Sumptuous Macaroni and Cheese Pressure Cooker

There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of mac and cheese. Creamy, cheesy, and oh-so comforting, it’s the perfect food for a rainy day. And thanks to the Instant Pot, it’s now easier than ever to make this classic dish. Simply add your macaroni and cheese ingredients to the pot, set the timer, and let the machine do its work. In just minutes, you’ll have a piping hot dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table. So next time you’re in the mood for some comfort food, be sure to give Instant Pot mac and cheese a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, cheesy, and carb-loaded, it’s the perfect dish for a cold winter’s night. But making mac and cheese from scratch can be time-consuming, especially if you’re using traditional methods. Enter the Instant Pot. This nifty kitchen appliance can speed up the cooking process, making it easier than ever to enjoy a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese. And this recipe takes things one step further by using evaporated milk as its secret weapon. The evaporated milk gives the sauce a rich, creamy texture, while the addition of cheddar cheese provides a sharp contrast to the sweetness of the evaporated milk. Salivating yet?

I used to think that making macaroni and cheese from scratch was a bit of a production. You had to boil the noodles, drain them, mix in the sauce ingredients, then bake the whole thing in the oven. It was a lot of work for a weeknight meal, and honestly, I usually just resorted to the boxed stuff. But then I discovered the pressure cooker macaroni and cheese trick, and my life has been forever changed. This shortcut really speeds up the recipe – no waiting for a pot of water to boil, no draining, and one (pressure cooker) pot to clean. Delicious, homemade macaroni and cheese is now within reach, and my kids couldn’t be happier about it. So if you’re looking for a way to make this classic comfort food a lot easier (and quicker), give this pressure cooker method a try. You’ll be glad you did!

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Pressure Cooker mac and cheese – quick, easy, and better than the dreaded blue box.
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Macaroni

  • 1 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 12 ounces can evaporated milk
  • 16 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 ounces shredded Parmigiano cheese

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta on high pressure for 4 minutes: Then stir the macaroni with butter, mustard and hot pepper sauce. Add 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker pot. The pressure cooker lid should be locked. Cook on high pressure for four minutes using an electric or stovetop computer. For an Instant Pot, select Manual or Pressure Cook mode and set the timer for 4 minutes. After the timer is up, release the pressure quickly and take off the lid.
  • Add the evaporated milk cheese: Turn down the heat in the pot to low or use the electric pressure cooker to saute/keep warm mode. Stir in the evaporated dairy milk. Take a bite of the pasta and test it. It should be cooked through but still al dente. To soften the pasta, boil it for a few more minutes. Mix in the cheese one at a time. Stir constantly, and wait for each handful to melt before adding another.
  • Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and broil (Optional step): If you prefer a toasted bread crumb topping, pour the macaroni in a 3-quart oven-safe dish. Pat it down to level the surface. Spread the panko evenly over the cheese and macaroni. Broil the cheese and macaroni on high for 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. The bread crumbs should be checked often as they can quickly go from pale brown to burnt.

Notes

4 cups of water is just enough to cook 1 pound (16 ounces) of pasta. No draining is necessary; the water will be absorbed by the pasta. If you have a smaller box of pasta – 12 ounces and 13.25 ounces are common sizes of whole wheat pasta – cut the water back to 3 cups. (Everything else can stay the same.)
Serve with a bottle of hot sauce at the table. I like Frank’s Red Hot or the smoky flavor of chipotle hot sauce.
I have burned a lot of bread crumbs in my day. I set a timer for 1 minute intervals while I’m broiling, in case I get distracted. (By a homework meltdown…just to pick a hypothetical example). I have the timer to remind me – “Oh no! The breadcrumbs!”