Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
This Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe is the ideal “set & forget” Instant Pot recipe. From start to finish this is on the table in just 20 minutes. The garlic and parmesan flavors offer a nice twist on a classic.
So this is what’s been going down at Foodie and Wine the past few weeks. Batches and batches of Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. Not just any Easy Mac and Cheese. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese loaded with garlic and parmesan cheese. That’s how we roll, yo!
Instant Pot Recipes are a fave in these parts. Want proof? Check out our Instant Pot Ribs, Olive Garden Soup, Sous Vide Egg Bites and the other Instant Pot Recipes we’ve recently posted.
While we love our Instant Pot, we’re pretty particular about what recipes we make in it. If it’s easier/quicker/smarter to cook on the stove we’re doing it (unless, of course, 10 pans are involved – who wants to wash that?). This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is truly “set & forget”. You only have to come back one time to finish and serve. No waiting for the water to boil or stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pot. This truly is the best mac and cheese recipe.
For this creamy Mac and Cheese recipe the creamy mac and cheese sauce is created from a mixture of two types of cheeses as well as either evaporated milk or heavy cream. Most of the versions we’ve made over the years don’t require evaporated milk or heavy cream as we’ve resisted the addition of such calories. But, let’s call a spade a spade. Mac and Cheese recipes aren’t for those on a low calorie diet. Unless of course this is your “cheat day” splurge. We get it. We’re on the same “cheat day” plan hence the effort to minimize mac and cheese calories. But to truly make a special Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe the liquid gold is requirement.
How To Make Mac and Cheese in The Instant Pot
- Just say “no” to milk. It is not a good substitute for the evaporated milk or heavy cream. You’ll end up with runny sauce and that’s no bueno. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
- Garlic fans? Feel free to increase the amount of minced garlic or garlic powder. We do. No shame in our garlic game.
- No additional salt was included in this recipe as the cheese has a nice level of salt included. If you like to roll with extra salt, add it in at the end.
- If you’re have leftover smoked cream cheese, this is a great recipe to throw it in, along with our smoked mac and cheese recipe.
For this recipe, we used the popular Instant Pot Duo Plus.
- 1 Lb Pasta Shells (Or elbow macaroni)
- 4 Cups Cold Water
- 3 Cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp Cayenne (optional - or hot sauce)
- 2 Tbsp Butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 Cup Evaporated Milk (or heavy cream)
- 8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese (grated)
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Black Pepper (optional)
- Add the macaroni, water, minced garlic, garlic powder, cayenne and butter to the instant pot. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is sealed.
- Set to manual (or high pressure) for 4 minutes. When the cooking timer goes off, do a quick pressure release.
- Remove the lid and stir to combine. If you see excess water have no fear...it will continue to be soaked up and evaporate.
- Immediately add the evaporated milk and cheeses and stir to combine and melt the cheese. Continue to stir until all the cheese is melted and distributed.
- Garnish with black pepper (if desired) and serve immediately.
- Do not use regular milk for this recipe. It will be runny vs creamy.
- For a stronger garlic flavor, increase the amount of minced garlic or garlic powder.
- No added salt was included in this recipe as the cheese has a nice level of salt included. If you like to roll with extra salt, add it in at the end.
- Serve immediately for the creamiest texture.
Tuesday 2nd of November 2021
Didn’t have the evaporated milk or heavy cream I had heavy whipping cream hopefully that will work in this recipe
Sunday 20th of December 2020
It was hard to eat. Not one of my family of four enjoyed this dish. The condensed milk made it too sweet and the consistency was pastey.
Sunday 17th of May 2020
This was really good. When it first finished it seemed runny but true to directions said, it thickened up. And was delicious! Will be making it again.
Wednesday 18th of December 2019
Have you doubled this recipe? If so, how do you alter the water? I'm imagining doubling it. But how about time? Does that stay the same? I'm a newbie with the InstaPot...my normal cooking skills aren't totally translating to the InstaPot ;-)
Thursday 27th of June 2019
Thank you! I enjoyed the simplicity of this recipe! I found the outcome to be a little grainy instead of smooth and creamy... I shredded my own Monterey, but purchased the parmesan shredded - maybe that's why? Thanks!