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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe Guide Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe Guide


Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe Guide

Written by: Lucas Johnson

This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is my go-to comfort food. It's creamy, cheesy, and so easy to whip up. Perfect for those days when I need a quick, satisfying meal.

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Hey there! You won't believe the creamy wonder that is my homemade instant pot mac and cheese. It's my secret weapon for potlucks and family dinners, always a crowd-pleaser. Pure comfort food, oozing with cheddar goodness, and the added kick of garlic and mustard. Best part? It's incredibly easy to make. Let's get cooking!

Ingredients for the Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

  • Elbow macaroni: Classic pasta shape that holds the creamy cheese sauce well, creating the base for this comforting dish.
  • Water: Essential for cooking the macaroni in the Instant Pot, ensuring it's perfectly cooked and ready for the cheesy sauce.
  • Unsalted butter: Adds richness and creaminess to the cheese sauce, enhancing the overall flavor and texture of the mac and cheese.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: Melts smoothly into a gooey, cheesy sauce, providing the signature flavor and creaminess to the mac and cheese.
  • Whole milk: Adds creaminess and richness to the cheese sauce, creating a velvety texture that coats the macaroni beautifully.
  • Garlic powder: Infuses a subtle savory flavor into the cheese sauce, complementing the richness of the cheddar and adding depth to the dish.
  • Mustard powder: Adds a hint of tanginess and depth to the cheese sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the mac and cheese.

Essential Tools for Making Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the macaroni quickly and efficiently.
  • Measuring cup: Needed to accurately measure ingredients like water, milk, and cheese for the recipe.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe Guide

This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a quick and easy recipe that delivers creamy, cheesy comfort food in just 9 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 9 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 545 kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • Measuring Cups
  • Wooden Spoon


Main Ingredients

  • 16 oz elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • to taste Salt and pepper


  • Add macaroni, water, and salt to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure and drain any excess water.
  • Stir in butter until melted, then add cheese, milk, garlic powder, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir until cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


This recipe is perfect for a quick and easy dinner. You can also customize it by adding cooked bacon, broccoli, or other favorite ingredients.

Nutrition value:

Calories: 545kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 23gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 691mgPotassium: 257mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 728IUCalcium: 515mgIron: 2mg


Keyword Instant Pot, Mac and Cheese, Quick Dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Can You Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ahead of Time?

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Cook the mac and cheese as directed, but slightly undercook the pasta.
  • Let it cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • When ready to serve, reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of milk to revive the creaminess.

Freezing Instructions

  • Cook the mac and cheese, but do not overcook the pasta.
  • Let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the mac and cheese sauce can give it a subtle umami boost that enhances the overall flavor profile.

Common Questions About Making Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute the elbow macaroni with other pasta shapes like penne or rotini.
How can I make this mac and cheese more flavorful?
You can add different types of cheese like Gouda or Parmesan for a more complex flavor profile.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the mac and cheese ahead of time and reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little extra milk to keep it creamy.
Is it possible to add vegetables to this dish?
Absolutely! You can add steamed broccoli, peas, or diced tomatoes to sneak in some extra veggies.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the mac and cheese in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat when ready to eat.

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