Calling all busy moms! Are you going to make it through spring sports season? At our house we are in the midst of baseball season where the games start at 5 pm or 6:30 pm…smack dab in the middle of dinner time. If you’re committed to feeding your family at home like I am, this can pose a challenge. Do you make dinner before the game and keep it warm in a slow cooker, oven or pressure cooker? Or do you make dinner after the game when everyone’s exhausted and starving? I’ll take the first choice. I like to prepare dinner either in the slow cooker or pressure cooker around 4 pm and then keep the food on the warm setting until we can get home and eat after our activities.
Today I’ll be sharing 5(!) ways to prepare macaroni and cheese in your Instant Pot which can easily be made ahead of time and served warm when you get home. Mac and cheese is a kid favorite and the recipe twists I’ll share with you today will keep adults interested as well.
The 5 ways that I’ll be sharing to make mac and cheese are…
1. basic mac
2. buffalo mac
3. bacon mac
4. pizza mac
5. cheeseburger mac
The cool thing is that they all start out with the same basic recipe. The basic recipe just calls for the pasta, evaporated milk, salt, butter, ground mustard and cheese. Then after you make the basic recipe you can spin it depending on what mood you’re in.
Here’s how to make the basic mac and cheese recipe:
Step 1—measure out 8 ounces of dry macaroni noodles. I used these twisty macaroni noodles to make it more fun. Place the noodles in your Instant Pot.
Step 2—Add in 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of ground mustard and 1 tablespoon of butter. Then pressure cook for 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes are up let the pot sit for 5 more minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
Step 3—Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Stir in the milk, and the cheese until creamy and smooth. If you want to make a variation of this recipe see below for instructions.Print
Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes (plus 5 minute NPR)
- Total Time: 13 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
Creamy mac and cheese made quickly and easily in your Instant Pot!
- 8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni or cellentani noodles
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups water
- 6 oz evaporated milk (you can also use cream or half and half)
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Add noodles, butter, ground mustard, salt and water to Instant Pot. Cover and make sure valve is on “sealing.” Set the manual button for 3 minutes. Once the timer goes off let the pot sit for 5 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure by moving valve to “venting.”
- Turn the Instant Pot to the sauté function. Stir in the evaporated milk and slowly add in the cheese while stirring constantly. In time, the sauce will thicken up and the macaroni will become coated with a creamy, cheesy sauce. Turn off the pressure cooker. Scoop macaroni into bowls and serve.
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
Just made this today, it was good but I think I’d prefer to use heavy cream instead of the condensed milk. Way too sweet for Mac & Cheese. I’ll def try again but with the change.
It is supposed to be evaporated milk 🙂
Karen, I am brand new to the instant pot and I am eager to try this recipe and your others as well! Thank you! My son is VERY particular about just what kind of Mac/cheese he will eat (Velveeta shells and cheese) and my daughter too (Panera) LOL so we shall see if both can be satisfied and turned away from their prior faves.
Oh man! I hope they like it. Haha!
Forgot to say, I’m referring to the BASIC MAC & CHEESE recipe — for freezing. Thanks!
Does this freeze well? Any special details for freezing?
Thank you so much for this recipe, it looks great.
I haven’t tried freezing this myself but I believe that it would work. They have frozen mac and cheese tv dinners.
Can I x’s 4 for a crowd? If so, do the water and times stay the same? Thanks! LOVE your site!!!!
Yes you can. I would reduce cooking time by 2 minutes because the pot will take a long time to come to pressure. So only do 1 minute of cooking time. Let me know how it turns out!
If I double the recipe, do I double the amount of water as well? Thanks!
Do you have a little less fat and sodium recipe? Love mac and cheese but need to watch that stuff.
No I’m sorry. I bet you could leave out the salt and get a low fat cheese. Not as tasty though of course.
Joanne Francis says
Excellent recipe and so easy! My 3 grandchildren LOVED it! Karen, all your recipes are awesome. Thanks
Can’t beat homemade mac and cheese!
My family likes xrusty bread crumbs on top of our mac n cheese. Is this possible to do to the mca n cheese recipe in the ninja foodi? If so how! Thanks😁
Hi Sharon, I’m not familiar with the ninja foodi! Sorry I’m not more help.
If you double the recipe does the cook time change?
No, keep the cooking time the same.
New to pressure cooking… this was the first recipe I tried. Everyone in my family LOVED it. I wasn’t sure, so I only made it per the directions… Next time I know to double the recipe! Thank you so much for this super easy & tasty recipe! ((My kids are waiting for more!))
Nice! Welcome to the pressure cooking world 🙂
Made it made two great meals served with ceaser salade
Made this tonight Very good
This is amazing! I doubled it, and since I’m at high altitude (over 6000ft) and noodles always take longer, I added one minute to the cook time. They were perfect! This is the first home made mac’n’cheese my 9 year old actually likes. Thank you!
Michelle Miller says
I hope this can be doubled. 4 servings…not enough for two teen boys. 🙂
Yes it can totally be doubled!!
This recipe is easy and delicious!
Glad you liked it!
Just curious. Why evaporated milk? Can I just use regular milk? Thanks!
It’s a bit more creamy. You could definitely just use regular milk or half and half.
Lady Hattie says
Fast and Easy~~ Light and Breezy ~~ Thank you!