Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe

This Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe is so easy and soooo good! Perfectly cooked pasta bathed in a thick and creamy cheese sauce that’s ready in 20 minutes.

  • Prep Time:
    5 minutes
  • Total Time:
    20 minutes
  • Makes:
    6 cups 1x
  • Prep Time:
    5 minutes
  • Total Time:
    20 minutes
  • Makes:
    6 cups 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 8 ounces dry macaroni or small pasta of choice (white or whole wheat)
    • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons water or chicken broth
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
    • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
    • ½ cup whole or 2% milk
    • 1 ½ cups freshly shredded cheese (I love cheddar and Gruyere)
    • 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, cut into cubes 
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
    • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour


    1. Cook the pasta. Combine the pasta, water or chicken broth, butter, and salt in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid, making sure the valve is in the SEALING position. Set the Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK — HIGH for 4 minutes (5 minutes for whole wheat pasta). When done, quick-release the steam. 
    2. Stir in the milk and cheeses until melted. After releasing the pressure, remove the lid and switch the Instant Pot to the SAUTE — MEDIUM. Add the milk and give the pasta a few gentle stirs. Add the shredded cheese, cream cheese; stir well until cheeses have melted. Add garlic powder, dry mustard, and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately.


    Favorite Equipment

    Ingredient Prep

    • Measure the pasta
    • Shred and measure the cheeses

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers: Measure the pasta, water/broth, salt, and butter, and cheeses; add pasta ingredients to the cool pot before pressure cooking
    • Little Kids: All of the above plus help shredding the cheese and stirring in the milk and cheeses at the end (closely supervised of course!)
    • Big Kids: Give them the recipe and see how they do!

    Nutrition Notes

    Nutrition information calculated using water, whole milk, full-fat sharp cheddar, and cream cheese


    • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
    • Calories: 437
    • Sugar: 3 g
    • Sodium: 380 mg
    • Fat: 21 g
    • Saturated Fat: 12 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 46 g
    • Fiber: 3 g
    • Protein: 18 g
    • Cholesterol: 64 mg

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