The BEST EVER Instant Pot Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Do you ever find creamy pasta dishes can work you up into a frenzy? Whether or not you have Italian blood running through your veins, you might still be crazy for all kinds of wonderful pasta dishes. Especially comfort food pasta like this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. This is an easy Instant Pot mac recipe that the whole family will LOVE and this mac and cheese recipe is always a hit. Don’t worry about making too much, because this macaroni Instant Pot recipe is terrific as leftovers the next day.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this mac and cheese recipe!

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Instant Pot creamy mac and cheese is well worth making. This creamy mac and cheese recipe is simple to prepare and is fabulous comfort food at its finest. Instant Pot mac is always a winner.

Why You’ll Love This

  • Quick to make from scratch: I love my Instant Pot. It makes cooking easy and also cooks food in record time! So if a pasta craving suddenly hits you, this easy Instant Pot mac recipe is the one to pick, since you’ll have dinner on the table in less than half an hour.
  • A family favourite: Cheese Instant Pot mac like this is always a hit with every member of the family, so if you’re stuck for dinner ideas, give this macaroni with creamy cheese sauce a try. Nobody turns down a second helping of Instant Pot mac ‘n cheese either!
  • Versatile: Not only can you tweak the ingredients in Instant Pot mac and creamy cheese sauce, but you can have any kind of protein with it, so why not try pairing it with salmon, ribs, steak, or roasted chicken?

Ingredients for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

I used elbow noodles to make this, which are the typical choice for such a dish. In addition, onion and garlic add flavour, and the cream cheese, butter and Half & Half (or full fat milk) make it lusciously creamy. The sharp cheddar works well and I also like to add a secret ingredient. A splash of hot sauce! Just to add another layer to the flavour of this tasty Instant Pot mac and cheese.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this mac and cheese recipe!

This is the best macaroni Instant Pot recipe I’ve made to date. And there is no doubt I’m going to make it again.

So is this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese a main dish or a side dish? You know what, it can be either! Enjoy it with your preferred meat or poultry, or indulge yourself by enjoying a bowlful of this wonderful comfort food just as it is. Instant Pot fried chicken is a great main to go with it.

Rather than sweating over steaming saucepans, you can make the whole dish in the Instant Pot. You need to add the macaroni, water and seasonings then cover the pot and close the ‘sealing’ ring.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this mac and cheese recipe!

How to Make Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

  • Add some ingredients to the Instant Pot: Put the macaroni, onion and garlic powder, water, salt and black pepper in the Instant Pot.
  • Cook: Cook the mac and cheese on high pressure.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: Add the cream cheese, butter and hot sauce, then the cream and cheddar.
  • Serve: Serve hot, with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

Top Tip! You can also get freeze-dried chopped parsley in the grocery store, and that thaws instantly when you sprinkle it on to hot food. Plus it keeps for months and months in the freezer.

Macaroni Instant Pot Recipe Variations

There are plenty of variations to consider with this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You might want to mix in some cooked chicken or another favourite protein, at the end, and just let it warm through. That would work well if you wanted a more substantial meal.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this easy Instant Pot pasta recipe.

Another idea is to use sliced jalapenos instead of the hot sauce. Of course you can also omit that if you don’t want the spice. This easy instant pot pasta recipe can be tailored however you wish.

Try adding cooked crumbled bacon or a little truffle oil. Canned beans and salsa can give it a south of the border vibe. Chicken, panko breadcrumbs and buffalo sauce is another possibility. The 1953 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook calls for a mushroom soup, onion and Velveeta mixture for the sauce.

In fact there are too many mac and cheese variations to mention here!

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this easy Instant Pot pasta recipe.

What’s the History of Mac ‘n Cheese?

It’s believed that this dish comes from Northern Europe and the first written recipe dates back to 1769. Thomas Jefferson loved this dish in France and brought a pasta machine and noodle recipes back to the United States.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this easy Instant Pot pasta recipe.

Mac and cheese was served at the 1802 state dinner. Of course that would have been quite different from Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese, but maybe not too much since the main ingredients don’t differ.

Kraft Foods came up with boxed mac and cheese in 1937, in the middle of the Great Depression era. 8 million boxes of this product were sold in one year, largely because it would serve four people for just 19 cents. Boxed macaroni cheese mix, or the ‘Kraft dinner’ is popular with students everywhere.

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this macaroni Instant Pot recipe.

This is a versatile dish though. It might be considered a cheap budget food and a mainstay of students, but chefs are also elevating its status to fine dining. They are experimenting with expensive add-ins and different cheeses, and even trying new variations such as figs and rosemary.

How to Store Instant Pot Mac ‘n Cheese

  • Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.
  • Freeze: Make sure you freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, since air getting in can cause freezer burn, changing the texture and flavour of the dish and making it watery. Mac and cheese can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Thaw: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat: Microwave for a couple of minutes, heat on the stovetop after adding a splash of milk or chicken broth to thin, or else reheat it for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven at 350°F.
Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this macaroni Instant Pot recipe.

Today we have more ideas than ever, and this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese is so good. I love that it only takes 5 minutes to make. Stove top macaroni and cheese would take four times as long. So choose this Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe and you’ll want to make it a lot.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese FAQs

What kind of dishes can you use mac and cheese in?

Paula Deen uses bacon to wrap her mac and cheese, and then breads it and flash fries it. You could try this with panko breadcrumbs. Make sure the oil is very hot so the mac and cheese balls begin to crisp up right away, otherwise they might split or leak.

Can you use a different kind of pasta instead of macaroni?

Absolutely. This is such a versatile and tweak-friendly dish, you can use whatever kind of pasta shapes you prefer. You could even use a gluten free pasta if you wanted.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Food blogger, Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella, shares Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. You will love this mac and cheese recipe!

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

5 from 20 votes
Course: Meals, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Time for the Instant Pot to Come Up to Pressure: 10 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
I LOVE comfort food pasta like this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. This is an easy Instant Pot pasta recipe that the whole family will enjoy and this mac and cheese recipe is always a hit. Don't worry about making too much, because this macaroni Instant Pot recipe is terrific as leftovers the next day.
Print Save

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound elbow noodles
  • 1 Tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. black pepper
  • 3 3/4 Cups water
  • 2 Ounces cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsps. butter
  • 1 Tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 1/4 Cups half and half
  • 8 Ounces sharp cheddar
  • 1 Tsp. fresh parsley minced, for garnish

Instructions

  • Add the elbow noodles, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and water to the Instant Pot. Give it a quick stir.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to “Sealing”. Cook on “Manual, High Pressure” for 4 minutes.Once it’s finished, carefully release the valve.
  • Stir the noodles. Don’t worry if there’s a little bit of water in the pot, the noodles will absorb it (don’t drain the noodles).
  • Add the cream cheese, butter, and hot sauce and stir until incorporated.
  • Stir in the half and half, and then the cheese. It will form a creamy, cheesy sauce.
  • Sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 573IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 1mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

This macaroni Instant Pot recipe is well worth adding to your regular meal rotation. You can make this easy Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe slightly different each time for brand new flavour combinations.

Let me know if you try out this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese. This is an easy Instant Pot pasta recipe that the whole family will LOVE. This mac and cheese recipe is always a hit. Don’t worry about making too much, because this macaroni Instant Pot recipe is terrific as leftovers the next day.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Katherine Leeson wrote:

    yum! I love mac and cheese. I have never made it in the instant pot yet

    Posted 5.2.21 Reply
  2. Gervin Khan wrote:

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this mac and cheese recipe is so delicious, and seeing this makes me hungry.

    Posted 5.7.21 Reply
  3. 5 stars
    It’s been so long since I’ve treated the kids to mac and cheese. This post is a calling haha.

    Posted 5.8.21 Reply
  4. yes to macaroni and cheese, i love it!!! I didn’t a few weeks ago but it wasn’t the best tbh!!! I can’t wait to try your recipe.

    Posted 5.10.21 Reply
  5. Jasmine Martin wrote:

    Oooo I never thought about making macaroni and cheese in the crockpot. I am definitely going to be making this for dinner one of these days.

    Posted 5.10.21 Reply
  6. Clarice wrote:

    This is so timely! I have been craving for mac and cheese for days and would love to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing. I am going to have one tomorrow.

    Posted 5.13.21 Reply