, when reheating this dish, add a splash of milk or cream to keep it from drying out.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly creamy and delicious Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe is an excellent choice for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious and easy-to-make comfort dish. With its rich and creamy texture, this recipe is bound to satisfy your craving for a cheesy delight.

Thanks to the Instant Pot technology, you can now cook this recipe in record time without compromising quality. Plus, the ingredient list is short and simple. Whether you stick to the classic version or add some variations and substitutions, you are sure to impress your guests or family with this recipe.

So grab your ingredients, dust off your pots and pans, and get ready to make the creamiest and most comforting mac & cheese you’ve ever tasted. Whether you are an Instant Pot newbie or a seasoned pro, this recipe will become a staple in your kitchen that you’ll turn to over and over again. Happy cooking!

Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese

Instant Pot Creamy Mac & Cheese Recipe

You'll never want to make regular mac and cheese again. No more need to boil noodles and dirty a bunch of dishes because all you need is an Instant Pot! it's the creamiest mac and cheese you'll ever have!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 533.9 kcal


  • 1 lb dry macaroni noodles
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine the pasta, water, butter, salt, mustard, garlic powder and onion powder in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Lock on the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then manually release any residual pressure.
  • Carefully open the lid and turn on the sauté function. Stir in the evaporated milk, whole milk, cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, black pepper and chili powder until the cheese has melted and is creamy. Turn off the pressure cooker and serve warm.
  • Tip: If you want a golden brown topping, you can transfer the mac and cheese to a casserole dish. Top with cheese and bread crumbs, then place under the broiler until golden brown.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 227gCalories: 533.9kcalCarbohydrates: 47.2gProtein: 23.2gFat: 27.8gSaturated Fat: 16.6gCholesterol: 85.4mgSodium: 760.8mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3.1g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Cheese, Easy, Pressure Cooker, Stove Top, Thanksgiving
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