This is the BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese! Made extra creamy with a secret ingredient plus delicious 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.
Why is this the BEST Instant Pot Mac and Cheese?
- I’m using a secret ingredient in this 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 the cheddar and parmesan cheese that lend the perfect tangy, cheesy flavor.
You do want to use a great tasting cheddar cheese in this recipe, since it’s the true star of this recipe. I love using Tillamook cheese in this recipe. Tillamook cheddar is naturally aged to get the sharpness just right and is made from only the highest quality ingredients (meaning no artificial growth hormones).
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 flavor is really subtle and I made it that way for a couple reasons:
- I wanted the flavors of those amazing cheeses to shine through – You can really taste the delicious cheddar and the parmesan in this dish.
- 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 parmesan… So use all cheddar instead. Maybe they’ll even balk 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 pour yourself a glass while you’re diving into this mac & cheese. Elevate your occasion – Even if it’s only a Tuesday night on the sofa with a good Netflix series.
While you maybe wouldn’t traditionally think of pairing Mac & Cheese with a red wine, I say go for it!
I mean, we all enjoy wine and cheese together, right? And I think that cheddar cheese pairs particularly well with juicy, red wines. That’s why I chose to pair my dish with Decoy Sonoma County Red Wine. This red blend is primarily cabernet, merlot and zinfandel. It’s plus tannins and juicy berry flavors really pair amazingly well with mac & cheese. Time to do a happy dance. Celebrations start here.
Wine Pairings for Macaroni and Cheese:
- Try a Sauvignon Blanc. Its tart flavor balances out the salty cheese and its bright acidity refreshes your palate.
- Looking for red wine to pair with mac and cheese? Try a Red Blend. Look for a light-bodied red wine. They won’t overpower this dish, and their ripe, juicy flavors, make a great match for this rich, cheesy dish.
How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese:
- Add macaroni, water, mustard and salt to Instant Pot.
- Lock lid and cook on MANUAL high pressure for 4 minutes (or half the time of the pasta cooking directions).
- When time is up, quick release the pressure and stir in evaporated milk, cheese, butter and nutmeg.
- Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Can I Use Another Pasta Shape in this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese?
- Yes! You can use any pasta shape in this mac & cheese. I like a pasta with lots of nooks and crannies like shells, bowties and rotini. You will want to adjust your cook time based on the pasta cooking directions on the box. Simply set your Instant Pot for half the time of the pasta cooking directions.
What to Eat with Mac and Cheese:
- Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe // Quick & Easy
- Smashed Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Tahini Sauce
- Grilled Broccolini with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Roasted Miso Cauliflower
Instant Pot Recipes:
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Lentil Bolognese Sauce
- Instant Pot Chicken Pho
- Instant Pot Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice
- How to Cook Perfect Rice in the Instant Pot
Mac and Cheese Recipes:
If you loved this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
The Best Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 8 ounces Tillamook medium cheddar cheese (grated)
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon 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 Instant Pot 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.