instant pot macaroni and cheese close up

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword macaroni and cheese, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 367kcal
Author Ashley Fehr


  • 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.


*NOTE: I originally made this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with the Bothwell Habanero with Cracked Black Pepper cheese, but have updated to the recipe to call for cheddar which is more typical. Any flavor of cheese will work great in this recipe!


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 334mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 2.8mg