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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
Recipe
4.83 from 41 votes

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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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Ingredients 

  • 1 lb Pasta - I use large elbow macaroni noodles
  • 4 cups water , (or chicken broth for extra flavor)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, reduce salt to ½ (or to taste)if using salted broth
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Mexican or Colby Jack Blend Cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • 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 

Notes

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.

©️Soulfully Made

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64 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So i adapted this recipe a tad and it was fantastic!!!! I work in repair facility w mass carnivorous manly mens. A new employee started and she’s a veggie head not vegan but straight vegetarian. Our boss decided to do a pulled pork lunch w sides… i can’t eat pork, and a she doesnt eat meat so i needed a filling herbavore friendly meal. I changed up the water for veggie broth, used sweet corn, carrot, squash noodles, sargento 4 state cheedar and coly jack blend but everything else was the same. Doubled it in my 8 qt n made it right in our lunchroom… the mac n cheese and the my 8 qt ultra instant pot was the talk of the lunch. Your recipe n blog got shared with many people that day!!!!

    1. Delicious changes to make this vegetarian friendly. Sounds delicious. Thank you so much for sharing with your friends. I appreciate that tremendously!! Happy New Year Stephanie!

  2. This may be a silly question, but does it matter if I use small elbow macaroni? If not, I assume the cook time is the same? Didn’t want to go on a hunt for large elbows if smalls (which I have on hand) will work. Thanks! This looks fantastic – planning on testing it out tomorrow then making for Christmas dinner!

  3. I love this recipe. The only change we made to this is we like to use swiss cheese and cheddar. This actually makes it more creamy if you can believe it. Because swiss is such a creamy cheese anyway. But then we’ll add chamber meat to it after we flavor the meat with salt and pepper and garlic salt and onion powder. We just keep it simple and it lasts us at least 3 dinner left overs…unless my husband eats is for lunch everyday…lol

    1. Thank you so much Diana! I bet it is fabulous with swiss. I change up the cheese blends from time to time. I love it with Gouda too!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the best mac & cheese I have ever had! Our whole family loves it! it has become a staple for family get togethers. So easy, even a caveman like myself can make it.

    1. Thank you so much Rob! That makes my heart glad! I am sure a batch will be made here this weekend for Labor Day with the family! And I bet you are a fabulous cook!

  5. My kids love this recipe however I notice that the cheese is more stringy than creamy — not sure what I’m doing wrong… thank you!

    1. Kim, I make this all the time and it doesn’t come out stringy. Here are a few things I can think of. Just wanted to be sure you added the cheese after cooking the pasta. And leave the IP on warm and stir until combined and let it sit a minute until it all melts together. Give another stir if needed and serve. Also did you use low fat cheese? I have not tested with low fat cheese?

  6. Can you use pre-shredded cheese? I know that it usually has a cornstarch coating but it would be more convenient then shredding all that cheese by hand. I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving and adding some blue cheese and bacon to the mix!

    1. Kelsey, I apologize. I am just realizing my reply did not post. I have used pre shredded cheese, in fact I use it most of the time for convenience for this recipes.

  7. This looks delicious! I plan on trying this recipe for Thanksgiving and I’d like to double it. This may be a dumb question, but if I double the ingredients, do I also double the cook time?

  8. Hi! If there is excess water after pressure cooking the macaroni, should I drain it first? Or just pour in the cheese and remaining ingredients?

    Also, I always have a problem with Mac and cheese dying out after leaving it out for an hour or so. Is there a way to prevent this??

    1. There is still some water in the pot after cooking. I would add in the ingredients stir and it should thicken right up. If you find it gets a little dry after a while, add in a little more cream or milk and stir.

  9. I made this for a potluck and added a can of diced green chili’s and it was a huge hit. I’m to make it for the next potluck in three weeks.

  10. I have never felt compelled to leave a review before, but l just had to tell you how amazing this macaroni and cheese is! I made 2 separate batches and put it in a crockpot to keep it warm for a family gathering. (Wasn’t sure if it would all fit in one pot lol.) There was absolutely none left! Made it again a few days later for my family who was very upset there were no leftovers, and it disappeared as well. I may have accidentally doubled the amount of cheese the recipe called for, but more cheese is rarely bad. My kids want me to make it again and add bacon. Thanks for sharing such a delicious and easy recipe!

    1. Karen, I am so honored that you took the time to let me know how much your family enjoyed this! This is why I do this to share my love for cooking and the connections made with those we love around a good meal! You have truly made my day! We love this one too! My son’s friends still request this when they come over! And I believe bacon makes everything better, so I cannot wait to see how that turns out.

    1. I have not tried putting ground beef in this, but I am sure it would be great. I need to make my Homemade Cheeseburger Helper in the IP and post that recipe. I will get that one up soon.

      1. Jess, I am so glad you loved it! My family does as well. My son’s friends always request it when they come over too! Have a Happy New Year and I hopr you stop in again soon!

  11. 5 stars
    Yummy, Yummy, Yum,
    I never thought about using the large macaroni shells maybe, this will stretch with three teenagers will try this tonight,
    Thank you! for sharing your recipe.

    1. It seemed to go a long way! It’s so creamy and filling! I would love to hear how it goes for you! My daughter is in college so I am down to 1 teeanager at home, but we always seem to have extras around!

  12. 5 stars
    I made this today with a regular pot, and my 3 year had 2 big bowls full. It’s so rich and creamy without eggs and that’s awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

  13. 4 stars
    Hi Nikki: This Mac & Cheese dish sounded very easy & tasty to me, even though I don’t have an Instant Pot. All I did was cook & drain the pasta, and put it back into the pot (which was still hot) in order for the excess moisture to steam off. I then proceeded to add everything else into the pot. I eliminated the addition of salt (since the cheeses already contain more than enough sodium). I didn’t use heavy cream, I used Half & Half, instead. For the cheeses, I used Sharp Vermont Cheddar, Sharp (yellow) American, and freshly grated Parmesan. I mixed everything together in my pot on the stove set on med. low heat, until everything was melted together & creamy. I then took it one step further, …. and poured everything into a buttered 2 & 1/2 qt. casserole, and sprinkled a generous amount of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs on top – which I sprayed with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”. I baked it for only a couple of minutes at a very high temp., just until it came back up to a bubble (since it was already cooked & warm). I then turned on the broiler, and let the bread crumb topping get a little brown & crispy. The final result for this dish was much better than I had anticipated (only b/c I messed w/it). It really didn’t take a lot of time to prepare. We all loved it, so I’m definitely saving this recipe for future use, even though I changed yours up a bit. I hope you don’t mind, but this came out superbly, even w/o the use of an instant pot.

    1. I am so glad you took it and made it your own! I make a baked mac n cheese my family loves too! This is just a different version all together. Thank you for taking the time to share your adaption! It sounds amazing!

  14. 5 stars
    Oh, YUM! This was excellent! I’m always looking for recipes to make in my Instant Pot and we love Mac and Cheese. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you Claudine! I keep trying new things in mine! I love how much time they save! What is your favorite thing to make in yours? Thank you for coming by and I hope you come back by soon!