Creamy macaroni and cheese made quickly in your instant pot with tender bites of chicken and (not crisp, but not mushy) broccoli florets. This is an easy one pot meal that the whole family will love!
- Between 1 and 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on how much meat you like)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 pound (12 oz) cavatappi, cellentani or elbow macaroni noodles
- 3 cups water (or for more flavor you can use broth)
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) fresh broccoli florets
- 3/4 cup half and half, heavy cream, milk or evaporated milk
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) grated medium or sharp cheddar (see note below)
- Cornstarch, if needed
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. While it is heating up cut up your chicken into bite-size pieces. When the Instant Pot display says HOT add in the butter. When it is melted add in the chicken and saute lightly for 1-2 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Turn off the saute function.
- Add in the pasta into a flat, even layer. Pour the water over the top to cover the pasta as much as possible. Sprinkle in the ground mustard and the salt.
- Create a foil packet by placing broccoli florets (see note below) in the center of a piece of foil large enough to enclose the food one and a half times. Pull over one side, folding the edges to seal. Then fold the remaining two edges. Don’t seal the packet too tightly: you want to leave some room for the steam to expand. Place the foil packet on top of the pasta.
- Cover the Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Set the manual/pressure cook button to 3 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit there for an additional 5 minutes and then move the valve to “venting.” Remove the lid, when you can.
- Use hot pads to open up the foil packet. Stir the broccoli into the pot. Stir in the milk (your choice) and the cheese until it is melted.
- If the mixture is too liquidy then you can prepare a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth. Stir the mixture into the pot and turn the pot to the saute function. Stir constantly until thick. The mac and cheese will thicken up in a minute or two.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
I like to grate my own cheddar instead of using pre-grated cheese. It seems to melt better and creates a creamier sauce. The pre-grated cheese seems to clump up more.
Larger broccoli florets will produce a crisper texture whereas smaller broccoli florets will be a little more soft. If you are a broccoli lover you can add twice as much broccoli into your packet. You can also forego adding fresh broccoli and add in a package of frozen broccoli after the pasta is done cooking. Just run hot water over the frozen broccoli before adding it into the pot.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Instant Pot
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 582
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 88 mg
- Fat: 23 g
- Carbohydrates: 48 g
- Protein: 45 g