This is the CREAMIEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese — it’s loaded with cheese and comes together so quickly! The perfect Instant Pot pasta recipe, great for customizing to your family’s tastes with added protein or veggies.
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You guys. I’m hangry just thinking about this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
I don’t know if there’s any comfort food more classic than homemade macaroni and cheese — it’s carby, and creamy, and cheesy (and what’s comfort food without cheese?!) and perfect in a bowl, or even right out of the pot 😉
One of the best things about mac and cheese is how easy it is to make your own, by adding in different cheeses, protein, or veggies.
Originally, I made this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with the Habanero with Cracked Black Pepper Monterey Jack from Bothwell Cheese — it has high heat flavour and a creamy Monterey Jack base.
But I wanted to update the recipe to show just how creamy and cheesy it really is! It’s harder to show that when you’re are using any white cheese.
We love Bothwell Cheese on just about everything, but it really takes this Instant Pot mac and cheese over the top! And it’s made right here in Manitoba with 100% Canadian milk from local farms. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!
Find out where you can buy Bothwell Cheese here.
- Start by adding your cooking liquid, pasta, and a bit of fat (this keeps the pasta from sticking) into the Instant Pot — mine is a 6 quart, and they all cook a little differently but this recipe should work in any electric pressure cooker.
- Cook on high pressure — but not too long! The biggest mistake I see when people cook pasta in the Instant Pot is they overcook it. Mushy pasta is just not that appetizing!
- There will not be a lot of liquid left in the Instant Pot after cooking — do not drain it. Simply add the rest of your ingredients and stir until melted and gooey.
- Taste test! I don’t add a lot of extras to this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese because I want you to be able tot customize as you see fit. You can easily spice up the flavor with hot sauce or sriracha, add crumbled bacon, vegetables, etc. at the end just before serving to make it your own.
- Mac and cheese does continue to thicken as it sits, so while you’ll start with 1 cup of milk, you may want to add a splash every 5 or 10 minutes if you’re still serving to thin out the sauce and bring back the creaminess.
- Don’t overcook! Pasta cooks really quickly in the pressure cooker, and if you cook it too long you risk ending up with mushy, unappetizing pasta. This macaroni cooks in just 2 minutes, plus the time to build pressure (about 10 minutes total).
- Be careful when you release the pressure, as the starch from the pasta can cause it to sputter sometimes. You will need to quick release, otherwise your pasta will definitely be overcooked, so just start slowly and you’ll be fine!
- Add the flavour before cooking. I always, always cook my pasta in low sodium chicken broth as it adds incredible flavour! It’s always easier to season pasta during the cook time than after.
- Add the dairy after cooking: the milk or cream and cheese always have to go in once the pasta is cooked, or they will curdle. The heat from the pasta and the pot melts the cheese very quickly!
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This post was originally sponsored by Bothwell Cheese and I was compensated for my time in creating the recipe — I’ve since updated the post with new photos so you can see how creamy and cheesy it really is!
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- 3.5 cups low sodium chicken broth (water is fine)
- 375 grams whole grain macaroni dry (3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon canola oil or butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup 2% milk (or evaporated milk or cream for richer flavor)
- 170 grams Bothwell cheddar cheese (about 2 1/2 cups shredded – up to 4 cups!)
- hot sauce or dry mustard, optional
- Add broth, macaroni, oil, salt and pepper to the Instant Pot and stir.
- Put the lid on, turn valve to sealing, and press Manual, high pressure, and select a cook time of 2 minutes. The pressure will build for roughly 7-8 minutes and then start counting down.
- When the cook time is over, turn the Instant Pot off and do a controlled quick release, watching for any foaming. If the steam is clear, quick release any remaining pressure (do not do a natural pressure release!).
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute, and using the adjust button, select less heat (optional — the heat of the pasta should melt the cheese if you leave it off)
- Add the milk and cheese and stir until just combined. If it’s too thick, add a splash more milk. Too thin, add a bit more cheese. Note that it will thicken as it sits.
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