Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Comfort food just got easier, thanks to the electric pressure cooker. Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a new family favorite that takes very little time! Dress it up with seasonal ingredients like spring peas or toasty bacon and serve for the easiest, most comforting meal. Makes 8 servings.
It wasn’t until I became a mother of two that I realized the importance of the quick and easy dinner.
Yeah, I know I’m a wee bit ridiculous. And I should have definitely realized this before I had two children.
Gone are the days where I’ve got afternoon naptime to put together an extravagant dinner.
These days, I’m all about the quick and easy and scrumptious for the whole family. The Instant Pot has become my best friend. And if a recipe isn’t easy, it isn’t happening for us on a weeknight.
And when it comes to weeknight wins, Debra from Bowl Me Over is my kind of person, and I’m so, so, so thankful she was my chosen blogger for this season’s Freaky Friday collaboration!
More easy weeknight dinner recipes: Pear BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Pear Slaw / Chicken Cordon Bleu / Instant Pot French Onion Meatloaf / Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Red Wine Reduction Sauce / Baked Steak
Debra is the soup queen, and she has tons of easy weeknight meals!
In fact, I struggled with what to make from her blog because holy cow, there’s so much deliciousness to choose from.
Some recipes I’m looking forward to trying are Deb’s Instant Pot Meatloaf, her Chicken Caprese Pasta Bowl and Potato Soup with Ham in the Instant Pot (and perfect for Easter leftovers!).
I can’t wait to make her Instant Pot Corn on the Cob this summer, too, because that’s brilliant.
Pop on over to Bowl Me Over and tell me which dish you’d make first!
So… what is Freaky Friday?
It’s an old-fashioned blog hop.
For those of y’all who haven’t been around the blogosphere for a zillion years like I have (hello, I’m basically an Internet dinosaur with TSP and my previous personal blog), a blog hop is a collaboration between bloggers where everyone brings something to the table, then you link to one another when the posts go live.
Michaela from An Affair from the Heart, the lady who founded this quarterly hop, secretly assigns everyone another blogger.
What happens next is we make a recipe from that person’s blog, photograph it as if it were our own and write a post about it with our own personal anecdote!
You can check out these Boozy Bacon Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars, the recipe I made for the Winter 2019 Freaky Friday collab.
Then, on the selected Friday, our posts go live at the same time so we can share them with y’all and with each other.
We hope that this collaboration helps you discover some amazing new recipes, as well as find new bloggers to follow!
What you’ll need to make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
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How to make Instant Pot Mac ‘n Cheese
Cook the macaroni.
In the Instant Pot, measure out the chicken stock, mustard, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Whisk until combined.
Add the macaroni noodles.
Close the lid, and set the valve to seal. Set on manual for 5 minutes.
When the cooking is complete, quick release the pressure. Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid.
Finish with the dairy products.
If you haven’t already, shred the cheese using a box grater. You can also use pre-shredded cheese, though I find the block cheese melts easier.
When the macaroni has cooked, stir in the butter, cheese and milk until the cheese is melted and the macaroni is creamy.
Serve the mac ‘n cheese.
For springtime flair, add fresh peas (or frozen peas that you’ve steamed.) You can stir them into the Instant Pot after the cheese has melted or serve them on the side for family members to mix into their bowls.
For a chillier weather addition, crumbled bacon works beautifully and adds a lovely crunch. (I bake my bacon in the oven, then crumble it when it’s cooled slightly.)
For any season, you can serve the macaroni and cheese by itself. We also like to occasionally add chicken or broccoli, too.
Whatever you decide to do, have your add-ins ready so you can stir them in and enjoy the mac ‘n cheese warm!
FAQs about this one pot Macaroni and Cheese
How can you reheat this macaroni and cheese without it becoming gross?
Macaroni and cheese is notably challenging to reheat.
If you’re going to make yours in advance (or reheat leftovers), I advise adding a little more milk before reheating and stirring after it’s been in the microwave.
Quick tips for making Instant Pot macaroni and cheese
- Make the mac ‘n cheese vegetarian by using vegetable stock (and not adding bacon.)
- Make it seasonal by adding steamed veggies like broccoli and peas, proteins like bacon or chicken, etc.
- If you don’t like sharp cheddar cheese, use a milder variety. If you don’t like Monterrey Jack cheese, use mozzarella or a mild Italian blend.
Take a look at all of our Spring 2019 Freaky Friday Recipes:
- A Grande Life – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
- An Affair from the Heart – Margarita Dip with Salted Pretzels
- Aunt Bee’s Recipes – BLT Pasta Salad
- Bowl Me Over – Macaroni Pasta Salad
- Hostess at Heart – Blueberry Buckle Recipe – Incredibly Easy To Make
- House of Nash Eats – Asparagus Tart
- Kylee Cooks – No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
- LeMoine Family Kitchen – Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos
- Life Currents – Blackened Shrimp Pasta
- Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish – Spicy Thai Basil Slaw
- Mildly Meandering – Mediterranean Scalloped Potatoes
- Seduction in the Kitchen – Grilled Peach Caprese Salad
- Take Two Tapas – Spicy Bacon Wrapped Air Fryer Shrimp
- The Foodie Affair – Coconut Pie with Creamy Custard Filling
- West Via Midwest – Air Fryer Cherry Pies
- Who Needs a Cape? – Slow Cooker Cheesy Taco Soup
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Comfort food just got easier, thanks to the electric pressure cooker. Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is a new family favorite that takes very little time and doesn't need babysitting. Once the macaroni cooks in the Instant Pot, add the cheese, milk and butter to make the creamiest mac 'n cheese imaginable. Dress it up with seasonal ingredients like spring peas or toasty bacon and serve for the easiest, most comforting meal.
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni
- 4 cups chicken stock (can use vegetable stock to make this recipe vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Peas, steamed
- Bacon pieces
- First and foremost, shred your cheeses if they’re not already shredded.
- In the Instant Pot, add the chicken stock, mustard, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir until combined.
- Add the macaroni noodles.
- Close the lid, and set the valve to seal. Set on manual for 5 minutes.
- When the cooking is complete, quick release the pressure.
- Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid.
- Stir in the butter, cheese and milk until the cheese is melted and the macaroni is creamy.
- Serve immediately with garnishes like peas or bacon pieces (or by itself because it’s delicious alone!), and enjoy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 574Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 999mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g
I have a serious weakness for mac and cheese! I love how easy the instant pot makes it!!
I have a serious weakness for mac and cheese, too! The Instant Pot seriously makes it SO easy. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
I have an IP that I really haven’t learned to use much yet. This recipe makes me want to learn to use it!
Oh, you’ve gotta learn how to use the IP because it is magical! I hope if you learn it (or give it a try) that you try this recipe out. 🙂
Im a newbie to the instant pot but Im loving the Mac and cheese idea… especially with the customizations with the veggies and bacon you mentioned! Definitely going to try this!
I feel like I’m still a newbie to the Instant Pot, as well, but it’s so wonderful to have in my kitchen. The customizations are great for family members who enjoy different things, too! I hope you enjoy this!
Quick and easy is always on my mind when trying to make a home cooked meal. How easy is macaroni and cheese and love the idea of adding some toppings…bacon would be delicious. Great recipe choice!!
I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants quick and easy when it comes to a home cooked family meal. Macaroni and cheese will always be a family favorite, and I’m glad you like the idea of adding toppings. We really enjoy switching it up with that!
Making mac and cheese in an instant pot is brilliant! I have to try it ASAP!
Deb’s recipe is so, so, so good. I wouldn’t have thought to do this before this collaboration!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
I’m really loving the different add-on’s for these. Switch it up for your mood too.
Thank you! I love being able to switch up things based on my mood and on my family’s preferences.
You are right – every family needs to have a back pocket full of tried and true easy dinners the whole gang can enjoy!! This Mac n Cheese is going on the menu plan this week!!
We all really do need that! Thank you! I hope you and yours enjoy this mac ‘n cheese as much as we did!
I’m thrilled that you chose this recipe to share for Freaky Friday! Macaroni and cheese is life in my world, I love all this cheesy goodness! I hope your family really enjoyed this meal!
YAY! Macaroni and cheese is life in ours, too, so we’d get along like a house on fire. 😉
Thanks so much for making this delightful recipe and sharing it with the world. I’m so excited I got to showcase it here for Freaky Friday!
What a delicious recipe! I love my instant pot but haven’t tried cooking pasta in it yet! This recipe looks amazing and can’t wait to expand my IP skills!
Thanks, Julie! Deb is a genius. 🙂
I’d never tried cooking pasta in my IP before, either, and I was amazed with how easy it was. You’ve gotta try this!
I love my instant pot pressure cooker! I have never made mac and cheese in it before, but what a GREAT IDEA!! It’s one of our favorite meals too!
Isn’t the IP the best, Brandi? So excited that you love yours AND that macaroni and cheese is one of your favorites, too. 🙂
I am just amazed at how things turn out in the instant pot! It’s such a great gadget! And this macaroni and cheese looks awesome! Going to try it this week!
You and me both, Amy. It’s seriously so fantastic!
I hope you and your family enjoy this mac and cheese as much as we did!
WOW! Its really that easy? What a great busy weeknight meal that my whole family will love
It really is that easy! SUPER wonderful for a weeknight because it requires no babysitting and is so so so delicious.
I never really appreciate how much time I had before I had 2 kids either!! Nowadays, the instant pot is a lifesaver on activity nights – get home at 6pm and if dinner isn’t already prepped and ready to eat, we’re in trouble!
This looks perfect for my family!!
Isn’t it funny that it takes a few kids to make you realize how much time you had before? 😉 I’m glad that I’m not the only one leaning on the Instant Pot to help make dinner on busy weeknights. It’s totally the same for us, and if it hits 6 without a game plan for dinner, we are for sure getting takeout. Which is lovely, but not something I want to do every night.
I hope you enjoy this mac and cheese and that it makes dinnertime easier for you and your family!
I really love that you can customize this recipe to suit the tastes of your family. The Instant Pot has changed my life, love mine so much.
Thanks, Lori! We love customizing everything for everyone’s tastebuds since every member of our family is a little different.
So glad that you love your Instant Pot, too!
Mmm I love mac and cheese and you made it in an Instant Pot??? Yes please!!!
Yes, ma’am! Instant Pot mac ‘n cheese is a thing, and it’s magical! 😉