Yes, you can make creamy, delicious macaroni and cheese in an Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker / multi-cooker!! I use a blend of sharp cheddar cheese, Neufchatel cheese and Parmesan cheese in this homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. This blend of cheeses gives a rich creamy and tangy flavor. Plus it’s easy and fun to make!
While making macaroni and cheese in an Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker won’t necessarily save you time compared to a traditional stove-top method, there are some advantages to it. Making this recipe all-in-one pot is super convenient and it helps make clean-up a little quicker. If you don’t have a cook-top, you too can make an inexpensive, quick meal at home. Plus, it’s kinda cool. I mean who doesn’t want another delicious recipe that you can make in your Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker?
Ingredients for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese
I use three types of cheese in this electric pressure cooker macaroni and cheese. I like the blend of Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese and Neufchatel cheese. If you aren’t familiar with Neufchatel cheese it is tangy and very similar to Philadelphia cream cheese, but with 1/3 less fat. You will find it right next to the Philly in the grocery store. When it comes to Parmesan cheese, purchase the real block of Parmesan found in the deli section of the grocery store and grate it yourself. I go through allot of Parmesan cheese, so we buy a block of it at Costco. The texture and flavor of the real Parmesan is worth it.
Aromatic and fresh
In addition to the three cheeses, you’ll need elbow macaroni, one 14.5 oz can chicken broth (or 2 cups), butter, whole milk, heavy cream, dried mustard powder, garlic powder, ground nutmeg, cayenne, salt and white ground pepper. The aromatic spices give the macaroni and cheese great flavor and just a little kick.
Why white ground pepper?
Picky eaters tend to find little black flecks in their macaroni and cheese to be unappealing. This is the main reason why. Also, if you are cooking for children, start with just a slight dash of cayenne. Taste it once it’s all finished. You can always add more salt, pepper and cayenne as desired.
How to make Instant Pot macaroni and cheese
This is where the fun begins. First, I highly recommend you get all your ingredients measured and placed out just so…”mise en place.” This process goes quickly. The first step includes cooking the elbow macaroni el dente. Place 8 oz of elbow macaroni into the Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker. Pour in the chicken broth and give it a stir. There should be just enough liquid to cover the macaroni, like this. Add in 1 tablespoon of butter on top. Seal the Instant Pot. Set it to high-pressure for 5 minutes and start.
Why use chicken broth?
Cooking the macaroni in chicken broth gives it great flavor. If you’d like to use vegetable broth instead, you can. I find the flavor of the chicken broth goes perfectly with all the cheese. Once the Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker has signaled it is finished, carefully quick release the steam. Open the lid. The macaroni will be cooked through like this.
The macaroni absorbs the liquid. There should be very little liquid left in the pot. The next step includes making the creamy, dreamy, macaroni and cheese sauce. At this point, add in a tablespoon more butter, milk, cream and spices. Set the Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker to saute for 7 minutes. You may not use the whole 7 minutes for thickening the sauce, but its better to shut the pressure cooker off yourself than to run out of time.
The sauce will develop as you add in all the cheese. Stir and it will melt and thicken. It becomes a delicious, creamy sauce. If the Instant Pot becomes too hot, pause the saute function to stop the heat. It should take just a few minutes for the sauce to thicken. If it’s too thin, you can add more cheddar cheese a little at a time.
If it’s too thick, you can thin the sauce with a little more milk. Keep in mind, the sauce will thicken slightly as the macaroni and cheese sits in the Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker once it’s turned off. Taste the macaroni and cheese and adjust the seasoning to your taste. For example, add in more salt, pepper or cayenne pepper. And voila! This is the creamy, dreamy macaroni and cheese you end up with!
Instant Pot macaroni and cheese is best enjoyed the same day. It is most creamy right after it is made. This recipe is enough for four people. I often make this creamy Instant Pot macaroni and cheese on busy weeknights. It’s delicious comfort food ~ fast!
What brand of electric pressure cooker to use
The Instant Pot is quickly becoming a household name for electric pressure cookers / multi-cookers. However, there are many brands on the market. Which one should you buy? The answer to this question simply depends on your budget and what features you need to have. Most Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker recipes and books will tell you how to cook something using manual functions (high, medium, low pressure) and set times. You will become a better cook by learning these rather than just using preset buttons.
I have the Breville Fast Slow Pro multi-function cooker (affiliate link below). There are a few things that I like about this electric pressure cooker including its sleek design, ability to pressure cook and slow cook and easy to read display. It also has a non-stick removable cooking bowl, many accessories and high, medium and low pressure cook functions vs just a high and low. The Instant Pot, while also a great brand simply has too many pre-set buttons for my liking, which can be confusing at times. However, everyone I know that has one, likes it. It is a great electric pressure cooker to start off with.
This post contains affiliate links. Read disclosure here.
What to serve with Instant Pot macaroni and cheese
While this recipe makes a great lunch on its own, it also makes a great side dish to some of these tasty dishes:
- Huli huli chicken! This is a great BBQ chicken recipe with a tropical twist.
- Italian meatballs ~ A blend of pork and beef makes these tender and delicious. It’s a classic kids always love.
- Succulent soy ginger chicken wings ~ The marinade makes these wings flavorful and juicy.
- Fall off the bone BBQ pork ribs ~ One of my most popular recipes and a family favorite.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Instant Pot macaroni and cheese. It’s easy to make and has a rich, creamy flavor. Leave me a comment below about your thoughts and experiences with this recipe. I hope you are having fun using your Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker. There are so many unique ways to use it.
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Yes, you can make creamy, delicious macaroni and cheese in an Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker / multi-cooker!! I use a blend of sharp cheddar cheese, Neufchatel cheese and Parmesan cheese in this homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. This blend of cheeses gives a rich creamy and tangy flavor. Plus it's easy and fun to make!
- 8 oz elbow macaroni (approximately 2 cups)
- 2 cups chicken broth 14.5 oz can, plus a little water = 2 cups
- 2 tbsp butter divided
- 1 cup whole milk, plus 1/4 more set aside
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp dried mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 4 oz Neufchatel cheese (1/2 of an 8 oz package)
- 1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp additional salt, to taste. Taste it first!
Add elbow macaroni, chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of butter into the electric pressure cooker. The macaroni should be just covered by liquid. Give it a stir.
Seal the electric pressure cooker. Set it to high pressure for 5 minutes, and start.
Wait for your electric pressure cooker's signal that it is finished. Do a quick release of the steam. Carefully open the pressure cooker.
Stir the macaroni. Almost all of the liquid should be absorbed by the pasta. Add another 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 cup of milk and the heavy cream. Next, add in the dried mustard powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, cayenne and white pepper. Set the pressure cooker to saute function for 7 minutes.
Stir in the Neufchatel cheese, sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. As the cheese melts the sauce will thicken. If necessary add in up to another 1/4 cup milk to desired saucy consistency. Turn off the pressure cooker. You can also add in additional sharp cheddar cheese up to 1/4 cup to help thicken it. This should take a few minutes. Also, it tends to thicken more as it sits in the electric pressure cooker with the heat off.
Taste the macaroni and cheese. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add a little more salt, pepper or cayenne to taste.
8 oz of elbow macaroni is 1/2 a 16 oz box or approximately 2 cups.
This recipe feeds four people or up to six people as a side dish with no left-overs. Homemade Instant Pot / Electric pressure cooker / Multi-cooker macaroni and cheese is best enjoyed the same day. It is most creamy right after it is made.
Neufchatel cheese is like Philadelphia cream cheese, but 1/3 less fat. You’ll find it right next to the Philly.
If you are vegetarian, you can substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
If you made this recipe, please come back and tell me how you liked it at https://www.pineneedlesinmysalad.com/instant-pot-macaroni-and-cheese