This is the BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese! Made extra creamy with a secret ingredient plus sharp cheddar & parmesan cheese. It can be made in just 4 minutes with your electric pressure cooker.
I’ve been excited about my Instant Pot for quite a while now… I can honestly say that I use it at least a few times a week. This Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice dish made in the Instant Pot makes a regular appearance for Meatless Mondays, I use it to make bone broth (much quicker than my previous slow cooker bone broth), I even use it to reheat leftovers, since we don’t have a microwave. But my excitement reached a new level when I found out that I could make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese in under 15 minutes from start to finish!
And this Mac and Cheese is good! I’m just going to throw the statement out there that this is the BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. Really, this is just the best macaroni and cheese in general, even trumping my prior favorite, this Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with a Potato Chip Crust.
I’m using a familiar secret ingredient from that recipe… Evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is essentially thickened milk, which means there’s less liquid in your dish and instead it’s just really, really creamy. I love how it blends right in and thickens this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese to the perfect consistency, along with that sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese that lend the perfect tangy, cheesy flavor.
Other than that, I kept the seasonings really simple… I added in a couple teaspoons of yellow mustard (we all have some of that sitting in the refrigerator door, right?) and some nutmeg. The flavoring is really subtle and I made it that way for a couple reasons. Number 1: I wanted the flavors of those amazing cheeses to shine through – You can really taste the sharp cheddar and the parmesan in this dish. And, Number 2: I figure that a lot of you may be cooking this dish for your kids. They won’t be able to pick out any crazy flavorings going here and they’re going to love it. This is just plain and simple (and the BEST) Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
One of my brother’s favorite dishes, and basically the only thing he ate growing up (besides my Nana’s Sunday Gravy) was mac and cheese from the blue box. But, sneak some black pepper in there and he wouldn’t even touch it. So, I say, if you’re cooking this for kids, feel free to mix things up a bit. Maybe they won’t like the sharp cheddar and parmesan… So use mild cheddar instead. Maybe they’ll even gawk at the mustard and nutmeg – You can totally leave them out too.
But, for my adults eating (and loving) this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – Be sure to check out my wine pairings below and pour yourself a glass while you’re basically making happy sounds as you eat this…
The Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 12 oz. evaporated milk
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese grated
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the macaroni, water, mustard, and salt in your Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Press “Manual” and adjust the timer to 4 minutes (or half the time on the macaroni cooking directions). Check that the cooking pressure is on “high” and that the release valve is set to “Sealing”.
When time is up, open the IP using “Quick Pressure Release”. Stir the pasta to break it up. Add the evaporated milk, cheese, butter and nutmeg; stir until completely incorporated the and cheese has melted and coated the pasta.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.
Wine Pairings for Macaroni and Cheese:
- Try an off-dry Riesling with this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. The slight sweetness of the wine balances out the salty cheese and its bright acidity refreshes your palate.