Delicious Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon Recipe

As soon as I heard the words Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham), my mouth watered. As a chef known for my expertise in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I could already imagine the cheesy goodness that awaits me. That’s what makes this recipe perfect – it combines classic comfort food with ease of preparation that your entire family will love.

If you are a fan of one-pot meals, then this recipe is an essential item for your cookbook. The Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham) not only ensures that you’ll have a filling and delicious meal, but also saves precious time in the kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for picky eaters or simply want to indulge in some delicious mac and cheese, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy.

So let’s get started! Together, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions on how to create this dish that’s sure to become an instant household favorite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Myrecipies' Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham)
Myrecipies’ Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham)

Dear food enthusiasts,

Prepare your taste buds for a treat that you’ll crave once you get the first bite. I’m talking about Myrecipies’ Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham) Recipe, one of the best instant pot mac and cheese recipes out there.

Once you try this recipe, you will never go back to the boxed alternatives with only half the cheesy goodness. Imagine indulging in rich, creamy mac and cheese that is loaded with generous bacon bits or ham, making it a comfort food favorite.

What makes this recipe so special? This Instant Pot version of classic mac and cheese is cooked to perfection in a fraction of the time as compared to stovetop recipes, thanks to its pressure cooker. The Instant Pot cooks the pasta quicker by absorbing all of the necessary ingredients, leaving you with delicious macaroni noodles that have just the right amount of texture.

It gets better. This recipe has easy-to-find ingredients like unsalted butter, evaporated milk, cheddar cheese soup, black pepper, and salt – things that you probably already have in your pantry. In addition to being budget-friendly and easy-to-make, it also allows plenty of space for adjustments and customizations depending on your preference.

If you’re feeling fancy or want to switch things up, switch out bacon for ham or add broccoli florets or baked macaroni into your mix. This recipe offers a ton of flexibility without compromising its delicious taste.

Overall, Myrecipes’ Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham) Recipe has everything we could wish for in an essential dinner recipe- quick cooking time, budget-friendly ingredients list, plenty of room for variations or customizations- making it a staple in every kitchen. Trust me; this is one recipe that is worth trying.

Ingredient List

 This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the definition of comfort food!
This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the definition of comfort food!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Bacon (or Ham) recipe:

  • 1 lb. medium pasta shells
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (or ham)

Note: You can also add broccoli or other vegetables to this recipe if you’d like!

The Recipe How-To

 Crispy bacon and creamy cheese make the perfect match in this dish.
Crispy bacon and creamy cheese make the perfect match in this dish.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking! With the instant pot, this recipe is quick and easy. Simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Cook Bacon and Macaroni

In the instant pot, cook the bacon on sauté mode until crispy. Then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Keep the rendered fat in the pot.

Next, add the macaroni noodles to the pot along with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Season with salt to taste. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 4-5 minutes, or until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Once done, release the pressure using quick pressure release (QPR) then drain any excess water.

Step 2: Make Cheese Sauce

Return the pot on sauté mode with a low heat setting, add unsalted butter then wait for it to melt.

Stir in evaporated milk then add black pepper and salt to taste.

Slowly stir in grated cheddar cheese then add cooked bacon bits into cheesy mixture to make it more delicious.

Stir well until cheese is completely melted.

Step 3: Combine Pasta and Cheese Sauce

Add macaroni noodles into cheesy goodness, stirring everything together until evenly coated.

Serve hot and Enjoy!

This instant pot mac and cheese with bacon (or ham) recipe is always a hit! The pasta cooks perfectly in the instant pot and the cheesy sauce is heavenly with its great flavor combination of bacon or ham. It’s a one-pot comfort food meal that everyone will love.

Substitutions and Variations

 It's the perfect recipe for those who want to enjoy a quick and easy meal!
It’s the perfect recipe for those who want to enjoy a quick and easy meal!

Much like jazz music, cooking is all about improvisation. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, or maybe you don’t have some of the ingredients listed in the recipe, don’t worry, you can still whip up a tasty pot of mac and cheese. Here are my recommendations for substitutions and variations to give this recipe your own special twist.

Firstly, let’s talk about the meat – this recipe calls for bacon, but if you don’t have it on hand or prefer a different protein source, you can certainly swap it out. Ham is an excellent choice and I would suggest using cubed ham instead of bacon bits to keep the texture varied as well. For a vegetarian option, try adding broccoli florets instead! It will not only add vibrant color to your dish but also a nutritious element.

Now let’s consider the cheese – while I use cheddar here because it gives us that deep flavor that we associate with homemade macaroni and cheese elegance, there are other kinds and forms of cheese out there that will work just as well. Some good options include Monterey Jack which has a milder flavor compared to cheddar; Colby-Jack which brings sharpness and pleasant spice, Gouda for smoky sweetness or pepper jack for a kick of spice! Don’t hesitate when it comes to trying different types of cheeses because you never know what magic might occur.

Finally, pasta shape – while this recipe recommends medium pasta shells, feel free to get creative. Penne, rotini and fusilli can make for great alternatives with their great curves that allow for some extra sauce being trapped in them. There’s really no limit to the type of pasta that you can use so i encourage you to get inventive!

Serving and Pairing

 You'll fall in love with this easy peasy one-pot wonder!
You’ll fall in love with this easy peasy one-pot wonder!

Now, onto serving and pairing this delectable dish! One thing is for sure – it’s perfect for any occasion or meal. If you’re looking to serve it as the main course, you won’t be disappointed!

To add some color to your plate, consider adding some broccoli or cherry tomatoes on the side. These are great flavor additions that bring out the cheesy goodness in the mac and cheese.

As far as pairings go, this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Bacon (Or Ham) Recipe pairs well with a crisp green salad, dinner rolls, or garlic bread. You can even try pairing it with a glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. The fruity flavor of these wines will complement the creamy texture of the macaroni noodles and complement the smokey bacon bits!

If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, consider topping off the dish with some toasted breadcrumbs or grated Parmesan cheese. This adds an extra layer of texture to every bite, making each mouthful simply irresistible.

And remember – this dish doesn’t discriminate. It’s perfect for both adults and kids alike. They’ll love sinking their teeth into the creamy mac and cheese covered in crispy bacon bits or chunks of flavorful ham.

So don’t hesitate any longer – whip up this dish now and share it with friends and family alike!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This mouthwatering recipe is the perfect balance of flavors and textures!
This mouthwatering recipe is the perfect balance of flavors and textures!

As a busy chef, I know just how valuable it is to plan ahead in the kitchen. Luckily, this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Bacon (or Ham) Recipe is perfect for making ahead and reheating later.

To make ahead, prepare the mac and cheese as normal, then transfer it to an airtight container or casserole dish. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the mac and cheese for up to 3 months.

When it’s time to reheat, there are a few options. First, if you have an oven-safe dish, simply preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), cover the mac and cheese with foil, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. If you don’t have an oven-safe dish, you can microwave individual portions or reheat in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.

If you find that your mac and cheese has thickened up after chilling or freezing, simply add a splash of milk or water before reheating to help loosen it up.

Remember to always use caution when reheating dairy-based dishes like this one; warm them slowly so that they heat evenly and do not scorch.

By making this mac and cheese recipe ahead of time, you’ll have a delicious comfort food meal ready in no time — without any extra work!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Serve it hot right from your Instant Pot!
Serve it hot right from your Instant Pot!

Let me share with you some insider tricks that I’ve learned while making this Instant Pot mac and cheese with bacon (or ham) recipe over and over again. These tips will help you achieve a velvety, perfectly cooked mac and cheese dish every time.

1. Have All Ingredients Ready

The first tip for success is to have all your ingredients measured and ready before you start cooking. This way, you won’t waste valuable time running back and forth gathering items while food is cooking.

2. Rinse the Pasta

Rinse the pasta after boiling to remove excess starch that might make it mushy when cooked. Doing so also eliminates any unwanted bits that can carry over an unpleasant taste or texture.

3. Cheese First, Then Milk

When mixing the shredded cheese with evaporated milk over low heat, be sure to stir continuously to avoid burning. Mix in grated cheeses first to ensure that the sauce remains thick, then add evaporated milk afterward to get a creamy base.

4. Keep the Evaporated Milk Warm

Since evaporated milk tends to curdle when exposed to high heat, it’s essential to warm it in the microwave before adding it to the Instant Pot. This precaution ensures that the mixture would remain smooth as it cooks.

5. Use Room Temperature Butter

For a smoother sauce texture, let your unsalted butter sit out for a few minutes before incorporating it into the mix. Using room temperature butter helps it easily blend with other ingredients.

6. Adjust Salt and Pepper

Remember always to taste your mix before pouring it on top of the pasta—if needed add just a pinch more salt or pepper for an ideal balance of flavor.

By using these tips, you are sure to master this Instant Pot mac and cheese with bacon (or ham) recipe in no time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Bacon recipe from Myrecipes is a must-try. The combination of cheesy goodness, flavorful bacon, and perfectly cooked pasta shells creates the ultimate comfort food. Not to mention, this recipe is quick, easy, and requires only one pot.

Don’t be afraid to switch it up by trying out different substitutions and variations. Whether you opt for ham instead of bacon, or add in broccoli or some black pepper for an extra kick – the possibilities are endless.

Pair this dish with your favorite wine or beer, and enjoy it with family and friends for a truly satisfying meal.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow my tips for perfect results, make-ahead options, storing and reheating instructions. Trust me when I say that this recipe will become a staple in your kitchen – perfect for those busy weeknights when you need something warm and comforting without the hassle.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your Instant Pot and ingredient list and get cooking! Your taste buds will thank you later.

Myrecipies' Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham)

Myrecipies’ Instant Pot Mac and Cheese With Bacon (Or Ham) Recipe

The Instant Pot’s pressure function allows you to skip the entire process of boiling water, cooking, and draining the pasta saving valuable time over a traditional stovetop mac and cheese recipe. And we keep the cheese sauce quick and convenient, as well as decadently creamy, by utilizing canned evaporated milk—an affordable staple that you may already have in your pantry. Plus, evaporated milk packs less fat than using heavy cream, which means you can feel a little better about all the cheese you’re pouring in to make a beautiful melty finish. We opted for a blend of cheddar and Gouda cheeses, but feel free to go all-cheddar or try adding another favorite cheese to the mix.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 497.8 kcal


  • 4 bacon, strips, chopped
  • 1 lb medium pasta shell, uncooked
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 8 ounces cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste


  • In a 6-quart Instant Pot® add chopped bacon and press [Sauté]. Cook bacon for 8 minutes or until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn Instant Pot off by hitting [Cancel].
  • Add the pasta, water, butter, and salt. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot® and press [Manual], select high pressure and use [Adjust] to select "Less" mode. Press [-] or [+] to choose 4 minutes cook time.
  • Carefully turn knob to vent position to release steam. Remove lid. Stir in the evaporated milk, cheddar cheese, Gouda cheese and black pepper. Press [Sauté] and cook for about 4 minutes or until the cheese had melted, stirring frequently. Stir in bacon and serve warm.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 307gCalories: 497.8kcalCarbohydrates: 62.4gProtein: 19.6gFat: 18.4gSaturated Fat: 10.3gCholesterol: 44.9mgSodium: 1220.3mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 2g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You