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Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese – This easy homemade mac and cheese is the creamiest cheesiest made all in the one pot and on the table in minutes. This go to family favorite comfort meal will find its way on your table over and over again.

Instant Pot Mac N Cheese in a white bowl

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This Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese is pasta noodle greatness all nestled in velvety (not to be confused with Velveeta) cheese to create comfort food at its finest.

Now don’t get me wrong I love a good baked mac n cheese. In fact, that is probably my family’s favorite at the holidays. But this creamy version is now a go to for just about any meal, made simply and quick in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker). It takes no time to put together. I am saying this one takes 10 minutes, because it take just a few minutes for the IP to come to high pressure. It’s really a tad faster than that!

Ready to make this marvelous and so easy cheesy masterpiece?

What you need to Make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

  • Large Elbow Macaroni 
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Mexican Blend or Colby Blend Cheese

How to make CreamY Macaroni in Cheese in a Pressure Cooker

STEP ONE:   Into the Instant Pot or pressure cooker goes the pasta, water, butter, salt & pepper.

Macaroni Pasta Noodles in the Instant Pot with butter and seasonings

STEP TWO:  On goes the lid, turn to lock, and set the IP to Manual, High Pressure for 4 minutes.

a closeup of an instant pot screen set to cook on high pressure for four minutes


STEP THREE: Once cooking time is done, manually release pressure (this means open the release valve).

Tip:  Foam from the starchy pasta will want to spew out so place a cloth loosely over the valve and you will have much less of a mess. Yes I have learned the hard way y’all!

STEP FOUR:  Open the lid and pour in cheeses and cream. Stir them up! (There will be water in the pot, do not worry about it. It will all mix together and be delicious – I promise.) No flour is necessary in this macaroni and cheese recipe. It will thicken with the starchy water, cheese and cream or milk.


IP Cheese Ingredient

Tips for making delicious homemade macaroni and cheese in the instant pot

  • Use seasoning!  I add salt, pepper and butter, to this before cooking.  It makes such a difference.
  • Use a combination of cheeses for the best taste.  I use a mixture of sharp cheddar, and either colby or a mexican blend cheese.  When you add the cheese, make sure to stir continuously so that it all melts in really well and you aren’t left with clumps.
  • For this to be extra creamy use heavy cream, but you can also use whole milk.  Many of the recipes I saw for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese use evaporated milk which I think changes the flavor.  Stick to the good stuff! This is an indulgent comfort food, so go ahead and use the cream 🙂


 Instant Pot Creamy Mac N Cheese set on a table with pork chops


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Instant Pot Mac N Cheese
4.83 from 41 votes

(click stars to rate)

Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: Nikki Lee
Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese - The creamiest cheesiest homemade mac and cheese is easily made and on the table in minutes. This go to family favorite comfort meal will find its way on your table over and over again.
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  • 1 lb Pasta - I use large elbow macaroni noodles
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz Mexican or Colby Jack Blend Cheese, shredded


  • Pour pasta, water, salt, pepper and butter into 6 qt Instant Pot and stir.
  • Place lid on instant pot and turn to locked position. Make sure pressure valve is closed. Set to Manual Pressure Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. When 4 minutes is up, open valve and release pressure immediately.  *See Note
  • Hit or leave the warm button on. Pour in both cheeses and cream and stir until well combined and cheeses are melted.  Serve 


Note: When opening valve some of the foamy water will spew out. You may want to put a damp towel loosely over the valve or make sure you have in an area that can be wiped up.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup Calories: 206kcal (10%) Fat: 17g (26%) Saturated Fat: 10g (63%) Cholesterol: 52mg (17%) Sodium: 813mg (35%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I do change it up a bit. Instead of water I use chicken broth.. I use gueyer and sharp cheese. I also add ham, sometime bacon and chives.. Love this

    1. To make this on the stovetop, you will need to boil the noodles with salt added to the water. Then drain the water off of the noodles. Next add noodles and ingredients back to the pot over medium low heat and stir until combined and melted. Add addition cream or milk as needed to reach desired consistency.

  2. I make this often. I usually add a pound of ground beef and a can of Rotel. So good. I also prefer my elbows a little softer so I add two minutes. I’ve added mushrooms and stew meat as well.

  3. This recipe was SO easy to make, and I have never used our Instant Pot before. The mac and cheese was creamy and perfectly cooked with a very slight al dente texture. The only thing I will change next time, I’ll add some Mancheco cheese to the other cheeses fora more cheesy taste. I made 1/2 recipe since there are only 3 of us eating. My husband loved it!

    1. Gail, I am so glad you both enjoyed it! I love to change up the cheeses from time to time for a different flavor!

  4. i just made this. I tastes good however it’s kinda of stringy yet runny. not at all like the picture. What adjustments are suggested for next time. Followed recipe as instructed.

    1. I am sorry that happened Cindy. I am not sure what caused it. I make this all the time and I have not had that occur.

      1. 4 stars
        I made this recipe as well and found it to be a bit stiff and stringy. To fix this I warmed whole milk in microwave adding about 1/2 then a little at a time until desired consistency. This happens due to inconsistencies in pasta and quality/type of cheese used. I used pre-shredded due to time constraints but shredding your own is ALWAYS best. I also only used about 3/4 amount of cheese recommended as too much cheese will also make it stringy.
        Play with recipe, its a great base!!

      2. Yes the quality of cheese can affect the dish! I find when I use the pre shredded cheese if you leave it on warm a bit a close the lid, let it melt a bit and stir again (sometimes a touch more cream or milk), and it’s magically creamy. For convenience I often use pre shredded cheese don’t usually have an issue with it being stringy.

  5. 5 stars
    First of all, this recipe is amazing and the easiest thing I’ve ever made EVER. My whole family and friends were raving over it. However, tonight I just want to half the recipe since it does make quite a lot – would I put the pressure cooker to 2 minutes vs 4 to cook half the amount of pasta? I’m new to the instant pot!

    1. Jen, Use the same cook time. I have not tested halving it yet, but you should try adjusting the water to 2 cups.