Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

One of the ultimate comfort foods for kids and adults alike is mac and cheese. It seems to be one of those dishes that no one turns down. Instant Pot mac and cheese is no different! It’s easy to make and oh so cheesy. Let me show you how to make this easy Instant Pot dinner.

Easy Instant Pot Mac and cheese recipe

When you ask kids what they want to eat, the one thing everyone can agree on is Mac and Cheese. Always. It’s always mac and cheese and chicken nuggets at our house. I feel like that’s a common menu for most households with kids.

So why not spice up traditional mac and cheese and make it in the Instant Pot? It’s easy and makes a super cheesy pasta that is perfect as a side or a main dish.

Why Make Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot?

The major reason you would want to make Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot is because it adds a little variety to the plain box Mac and Cheese. Additionally, making your own is a lot more nutritious than using fake cheese sauce.

In this recipe, you use hand shredded cheese which means it is going to be a much cheesier and healthier option.

Instant Pot Mac and cheese recipe

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients

This recipe really doesn’t need a lot of ingredients. Most of the ingredients are things you probably already have in your pantry. If you don’t have a brick of cheese, you could use shredded cheese instead.

  • 1 pound macaroni noodles or similar pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups brick cheese, shredded yourself
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk

Noodles – Macaroni noodles are the most common noodles used for mac and cheese but any broad noodle will work.

What is the Best Noodle for Mac and Cheese?

There really isn’t one best noodle to use for Mac and Cheese. What is great about making your own is that you have the option to switch up the noodles and spice up the recipe. If you’re tired of plain old elbow macaroni noodles, there are other noodles you can substitute. Here are some ideas:

Chicken broth – The chicken broth gives this Instant Pot mac and cheese so much more flavor than water. If you don’t have broth you can use water or a combo of both.

Spices – The spices in this mac and cheese are mild. I used salt, pepper and garlic powder. Feel free to customize the spices and make it your own.

Cheese – You need to use freshly grated cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents in it and it tends to clump. You also need to add the cheese in batches in make sure it comes out smooth.

Instant Pot Mac and cheese

How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

This recipe is super easy to make. You can make it in a jiffy. Follow these simple instructions:

Step 1: Put your pasta, broth, butter and spice into your inner pot. I like to make sure that my pasta is underneath the liquid, but it’s not necessary. You can just toss it together and go.

Step 2: Place the lid on your Instant Pot. Then, make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.”

Step 3: Press your manual or pressure cook button and set the time to 5 minutes. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure. When time is up, do a Quick Release.

While your pasta is cooking, you can grate your blocks of cheese.

Step 4: When pressure is released, drain off most of the liquid, leaving a bit in the bottom of the pot. Add 1/2 cup of milk to your pasta. Then, slowly stir in the cheese in batches. Make sure the one previous has melted completely before mixing in more.

Add more milk if the mac and cheese ends up being a bit dry or stuck together.

How to store Leftovers

If you make a big pot of this, you are sure to have left overs. As you probably know, Mac and cheese can be easily stored in your fridge. Simply put it in a plastic container and plop it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for about 3-days.

How to Freeze It

If you want to freeze your Mac and Cheese, it will last for 2-months in the freezer. I would advise using freezer bags. Divide the Mac and Cheese up into portion sizes so you don’t have to thaw all of it for 1-person.

How do you Make Mac and Cheese Creamy Again?

As many of us know, Mac and Cheese just doesn’t taste the same reheated as it did fresh. But, you can make it creamy, cheesy and delicious again! Here’s what you do:

  1. Put your leftovers in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add milk to your pasta. You want to put in 1 tablespoon per cup of noodles.
  3. Cover your dish with plastic wrap to create steam when heating in the microwave.
  4. Cook in your microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time. Cooking it slowly and stirring often helps revitalize it.
  5. Add some toppings. If you aren’t satisfied with that, add a small hand full of shredded cheese and some bacon bits. Heat a little longer to melt the cheese.

Other Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipes

The great thing about Mac and Cheese is that there are a million different ways to make it! Here are some other Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipes to try:

Instant Pot Mac and cheese recipe

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

How to make super creamy mac and cheese in the Instant Pot.


  • 1 pound macaroni noodles or similar pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups brick cheese, shredded yourself
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk


  1. Place your pasta, broth, butter and spices in the Instant Pot.
  2. Turn the valve to SEALING and high pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, grate your cheese and set aside.
  4. When the pasta is done cooking, do a quick release of the pressure.
  5. Drain most of the liquid, leaving about 1/4 cup still in the pot.
  6. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and some of the cheese. Stir the noodles until the cheese melts and is creamy. Do this in batches until you have melted all the cheese.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 602mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g

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Kelley Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Hey y'all! I'm Kelley!

I am a Texan living in the woods of mid-Michigan with my husband, 4 kids and a whole farm of animals. I heard amazing things about the Instant Pot and knew that I had to give it a try. Many of these recipes are family favorites, and I want your family to enjoy them as well!