Instant Pot Mac + Cheese

January 26, 2018

While this Instant Pot Mac + Cheese is crazy delicious, I’m not sure I’d classify “made from scratch” Mac + Cheese as a recipe where the Instant Pot is required. As I wrap up a week with this fancy gadget, I’ve learned that there’s a big difference between what you CAN make in the IP and what you SHOULD make in it – meaning that I do think that there are a few dishes that yield a better result with a quicker and easier process, but definitely not everything. Mac + Cheese falls under the category of “nice to have” rather than “need to have” when it comes to the necessity of this kitchen tool. If you have an IP, I highly recommend this recipe. If you don’t, don’t buy one for for making pasta.

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Instant Pot Mac + Cheese

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  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Crispy bread crumb topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian parsley, chopped


Add the macaroni followed by the butter, water, ground mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the bowl of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the vent to “sealing.”


Cook on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes, then manually release the pressure.


Open the lid and add the cubed cream cheese stirring until smooth.


Add the milk and shredded cheese and continue to stir until all of the cheese is melted and smooth. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and crispy bread crumb topping. (recipe follows)


For the crispy bread crumbs: Melt the butter in a small saute pan. Toss the bread crumbs in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.


Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

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