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Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is rich and creamy and made with real cheese. No Velveeta and no evaporated milk in this one, baby. And it’s all made easy in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

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Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Key to Success #1 – Set Vent to Sealing

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is so easy to make!

You can make it all in one pot and you don’t have to heat up the whole kitchen by using the stove.

You’ll start by adding the pasta, water, and seasonings to the inner pot of a 6-Qt or larger Instant Pot.

Close the lid and set the Vent Valve to Sealing. Then set the Instant Pot to manual mode and set the timer for 4 minutes. Yes, only 4 minutes!

The Instant Pot will begin heating and will take about 15 minutes to reach full pressure.

Your pasta is cooking during this time.

Key to Success #2 – Quick Release

After the Instant Pot has cooked at High Pressure for 4 minutes, turn the venting valve to venting and perform a quick release.

This will release the pressure quickly so that you can open the lid and add your other ingredients.

It’s important to do a quick release so that the pasta won’t get overcooked and become soggy.

Cooking at High Pressure will result in an al dente pasta.

Macaroni and Cheese in Instant Pot

Key to Success #3 – Freshly Shred Your Cheeses

After your pasta finishes cooking, it’s time to add your cheese and cream.

You will add it directly into the inner pot of your Instant Pot.

No separate bowl needed.

I highly recommend that you freshly shred your cheeses.

You can use a box grater if you have one.

I prefer to use a handheld cheese grater because it’s much easier to store in my kitchen drawer.

It only takes a few minutes to shred even a large amount of cheese and it’s so worth it.

The bagged shredded cheese contains a coating that keeps it from clumping and you don’t want that in your macaroni and cheese.

Be sure to add the cheese a handful at a time and stir well between each addition.

Adding a little at a time will ensure that your cheese melts fully and doesn’t clump up in your pasta.

If you feel like your mac and cheese is too thick, add a little more heavy cream at the end.

And, of course, taste your macaroni and cheese and make sure it doesn’t need more salt or pepper.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Got any leftover Mac & Cheese? Make these Air Fryer Mac & Cheese Bites! (Can be fried in a shallow skillet if you don’t have an Air Fryer.)

Save this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe to your favorite Instant Pot board or your Yummy Side Dishes board.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Instant Pot Pressurizing: 15 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is rich and creamy and made with real cheese. No Velveeta and no evaporated milk in this one, baby. And it's all made easy in the Instant Pot.


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • 8 oz smoked gouda cheese, freshly shredded


  1. In inner pot of 6-qt Instant Pot, combine pasta, water, salt, pepper, and butter. Place lid on Instant Pot and set valve to sealing. Set to Manual High Pressure for 4 minutes. When time is up, do a quick release.
  2. Set Instant Pot to warm setting and add both kinds of cheese and heavy cream. Stir gently to combine. Serve warm.


Diabetic substitutions: 

  • Try replacing the heavy cream with evaporated skim milk
  • Reduce salt
  • Try using less cheese
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 718mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 15g

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