Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

4.9 from 15 reviews

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is creamy, mouthwatering and hands off family comfort food. Made healthy-ish with only 1 cup of cheese and any kind of noodles, this pasta dinner recipe is ready in 15 minutes.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 13 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 tsp mustard, from a bottle
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup milk, 2% or 3.25%
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 oz) cheddar or marble cheese, shredded


  1. To any size Instant Pot, add pasta, butter, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper and water.
  2. Close the lid, turn pressure release valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 3 minutes.
  3. After allow pressure come down naturally for 8 minutes to prevent splatters all over your counter. Then turn pressure release valve to Venting to release remaining pressure.
  4. Open the lid and stir pasta gently.
  5. Add cheese in portions, stirring in between. It might look stringy.
  6. Then add milk in 1/4 cup portions until desired consistency, stirring in between. Mac and cheese will become creamy.
  7. Serve immediately.


More Tips, How to Store and Reheat

  • Mustard: You can add more mustard, use Dijon instead of yellow mustard or skip all together. We like just a tiny touch.
  • A touch of hot sauce adds flavour without prominent hot sauce flavour.
  • Gluten free pasta: I would cook it for 1 minute with same 8 minute pressure release.
  • If pasta appears uncooked due to altitude or whatever other reason because it is Instant Pot, close the lid and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will get there.
  • You can press Keep Warm but keep in mind pasta absorbs liquids fast. And the longer you heat it, the faster sauce dries out and pasta becomes mushy. You can rehydrate dish by adding a splash of milk or don’t keep warm and reheat leftovers before serving.
  • To reheat mac and cheese right in Instant Pot, press Sauté and add a splash of water. Stir gently until heated through. Milk burns in a pressure cooker easily, so that’s why I recommend water.
  • As I mentioned before, I like fresh mac and cheese and pasta doesn’t freeze well. You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days and then reheat on a stove .
  • To make less, you can cut recipe ingredients in half but keep same cooking time.

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