Skip the box, and make this super easy mac and cheese in your Instant Pot! This dish can be made lightening fast in under 5 minutes at high pressure making it a perfect choice for an easy weeknight meal!
I’m bringing a whole new meaning to Easy Mac. My kids love a baked mac and cheese, but decided I would try a version in my Instant Pot to see if it can be just as delicious! The verdict: not only was it the easiest recipe I’ve ever made in my Instant Pot, but it was so creamy, cheesy, and delicious! This is even faster and easier then making boxed mac and cheese, and of course, tastes waaaaayyyyyyyy better. This can now be a staple for weeknights as a side dish or main course because of the simplicity. I also plan on making it this way when my kids want some mac and cheese for lunch on the weekends.
What I love about this recipe is that instead of waiting for water to boil, then adding macaroni, then making a sauce in a separate pan, you throw everything into the Instant Pot. After pressure cooking the macaroni with butter, salt & pepper, water, and a little dry mustard, you will have perfectly cooked macaroni. No need to keep an eye on it, the lid on the Instant Pot is shut and you won’t even think about it! After removing the lid, you add in milk and cheese. That’s it!! If you want something a little extra fancy, you can add in some bread crumbs (maybe throw it under the broiler for a minute or 2), but certainly not necessary.
A few variations can be made with this recipe. I use a combination or sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and parmesan cheese. I think the combo is spot on. Feel free to mix up and add in your favorite cheese. Gruyere or swiss would probably taste delicious; I am also going to try it with my favorite cheese aged white cheddar. I will probably use that in place of regular sharp cheddar next time. I also use canned evaporated milk in this variation. Why? Because it provides a creamier texture, and tends to be less “watery” than regular milk because of the concentrated milk proteins. If you happen to not have any on hand, regular milk can work. But I highly recommend trying the evaporated milk! Also, play it by taste and texture on adjusting the amount. I have included just 1 cup of evaporated milk, but if you want a little extra creaminess, feel free to add in a bit more.
- 1 lb Elbow Macaroni
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp dry ground mustard
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt (+ more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Add macaroni, butter, water, mustard, salt, and pepper to your Instant Pot. Secure the lid, select manual, and high pressure for 4 minutes please note: if the directions on your boxed macaroni have a boil time that is less than 6 minutes, cook on high pressure for only 3 minutes).
- Once complete, use a quick release. Open lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select saute, and cook for another 2 minutes until pasta is cooked.
- Add in evaporated milk and each of the cheeses. Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste.
- Serve hot!!