Mouthwatering Instant Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe

As a lover of macaroni and cheese, I have tried countless recipes to find the perfect balance of creamy, cheesy goodness. And I must say, this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe takes the cake.

Not only is it quick and easy to make, but it also delivers on flavor and texture. The combination of monterey jack cheese and extra-sharp cheddar cheese creates a rich and creamy cheese sauce that will have you coming back for seconds.

Using an Instant Pot allows for a speedy cook time without sacrificing taste. In just four minutes under high pressure, your macaroni will be cooked to perfection. And for those who prefer a bit more bite to their pasta, you can increase the cook time up to five minutes with manual high pressure.

Whether you’re looking for a quick dinner for yourself or a crowd-pleasing dish for your next event, this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. So why settle for traditional baked macaroni or slow cooker cheese noodles? Give this recipe a try and taste the difference in each creamy bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Looking for a quick and easy dinner recipe that’s ooey-gooey, cheesy, and delicious to the last bite? Then look no further than this amazing Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe! Not only is it incredibly easy to whip up in just a few minutes, but it’s also made with simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand, using our favorite kitchen gadget: the Instant Pot.

One of the things that truly sets this macaroni and cheese apart from other recipes is its silky smooth cheese sauce. Made with creamy evaporated milk, sharp cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese, this sauce packs a punch of flavor and adds richness to the pasta shells while keeping them tender on the inside.

But that’s not all! The blend of seasonings added to the pressure cooker ensures that every macaroni shell is perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of salt and Dijon mustard to complement the creaminess of the cheese sauce. This recipe is also versatile, as it can easily be adjusted or modified to suit personal tastes or dietary restrictions.

Whether you’re a busy student looking for a quick dinner fix, or a meat lover seeking your next pasta dish indulgence, this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is sure to become one of your go-to meals. With minimal prep time and cook time of just 4 minutes at high pressure (plus 5 minutes if you like your pasta more tender), you’ll have a warm and comforting meal ready in no time. So why wait? Try out this savory mac and cheese recipe today for a truly unforgettable culinary experience that’s both easy to make and oh-so-delicious!

Ingredient List

 Cheesy heaven in a bowl.
Cheesy heaven in a bowl.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this luscious and creamy Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recipe:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of butter
  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni or pasta shells (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup of shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

These ingredients will create a flavorful, cheesy base for your mac and cheese dish. Be sure to get high-quality cheese for that added richness and depth of flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 Say cheese! This mac and cheese is Insta-worthy.
Say cheese! This mac and cheese is Insta-worthy.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s dive into the recipe! This Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is simple yet delicious, perfect for a quick dinner any day of the week. Here’s how to make it:


  • 16 oz (454g) Elbow Pasta or Large Pasta Shells
  • 4 cups (1L) Water
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) Butter
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Evaporated Milk
  • 2 cups (200g) Extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup (100g) Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

Step 1: Add Water and Macaroni

First, add 4 cups of water and 16 oz of macaroni to the Instant Pot. Make sure all the macaroni is submerged in water.

Step 2: Seasoning

Now it’s time to season your mac and cheese. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the pot. Stir well to distribute seasoning.

Step 3: Add Butter and Lock Lid

Next, add in 1/2 teaspoon of butter over the macaroni. Close and lock lid tightly.

Step 4: Pressure Cook

Set the Instant Pot to “Manual” mode at “High Pressure” for 4 minutes by using the “+” or “-” button on your Instant Pot. It will take around 6-8 minutes for your pot to build pressure.

Step 5: Quick Release

Once your Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release by turning the steam release valve towards the “Venting” position to release the pressure immediately.

Step 6: Add Evaporated Milk and Cheese

Now it’s time to add in the good stuff. First, pour in 1/4 cup of evaporated milk to your pasta. Then, gradually stir in 2 cups of extra-sharp cheddar cheese and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese until all the cheese has melted.

Step 7: Season to Taste

Finally, taste your mac and cheese and adjust salt and seasonings as needed. For a little kick, you can even add some hot sauce.

There you have it, folks – the perfect Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recipe! This creamy, cheesy goodness is sure to satisfy any craving.

Substitutions and Variations

 The ultimate comfort food.
The ultimate comfort food.

Looking to mix things up a bit with your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations that you can use to customize this classic dish to your taste.


– Cheese: The possibilities are endless when it comes to cheese. You can try swapping out the traditional combination of Monterey Jack and extra-sharp cheddar with other types such as Gouda, Fontina, or even blue cheese.

– Pasta: You can also experiment with different types of pasta, from elbow macaroni to pasta shells. For a gluten-free option, substitute regular pasta with gluten-free pasta.

– Seasonings: While Dijon mustard and kosher salt are essential flavor boosters in this recipe, feel free to switch things up by adding different seasonings like garlic powder, paprika or even hot sauce for an extra kick.


– Meat lovers: If you prefer a meatier mac and cheese, try adding cooked crumbled bacon, ground beef or sausage to the recipe.

– Baked macaroni: To achieve that tantalizingly crispy top layer of cheese, transfer your mac and cheese to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

– Creamy mac: For an ultra-creamy texture, add cream cheese to your cheese sauce. The elevated creaminess will take this recipe from delicious to decadent.

– Homemade macaroni: Feeling ambitious? Make your own homemade macaroni noodles following our directions step-by-step. The result is sure to be worth the effort!

Experimenting with substitutions and variations is a great way to put your own spin on this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

Serving and Pairing

 Quick, easy and creamy.
Quick, easy and creamy.

This Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is a wonderful dish that can be the star of any meal. This creamy, cheesy pasta is a great choice for quick family meals or busy weeknights. It’s also very versatile and can be customised to suit any taste preference, making it perfect for dinner parties, potlucks or to surprise meat lovers.

The creamy instant pot mac and cheese recipe pairs beautifully with a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, asparagus or broccoli. The sweetness of the veggies complements the savoury flavour of the cheese and balances out the richness of the pasta. I recommend serving this dish hot and fresh from the pot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley or basil leaves.

Another tasty pairing option is to serve this macaroni cheese recipe with some hot sauce or Sriracha on the side. The spicy notes of these sauces perfectly complement the cheesy creaminess of the pasta, providing an extra kick of flavour.

For a final touch, you could also add some seasonings like paprika or more salt and pepper to enhance the overall taste of your pressure cooker mac and cheese.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a delightful dinner, a quick snack or want to entertain guests in style, this easy-to-make macaroni cheese recipe made in an Instant Pot will not disappoint. It’s gooey, cheesy and downright irresistible!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Dinner just got a whole lot tastier.
Dinner just got a whole lot tastier.

This Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is perfectly suited for busy weeknights or last-minute dinner parties. And the best part? It can be made ahead of time and reheated easily, without losing its creamy texture or delectable flavor.

To make this a make-ahead dish, simply cook the macaroni according to recipe directions and mix in the cheese sauce. Transfer the mixture to a heat-safe dish and cover with foil. Place it in the refrigerator for up to two days until you’re ready to serve it.

When it’s time to reheat, remove the foil and sprinkle extra shredded cheese over the top of the macaroni. Bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Alternatively, you can also reheat it in a microwave by placing a portion in a microwave-safe dish and reheating it for 1-2 minutes on high.

If you have leftovers after serving, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, add a splash of milk or water to loosen it up before heating and stirring occasionally over low heat on your stovetop until heated evenly.

This dish will stay fresh if frozen for up to three months, but we recommend following the same reheating instructions as reheating from refrigeration once defrosted.

With these tips, you can plan ahead and still enjoy the creamy deliciousness of this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe anytime you like – whether you’re feeding yourself or entertaining guests at a moment’s notice!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Who needs a restaurant when you can make mac and cheese like this at home?
Who needs a restaurant when you can make mac and cheese like this at home?

To ensure that your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese turns out perfectly every time, keep in mind these helpful tips and tricks.

1. Use high-quality cheese: The key to making a delicious mac and cheese is using the best quality cheese you can find. For this recipe, I recommend combining Monterey Jack and extra-sharp cheddar cheese for maximum flavor.

2. Evaporated milk for creaminess: Evaporated milk is my secret ingredient for creating a creamy and velvety sauce. It also helps prevent the cheese from separating and becoming grainy.

3. Add seasonings for added depth: To enhance the flavor of your mac and cheese, add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard when cooking the pasta. You can also add a dash of hot sauce or any other seasonings you prefer.

4. Pasta-water ratio: Be sure to use 4 cups of water for every 8 ounces of pasta shells or elbow macaroni to achieve the perfect balance between tender pasta and cheesy sauce.

5. Lock lid before pressure cooking: Before starting the pressure cooking process, make sure that the lid is set in its lock position to prevent any steam from escaping.

6. Quick release vs natural release: Depending on your preference, you can either quickly release pressure or let it release naturally. For this recipe, I recommend a quick release as it prevents the pasta from becoming overcooked.

7. Cheese addition after cooking time: To avoid undercooked or overcooked cheese, add shredded cheese to the pot only after it has finished cooking so that it can melt evenly into the sauce.

8. Be patient with manual pressure release: Once you’ve finished cooking your mac and cheese, it’s important to be patient during the manual pressure release process as releasing the steam too quickly can cause liquid to spew out of the valve along with steam.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to achieve perfect results every time with this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a quick, delicious, and easy dinner option that will impress your family and friends. With its perfectly cooked pasta shells coated in creamy, cheesy goodness, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Plus, with the help of an Instant Pot pressure cooker, you can have this dish ready in just a fraction of the time it would take on the stove.

Not only is this recipe hassle-free, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can easily make substitutions and variations based on your personal taste preferences or dietary requirements. Feel free to add hot sauce or seasonings to kick the flavor up a notch or even swap out the macaroni for elbow pasta or homemade macaroni noodles.

In addition to being easy and delicious, this recipe is perfect for busy weeknights or meal-prepping ahead of time. You can make and store leftovers in the fridge or freezer, then reheat them later for a quick dinner option that tastes just as good as when you first made it.

Overall, I highly recommend giving this Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese recipe a try. It’s simple yet packed with flavor, making it an ideal choice for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. With its seamless preparation process and impressive end result, it’s guaranteed to become a staple in your weekly meal plan. So fire up your Instant Pot and let’s get cooking!

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

I loved that everything can be thrown in a pot, and I don't have to mess with it or even have a stove to make this happen. Fast and easy. Recipe courtesy of No. 2 Pencil.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 521.9 kcal


  • 1 lb dried pasta shells or 1 lb macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (I did not add more than a sprinkling of salt, but posting as written)
  • 3 -4 dashes Frank's red hot sauce
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, 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 to 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.
  • 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 youth to prevent steam burns.
  • Stir in evaporated milk, followed by shredded cheese by the handful.
  • Continue stirring until cheese is completely melted.
  • Serve immediately, or switch warm setting back on to keep warm.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 284gCalories: 521.9kcalCarbohydrates: 47.5gProtein: 24.9gFat: 25.6gSaturated Fat: 15.7gCholesterol: 76.6mgSodium: 1309.2mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 1.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Macaroni And Cheese
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