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! 

The most delicious Instant Pot Mac and Cheese you'll ever meet! This creamy, homemade Mac and Cheese is fast, easy, and can be 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

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

saute shallot in olive oil

Step one

Set the instant pot to the “saute” function and sauté the shallot in the olive oil, until tender and fragrant.

add water, salt and macaroni to the instant pot

Step two

Add the water, macaroni and salt, and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes. Manually release.

Add butter after pressure cooking- or sub vegan butter

Step three

Stir in the butter and mustard. Don’t worry if the noodles seem a bit watery at first.

add mustard for a little kick of flavor

Step four

Stir in the evaporated milk.

pour in the milk

Step five

Add two kinds of cheeses ( for the best flavor and texture).

add cheddar cheese

Here I’ve used cheddar and pepper jack. add jack cheese

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.

creamy Mac and cheese on a spoon

A creamy bowl of deliciousness.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn't get any easier than this! #instantpot #macandcheese

And topped with the Everything Spice- it’s insanely good!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn't get any easier than this! #instantpot #macandcheese

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.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn't get any easier than this! #instantpot #macandcheese

Enjoy the Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, let us know what you think in the comments below.

xoxoxo

Sylvia

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn't get any easier than this! #instantpot #macandcheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: instant pot, main, vegetarian, pasta
  • Method: instant pot, pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese- creamy, delicious and crazy good, homemade Mac and cheese doesn’t get any easier than this!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/23  teaspoons salt (I prefer 3)
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounce canned evaporated milk
  • 1/21 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

Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. As the macaroni and cheese sits, it will thicken up beautifully.
  5. Feel free to garnish with Everything Bagel Spice, Chili flakes, or Sriracha.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 493
  • Sugar: 4.7 g
  • Sodium: 1246.7 mg
  • Fat: 22.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 21.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.2 mg

Keywords: instant pot Mac and cheese, instant pot macaroni and cheese, the best instant pot mac and cheese

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. An immediate favourite from grown-ups to little ones.
    Easy, creamy and flavorsome.
    I added bacon bits for my meat eating guests and it was splendid xxxxx

  2. Hi Sylvia! Wondering if I use gluten free pasta if the cooking time would be the same or different? if so, what do you suggest? Would love to make it for the weekend! thanks! xoxo

    1. You know Gabriela- I’m honestly not sure? Maybe the same? Or perhaps try 1-2 min less? You can continue cooking it on the warm function, but can’t fix it if it is overcooked.

  3. I’ve made this twice and it’s been a big hit in my household; really hits the spot when you’re craving some comfort food. The first time I used fresh mozzarella as the 1C cheese, which I would not recommend. While it tasted good, the consistency was very stringy. The second time I used havarti and the taste and consistency was great. My partner thinks the shallot flavor is too strong (I like it), but next time I may do just a half shallot.

  4. Hi Sylvia,I have made this Mac and cheese a couple of times, always delicious, thank you for this easy and oh so tasty recipe.

  5. The original recipe is delicious and very creamy. I added puréed steamed cauliflower and some dry sherry, and then baked it in the oven with breadcrumbs on top.

  6. Gave it a trial run for Christmas Eve dinner . Yummy !! Is what my kid had to say . It’s a hit .
    Thank you for another great recipe.

      1. An immediate favourite from grown-ups to little ones.
        Easy, creamy and flavorsome.
        I added bacon bits for my meat eating guests and it was splendid xxxxx

  7. This was a lighter Mac and cheese than I have done before in the instant pot which we really enjoyed. I did find it a bit salty so next time I won’t add as much. We are looking forward to making this again with gruyere.

  8. I made this last night and it was delicious! It was a little soupy and it might be worthwhile to drain some of the water after pressure release before adding additional ingredients. I used kashkaval for my melty cheese and it was super creamy. Very quick relative to other Mac and cheese recipes that rely on roux and bechemel.

    1. Thanks Laura! Yes, it starts off a little watery but if you leave it for any length of time in the instant pot ( or save some as leftovers) it soaks up pretty quickly.

  9. Tried this once with my instant pot(but with reg milk as I dislike the taste of evaporated)–left a cheesy milky mess all over the inside of the lid, so I felt the cleanup of the instant pot was more hassle than making a cheese sauce from scratch to dress pasta. Plus, I like my Mac and cheese with buttered bread oven toasted on top (or a toasted thyme onion bread crumb mix), so I missed the final oven baking to get some crunchy bits. FYI, my son just made a batch with oregano in the cheese sauce plus halved cherry tomatoes for juiciness and a bit of acidity–good additions.

    1. Sorry this didn’t work for you Bri. The Evaporated milk, truly makes this work, and you really can’t taste the flavor once all mixed together. I’m not sure why the lid got messy like that? I totally get missing the crunchy topping.