Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

by | May 28, 2017

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

by | May 28, 2017

Let’s face it. The iconic Mac & Cheese is one of those recipes that has a zillion different ways to make it. Baked or out of the pot? Which cheese? How creamy? There really is no right or wrong.

One thing I know is that, while I LOVE making a béchamel style Mac & Cheese, it takes many pots and a good hour. Sometimes, I just want to make it quick. One pot, NO separate pasta boiling/straining and in TEN MINUTES.

Yes, YOU TOO can make magic in the Instant Pot thanks to Bob Warden‘s crowd-pleasing recipe!

Here’s How I Made It!:

We begin with a macaroni-type noodle of your choice added to the Instant Pot.

Then we’ll pour in some chicken broth…

…some water…

…add a little butter…

…some parmesan…

…and stir.  Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.

When done cooking, switch to the “sauté” setting and give it all another good stir.

Now it’s time to cheesify it up.  Let’s take some cheese of your choice (use one that melts well)…

…and add it to the pot.

And we’ll take some cream cheese…

…and add that in too.

Mix everything up super well.  It’s going to take a few minutes for the cheese and cream cheese to meld with the broth. So just keep stirring and setting.

Once it begins to thicken, add in a little yellow mustard (this is optional but trust me, mustard haters, you won’t even taste it and it marries the flavors).

Turn the heat off and continue to stir as the sauce thickens up into a glorious, thick, creamy, cheesy richness.



And there you have it.  A thick & glorious Macaroni & Cheese in just minutes!


  • 2 1/2 cups of Macaroni (I like to use Cellentani/Cavatappi – it’s like if Shirley Temple’s hair were a pasta)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (I use 2 cups of water + 2 teaspoons of Chicken Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) of salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8-16 oz (1-2 8oz bags) of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or any kind of cheese you like that melts easily. (You can also use an 8-16 oz block of cheese and grate it yourself for a more premium experience, but pre-shredded in the bag is fine too! Start with 8oz and then, once blended in, you can choose to add more if you want it SUPER cheesy)
  • 2-4 oz (1/4-1/2 brick) of cream cheese (Start with 2oz and then, once blended in, you can choose to add more if you want it SUPER thick
  • 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard (you don’t to use this but I assure you you can’t taste any mustard flavor once added – it just really enhances the cheese flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce

Want it even thicker?  Your wish is granted.  Add another cup or two of cheese and another 1/4 brick of the cream cheese! It’s gonna get VERY thick once it cools down a bit!

Top it off with some bacon bits for a nice touch!

Want to set it over the top with? Make a Ritz Cracker crust! Instead of transferring the finished product to a serving bowl, transfer it to a casserole dish, top with a sleeve of mashed Ritz Crackers mixed with 3-4 tbsp of melted butter and bake for an additional 5-10 mins on 400.

  1. Add the macaroni, broth, water, butter and Parmesan to the Instant Pot. Stir well
  2. Put the lid on the pot, sealed, and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure and set for 6 minutes
  3. Quick release and open lid when finished
  4. Add the cheddar, cream cheese and mustard and just stir until it gets creamy – a few minutes! It may not appear so at first, but let it set for a few minutes after stirring as it will really begin to thicken up
  5. Enjoy!

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