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 with only 5 ingredients making it a perfect choice for an easy weeknight meal! Made with evaporated milk and REAL cheese (No Velveeta here), it is a seriously delicious recipe that you must try.
Hi everyone, please meet my new friend: This insanely delicious, cheesy yet easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. I’m bringing a whole new meaning to Easy Mac. Everybody loves a baked mac and cheese, but I thought about what it would be like to try it in the Instant Pot to see if it could 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.
Now, if we are being honest, I’m one of those that grew up eating Mac N’ Cheese out of the blue box, and if it was homemade, it was made with Velveeta. There’s something to be said about the creaminess that Velveeta adds HOWEVER, I wanted to use REAL cheddar cheese in this recipe and it did not disappoint.
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese 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.
5 ingredient Instant Pot 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.
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. It’s as easy as that.
There’s 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. Like with any recipe for macaroni and cheese, a combination of cheeses provides the best flavor.
I use a combination or sharp cheddar, monterey jack, and parmesan cheese. This combo is spot on. Feel free to mix it 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 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 for your Macaroni and Cheese.
This recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in the Instant Pot is everything you love about Mac N’ Cheese – creamy, cheesy, simple and delicious.If you would like to try some add-ins, I have a few suggestions: grilled chicken or chicken pulled from a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store would be delicious! Peas or broccoli are also excellent veggies to toss into a Mac N’ Cheese.And if you’re a bacon lover, toss in some bacon crumbles. I also like to put scallions on mine, but I keep those far, far away from my little guy who does not like them. :)
- 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!!