Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the fastest, easiest way to make mac and cheese! This simple dump-and-go recipe is all made in the Instant Pot - no need to make a separate sauce.
Since I'm always making and testing dinner recipes, we don't have a regular rotation. But this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is one quick and easy recipe that I make again and again.
It's easy to make, and it's simple comfort food. It also uses basic pantry staples that I always have on hand.
This mac and cheese takes less than 30 minutes total to make, and that includes the time it takes for the IP to come to pressure. Also, there's no need to make a separate sauce.
This mac and cheese is a little different than my no-drain Instant Pot mac and cheese because it uses evaporated milk. However, everything is made right in the inner pot, which makes it faster and leaves fewer dirty dishes to clean up.
How to make mac and cheese in the Instant Pot
Step 1: Add the pasta to the inner pot and add enough water to cover the pasta by 1 inch.
Step 2: Close and lock the lid. Move the pressure release valve to SEALING.
Step 3: Press Manual high pressure and adjust the cooking time to 4 minutes.
Step 4: Turn the pressure release valve to VENTING. Drain the pasta, and return to the inner pot.
Step 5: Stir in the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Step 6: Press cancel. Stir in cheese until cheese has melted.
- I usually use cavatappi pasta. I've found that it holds us well to pressure cooking. I've also used large elbow macaroni. If you use a smaller noodle, you may find that you need to adjust the cooking time.
- Normally, I'm not a fan of using packaged shredded cheese in macaroni and cheese. In my stovetop mac and cheese recipe, I recommend using blocks of cheese. However, I've used shredded cheese, and it has worked well in this recipe.
- You can vary the cheese to change the flavor. Sharp cheddar will give you a stronger flavor; mild cheddar a milder flavor. Monterrey Jack and cheddar will give you a nice ooey gooey mac and cheese. We also like triple cheddar cheese blends in this.
- Sometimes I even thrown in some shredded parmesan cheese for a little more bite.
Any leftover mac and cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The mac and cheese will keep for up to 4 days when properly stored but is best eaten in the first 1-2 days.
More Instant Pot pasta recipes!
If you’ve tried this easy Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces dry shaped pasta1
- 3-5 cups water
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Salt and pepper
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese2
- 8 ounces shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Add pasta to the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
- Add enough water cover pasta by 1 inch. Depending on the shape of the pasta, it usually takes 3-5 cups of water.
- Lock lid in place, and turn pressure release valve to SEALING.
- Cook on MANUAL/HIGH pressure for 4 minutes.
- Carefully turn pressure release valve to VENTING.
- Unlock lid, and drain pasta.
- Return pasta to inner pot.
- Add milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard and stir to combine.
- Press CANCEL.
- Stir in cheese, and continue stirring until cheese has melted and is combined.
- I like to use cavatappi. If you're using a smaller noodle, like elbow macaroni, decrease the cooking time to 3 minutes.
- I've used a number of combinations of cheeses. Feel free to use the types of shredded cheese that you like.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen.