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The Best Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese! This is the EASIEST recipe for Mac and Cheese that you’ll find. Add in cream cheese for extra creaminess!
Move over Kraft Mac and Cheese because the best Instant Pot mac and cheese has arrived. This insanely delicious, cheesy, creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe comes together in five minutes and only needs to cook in the Instant Pot for 4 minutes.
You will adore the simplicity of this recipe while your kiddos will love it – hot dogs and macaroni and cheese anyone? My kiddo loves that combination. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Chicken is another favorite and sometimes we will add bacon too. This recipe will quickly become a staple for weeknights as a side dish or main course.
Ingredient Notes for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Elbow Macaroni: This recipe calls for 1 pound Elbow Macaroni. Feel free to substitute any pasta that you’d like, just note that it may take a bit longer to cook. If you are looking for the quickest option available, go with elbow macaroni. It’ll only take 3-4 minutes in the Instant Pot for elbow macaroni to cook perfectly.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted, whatever you have on hand is fine. If you are using salted butter, you may want to slightly reduce the amount of salt that you add.
- Dry Ground Mustard: If you do not have dry ground mustard, it’s ok. You can still proceed with making this recipe. Dry ground mustard adds just a hint of tanginess to the recipe. It also acts as an emulsifier which helps make the texture nice and creamy.
- Salt: This recipe for Mac and Cheese calls for 2 teaspoons of salt. You can use table salt, kosher salt, or even sea salt. Whatever you have on hand. Feel free to reduce the salt slightly if using salted butter.
- Black Pepper: Just a half teaspoon of black pepper is all you need to season this Mac and Cheese.
- Evaporated Milk: One cup of evaporated milk is used in this recipe. You can find evaporated milk in the baking aisle at most grocery stores. It is more concentrated and has a slightly heavier taste which works well in a macaroni and cheese recipe. It is less watery than regular milk because of the concentrated milk proteins. If you don’t have any evaporated milk on hand, regular milk will work too.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: When you are cooking with cheddar cheese, always go with a sharp or extra sharp variety. It melts well and tastes the best.
- Monterey Jack Cheese: If you don’t have Monterey Jack cheese on hand, feel free to substitute with whatever cheese you have and enjoy – other great options include gruyere, smoked gouda, or even fontina.
- Parmesan Cheese: I like to use a microplane grater to finely grate parmesan cheese. It melts the best when it is finely grated. If you don’t have parmesan cheese on hand, use extra cheddar or any other cheese of your choice.
- Cream Cheese: for a little extra creaminess, you can add in 2 ounces of cream cheese. This is totally optional but makes for an extra creamy and delicious Mac and cheese.
One of the best parts about this recipe is that you do not need a long list of ingredients to make it. This Mac and Cheese requires basically only 5 ingredients depending on how many different cheeses you decide to use. 5 ingredients! That’s it. And it’s amazing.
Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Instructions
Homemade macaroni and cheese has never been easier to make with the Instant Pot. While Kraft Mac & Cheese is a staple in many households, this Instant Pot recipe is made just as quickly as the blue box.
Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot with the exception of the cheeses. Secure the lid, select manual – high pressure, make sure the valve is set to sealing, and set the timer for 3-4 minutes. It is going to take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure before the timer will count down. When the timer goes off, allow the valve to release pressure. This is known as a quick-release. I use a kitchen towel to cover the valve so that it doesn’t spray all over. Once all of the pressure has released, open the lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select the sauté feature and cook for another two minutes or so until the pasta is cooked.
Can I use something other than elbow macaroni?
Yes, feel free to use any pasta that you have on hand, but be aware that you may need to add a minute or two to the cooking time. Larger noodles are going to take longer to cook.
Can I use condensed milk?
No, if you do not have evaporated milk, I’d recommend using 2% Milk, 1% Milk, or Whole Milk. This recipe has not been tested with alternative milks such as oak milk or almond milk.
Can I use different cheese?
Yes, I’d definitely recommend sticking with cheddar cheese, but you can add in any other cheeses that you’d like. The addition of two ounces of cream cheese makes this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese extra creamy and delicious. A combination of cheeses provides the best flavor.
What should I serve with Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese?
Often times I will get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to go along with this. Add a side of fruit or veggies and you have a super simple dinner. My little guy will often request hot dogs and macaroni and cheese so that’s always an option too. It works great as a side dish for so many recipes and is truly comfort food at its finest.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes? I’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorites:
- Instant Pot Cheddar Broccoli and Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Apple Crisp
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Chowder
- Easy Instant Pot Taco Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- How to make Spaghetti in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Maple Banana Bread Oatmeal
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches
This recipe for Easy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is everything you love about Mac N’ Cheese – creamy, cheesy, simple, and delicious. It is simply the best and I hope you love it as much as we do.
Instant Pot Easy Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp dry ground mustard
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt plus 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 shredded
- 2 oz cream 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 the lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select sauté and cook for another 2 minutes until the pasta is fully cooked.
- Add in the evaporated milk and each of the cheeses. Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste.
- Serve hot.