Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that is loved by people of all ages. It is usually made by combining cooked macaroni noodles with a cheese sauce. This dish can be made quickly and easily in an Instant Pot. There are a variety of recipes for Instant Pot mac and cheese, but they all follow the same basic principle. The noodles and cheese are combined in the pot, and then the pot is sealed and pressure cooked for a short period of time. This results in a rich and creamy dish that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe for Instant Pot mac and cheese, then look no further! This article provides everything you need to know about making this classic dish in an Instant Pot.
This mac and cheese made in the Instant Pot has a velvety smooth sauce and is incredibly creamy and delicious. It is always a family favorite and takes approximately 20 minutes to prepare. Every time, the pasta is cooked perfectly, and you don’t even need to drain it. made without Velveeta and canned milk.
The ideal comfort dish is this Mac & Cheese from the Instant Pot! When you need a really quick family dinner, recipes like my Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup and Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa are ideal. One of my pressure cooker recipes that you must have in your recipe collection is this one.
INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE
I’ve been working on it because you asked me to. This Instant Pot mac and cheese will have you reaching for more as your mouth starts to water.
The rich, creamy cheese sauce that covers every noodle… incredibly flavorful, yet so easily produced.
Cooking this mac and cheese is as simple as making the macaroni from the blue box, but it is considerably healthier. Preservatives and other difficult-to-pronounce substances are absent. Pure cheesy bliss, only!
I utilized cheeses that I discovered melted extremely well and gave this recipe a fantastic, authentic mac and cheese flavor, but I’ll also be outlining other cheeses you may use if you’d rather use a different combination.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE
- Pasta, liquids, butter, spicy sauce, and spices should all be added.
- Keep still. Simply use a wooden spoon to gently press down and ensure that all of the pasta is covered in sauce. By doing this, the pasta will be cooked and won’t be tough. Stirring can cause your Instant Pot to display a “burn” notification.
- Cook under pressure for 4 minutes.
- Swift release I tried conducting a natural pressure release, but the pasta usually came out overcooked, so I now prefer to execute a rapid release. Due to the starchy nature of this dish, venting can cause it to splutter quite a bit. To avoid any kitchen mishaps, I typically drape a folded paper towel loosely over the vent. Remember that I only do this; Instant Pot does not advocate it. At your own risk, perform this.
- OFFSET your Instant Pot. To avoid overcooking, this keeps the setting on “keep warm.”
- Add the cheese and heavy cream and stir. Approximately one handful of cheese at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Up till a creamy sauce forms, continue stirring.
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- Don’t worry, the hot sauce and mustard powder don’t make the mac & cheese spicy or flavor it with mustard. They wonderfully complete the cheese sauce and enhance the cheese flavors.
- A small amount of water will still be in the Instant Pot when you open the cover. Don’t drain it; that is natural. It aids in the production of the sauce’s smooth, creamy texture.
- This mac and cheese thicken as it stands, so if it seems on the thin side, just give it a minute or two to settle and it will thicken up.
- I know it’s a hassle, and it’s SO tempting to use the pre-shredded cheese in the packages, but SHRED YOUR CHEESE. However, the starchy ingredient in those cheese packets prevents the cheese from clumping, which prevents it from melting properly.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- PROTEIN – For an added protein boost, feel free to include some shredded chicken, jerked pork, or crispy bacon.
- VEGGIES – Are you trying to eat more vegetables? Add some broccoli or cauliflower that has been cooked.
- TOPPINGS: If you enjoy adding a topping to your mac and cheese, move the cooked dish to a baking dish, sprinkle with more cheese, buttered panko crumbs, or buttered Ritz crackers, and bake for a further 10 minutes. Until crispy, broil for a few minutes.
- COOKING LIQUID: You are welcome to use all water or all chicken broth if you wish. Just be certain that there are 4 cups of liquid altogether.
- Gruyere, Gouda, Fontina, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Colby, or all Cheddar are examples of different cheeses. These are all excellent melting cheeses that will produce a silky sauce. Nevertheless, feel free to experiment with a variety of appealing pairings!
MAKING INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE AHEAD OF TIME
Some dishes are wonderful and much better when prepared ahead of time, but mac & cheese is not one of them.
The mac and cheese become drier and the noodles mushier as the macaroni continues to soak up the sauce while it sits.
This recipe, in my view, tastes best when prepared immediately before serving.
The recommended storage period for leftovers is 3–4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
For every cup of mac and cheese you’re heating, add roughly 1 Tbsp of milk or cream. If you’re using a microwave, add the milk right away to the bowl, and stir it halfway through cooking.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Instant Pot – I recently upgraded to this model and I love it!
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz dried elbow pasta
- 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp hot sauce optional
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese mild, medium, or sharp – use personal favorite
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1/2 – 1 cup heavy cream
- To the inner pot of an Instant Pot, add the dried pasta, chicken broth, water, butter, hot sauce, salt, garlic powder, pepper, smoked paprika, dried mustard, and onion powder. If necessary, gently press down with a wooden spoon to ensure that all of the pasta is immersed in the liquid. Keep still.
- Ensure the valve is set to “sealing” and tighten the Instant Pot lid. To set the duration for 4 minutes, press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and then use the +/- buttons.
- When the timer beeps, carefully turn the valve to the “venting” position to quickly release the pressure. Due to the starchy nature of this dish, venting can cause it to splutter quite a bit. To avoid any kitchen mishaps, I typically drape a folded paper towel loosely over the vent.
- Remove the lid and set it aside after the pin drops. To prevent your pasta from being overcooked, turn the Instant Pot OFF. Don’t drain the water that is still in your saucepan; leave it there. This aids in preparing the creamy, smooth sauce.
- Cream heavy is added; whisk. Cheeses should be added a handful at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir continuously until they have fully melted into the sauce.
- As an aside, this mac and cheese does thicken as it rests, so if it appears on the thin side, just give it a minute or two to thicken. If required, taste and adjust the seasoning.