The easiest, tastiest Instant Pot Mac and Cheese you’ll ever meet. Creamy, delicious, and crazy good, homemade Mac and Cheese doesn’t get any EASIER or BETTER than this. On the table in 20 minutes!
Meet my guilty pleasure- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. I have a confession -every once in a while I get a hankering for Mac and Cheese, you know, the kind that comes in a box. As a kid, I can tell you the number of times my parents made this for me. ZERO!
It was something my immigrant parents NEVER made and you know how it goes, when you are not allowed to have something, you just end up wanting it more! I remember sneaking over to my neighbor’s house and having it there. 😉
Fast forward. My friend Cheri is a mom of three young boys and this is one of her “go-to” quick and easy meals, one that her boys love. More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve found myself stealing spoonfuls of it out of her Instant Pot as I walk by, just too delicious to resist. It brings me back to those childhood days of sneaking over to my neighbors! Creamy and flavorful, Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food!
Perhaps this pasta recipe doesn’t seem healthy on the surface, but “healthy” is quite relative, isn’t it? It’s healthier than coming out of a box with lots of ingredients that look unfamiliar.
Anyways, That’s how I like to justify it. 😉
And of course, you could top it with something nutritious – steamed broccoli, kale, edamame, etc. But at this point in my inner debate, I default to, why bother, and serve it up with Everything Spice (my favorite!) and chili flakes.
Do as you like. 😉
Ingredients in Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
I can already feel you looking at that evaporated milk… and I sense a little judgment. 😉 YES, there are other cream/milk options you can absolutely use- please feel free- but the evaporated milk really does seem to give this the BEST and creamiest texture here. Milk or cream seems to create a grainier texture.
- shallot– adds so much depth! ( or if in a hurry, skip it)
- macaroni- or other pasta
- butter and olive oil– or sub vegan butter, or other oil
- evaporated milk (truly gives the BEST texture) try this organic brand of evaporated milk
- dijon mustard (or mustard powder)- gives mac and cheese a delicious “tang”.
- grated cheddar cheese (or meltable vegan cheddar)
- pepper jack cheese (or sub gruyere, meltable vegan jack cheese )
- Optional additions: Kale, broccoli, edamame, Everything Bagel Spice, Allepo Chili flakes
How to make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Set the instant pot to the “saute” function and sauté the shallot in the olive oil, until tender and fragrant.
Add the water, macaroni and salt, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Manually release.
Stir in the butter and mustard. Don’t worry if the noodles seem a bit watery at first.
Stir in the evaporated milk.
Add two kinds of cheeses ( for the best flavor and texture).
Here I’ve used cheddar and pepper jack.
Give a good stir.
And that is it!
As the Mac and Cheese sits in the instant pot (on warm) it will thicken a bit.
A creamy bowl of deliciousness.
And topped with the Everything Spice- it’s insanely good!
It’s a low-maintenance recipe to have at a gathering that all kids love, but I’m sure you’ll see a few grown-ups sneaking in for a helping or two at the end of the night.
Can this be made Vegan?
I haven’t tried, but I believe it could be adapted easily. Use vegan butter, and vegan cream, and meltable vegan cheese. Perhaps a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
Or try this recipe for VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE!
Ways to elevate Instant pot Mac and Cheese
- Use good quality cheese, organic is nice.
- Top with vegan cheesy sprinkle or Everything Bagel spice, or chili flakes.
- Top with Crispy Shallots
- Top with Sauteed Mushrooms, steamed broccoli, or stir in kale or spinach or edamame.
Enjoy the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, let us know what you think in the comments below.
More recipes you may like:
- Our 25 Best Instant Pot Recipes
- Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Mushroom Stroganoff
- Easy Healthy Veggie-Driven Pasta Recipes! (Vegan-adaptable)
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn’t get any easier than this!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cups water
- 2 1/2 – 3 teaspoons salt (I prefer 3)
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounce canned evaporated milk
- 1/2–1 teaspoon dijon mustard (or mustard powder)
- 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (or sub mozzarella, gruyere, or other melty cheese)
- To “adultify” the Mac & Cheese, garnish with Everything Bagel Spice and Chili flakes
- Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
- Add olive oil and shallot and saute until sizzling and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water, salt and macaroni and give a good stir. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook, on high, for 4 minutes. Manually release.
- Stir the pasta, there will be a little water, this is OK. Stir in the butter, evaporated milk, and mustard. Stir in the cheese a cup at a time, until fully melted and incorporated. Taste, add more mustard for extra tanginess.
- As the macaroni and cheese sits, it will thicken up beautifully.
- Feel free to garnish with Everything Bagel Spice, Chili flakes, or Sriracha.
Using two different types of cheese here really elevates.
If in a hurry, you can skip the sauteed shallot in the beginning, and sub a teaspoon of onion powder or garlic powder.
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