With this easy 5 ingredient Instant Pot macaroni and cheese, you can have creamy homemade mac and cheese on the table in minutes. This homemade macaroni and cheese recipe gives you the creamy cheesy goodness of other macaroni and cheese recipes with a fraction of the work. Plus it tastes a million times better than anything you’d get in a box!
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WHY SHOULD I MAKE MACARONI AND CHEESE IN THE INSTANT POT?
The Instant Pot makes making the creamiest most indulgent macaroni and cheese a snap! There’s no need to cook the noodles separately and make a complicated sauce. The Instant Pot lets you cook homemade macaroni and cheese in one pot for an easy comforting dinner that your whole family will love.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot, this easy macaroni and cheese recipe is the perfect recipe to get started with! The recipe itself is a breeze to make and if you are unsure of anything with your Instant Pot, I have a complete beginner’s guide to the Instant Pot, Master your instant pot in 3 buttons
Did you get the BURN message while cooking in your Instant Pot? Don’t panic, it doesn’t mean your food is burning. Do read the common reasons for why Instant Pot Says Burn message and to learn everything you need to know about the burn message. What it means? Why you get it? How to avoid it? What to do when you get the burn message?
EASY 5 INGREDIENT MACARONI AND CHEESE
Part of what I love about this Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe is that you need so few ingredients to create a rich, delicious macaroni and cheese. Honestly, you only need a couple extra ingredients for this macaroni and cheese than you need to make a box mix.
To make this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese you need:
- Elbow macaroni
- Heavy Cream or evaporated milk
- Unprocessed Cheese
That’s it! Just that small handful of ingredients and you are on your way to effortlessly delicious macaroni and cheese.
HOW DO I MAKE INSTANT POT MACARONI AND CHEESE?
Making this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese takes no time at all! Just add the uncooked elbow macaroni, water, and spice to the inner liner of your Instant Pot. Then you can put the lid on your Instant Pot and set it to cook for 4 minutes on high pressure. After your Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release.
Once the steam has finished releasing, you can take the lid off the pot and set the pot to low saute mode. Now you can stir in the evaporated milk or your heavy cream and the cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted then you can turn the pot off and top with toasted Panko breadcrumbs if desired.
CAN I PUT DAIRY IN THE INSTANT POT?
Sort of. For my Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe, you aren’t pressure cooking the cream or milk. Instead you are adding it to the Pot after you’ve pressure cooked the macaroni. When you add the dairy to your Instant Pot, the Pot will be uncovered and on saute mode.
WHAT KIND OF CHEESE SHOULD I USE?
I prefer using Unprocessed Cheese to avoid eating additives, preservatives and undesirable ingredients. I like to use a medium cheddar cheese in this Instant Pot macaroni and cheese, but you could also use mild or sharp cheddar. You can also substitute half the cheddar for some Colby or Jack cheese if you’d rather or use one of the shredded cheddar blends you can find in many grocery stores.
What is the difference between processed and unprocessed cheese?
The primary difference between processed and unprocessed cheese is that unprocessed cheese has the whey (liquid part of milk) pressed out of it. While processed cheese does not and has added preservatives and additives to increase shelf life. Unprocessed cheese tastes better and has to be consumed quickly due to the shorter shelf life. Processed cheese also contains emulsifiers, which help keep the fatty and non-fatty ingredients mixed together.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH THIS HOMEMADE INSTANT POT MACARONI AND CHEESE?
This macaroni and cheese is a complete meal that I will serve for dinner or send with my husband and kids for lunch. I often serve it with a salad or some of my kid approved broccoli.
HOW LONG WILL THIS MACARONI AND CHEESE STORE IN THE FRIDGE?
You can store any leftover Instant Pot macaroni and cheese in sealed containers in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Reheat the macaroni and cheese in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top. You could even pour the leftovers into an oven safe casserole dish and top with more cheese and breadcrumbs and heat it in the oven until the cheese is melted.
CAN I FREEZE THIS INSTANT POT MACARONI AND CHEESE?
Yes! This macaroni and cheese recipe freezes well. I like to store macaroni and cheese in sealed heavy duty freezer bags. When you are ready to serve, take the frozen bag out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat as you normally would.
PRO TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE
- Don’t be afraid of the seasoning in this recipe. I find that to get deliciously flavored macaroni and cheese in the Instant Pot, I add more seasoning than I would use if I were cooking it on the stove-top.
- The buttery Panko breadcrumb topping really makes this dish next level good. Don’t skip them!
- I love using traditional elbow macaroni in this recipe. You could use other small pasta like shells , rotini or bowties but you’ll have to cook the noodles slightly longer.
- Don’t be afraid if your pasta looks a bit clumpy when you first take the lid off the Instant Pot. Give everything a good stir and it will fluff back up and it will be just beautiful after you stir in the cream and cheese.
If you are a fan of healthy eating and have just purchased an instant pot, Try out our 100+Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. From Soups to Pasta and from Appetizers to Desserts and everything in between.
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THE BEST INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE VIDEO RECIPE
THE BEST INSTANT POT MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- salt to taste
- ½ cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1- ½ cups mild or medium Cheddar
- 3 cup water
- Add the macaroni in the inner pot of the instant pot ,
- Add the garlic powder, salt to taste , paprika and the water .
- Close the lid Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
- After the pressure cook cycle is complete do a quick release QR .
- Carefully unlock and remove the lid and switch to low saute setting.
- Add in the evaporated milk and the shredded cheddar cheese .
- Stir constantly , until the cheese is completely melted.
- Sprinkle some toasted bread crumbs if you wish and Serve hot.
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