The Instant Pot has brought pressure cooking into to the limelight, and its ease of use and popularity have given rise to tons of new recipes. Don’t forget about old favorites, though! This Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe, inspired by Center Cut Cook, will swiftly become your new number one macaroni and cheese dish. It’s easy, it’s delicious – and it’s definitely comfort food.
Ingredients for this recipe are familiar: elbow macaroni (of course), butter, seasoning, and for the final touch, some dreamy dairy, including sharp Cheddar cheese, smooth Monterey Jack cheese and killer Parmesan.
As a bonus, you won’t have a ton of dishes to clean up after all is said and done — everything gets added to the Instant Pot (no separate pan needed to boil the macaroni!). Also, forget draining the cooked pasta. All the water you need to plump up the macaroni is added to the Instant Pot, and it doesn’t require one bit of draining. Divine!
As with most pressure cooker recipes, this doesn’t take long to cook at all. The macaroni cooks on high pressure for three or four minutes (depending on your macaroni instructions), along with butter, four cups of water, dry ground mustard, salt and pepper.
Once you’ve determined it’s cooked completely (it may possibly take another two minutes), you add evaporated milk and three different cheeses. Stir until creamy, add extra salt to taste, and you have yourself a lavish comfort dish that took you literally minutes to prepare. There’s enough to share, too.
This Instant Pot mac and cheese is perfect for a family dinner, as a side dish on a holiday table, as something to bring to a potluck gathering or for simply enjoying because it’s so magically exquisite. With flavorful cheese and a chewy texture, your friends will never know you whipped it up in mere minutes right before you brought it over for your weekly dinner party. We’ll never tell, we promise.
Pour macaroni into the Instant Pot
We used elbow macaroni but you can use any kind you’d like – shells, penne or even fusilli. Most grocery stores also typically have whole wheat, gluten free or chickpea pasta options in stock.
Add butter, water, dry ground mustard, salt and black pepper
Dry mustard is the secret ingredient here! It adds a great kick without overpowering the cheesy flavor. If you don’t have dry ground mustard, you can use one tablespoon of prepared mustard for every teaspoon of dry mustard called for in the recipe, but experiment at your own risk.
Secure the pressure cooker lid
Secure the lid, select manual, and high pressure for 4 minutes. If the directions on your boxed macaroni have a boil time that is less than 6 minutes, cook on high pressure for only 3 minutes.
Pour in one cup evaporated milk
Before you add the evaporated milk, check that the pasta is completely cooked. If not, select saute and cook for an additional two minutes or until it’s ready.
Note: Condensed milk is NOT the same as evaporated milk. While both products have 60% of the water removed, condensed milk is sweetened; evaporated is not. For that reason, make sure you use evaporated milk for this recipe.
Mix in Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese
You can opt for other cheeses, too – if you want an added kick, mix in shredded Pepper Jack or Buffalo Wing Cheddar cheese. Throw in some diced jalapeño to really spice it up.
Mix the ingredients together
Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste.
Garnish your mac and cheese
We suggest adding a dash of black pepper and a bit of fresh parsley for flavor and presentation.
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt ( plus more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup evaporated milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Add macaroni, butter, water, mustard, salt and pepper to your Instant Pot.
Secure the lid, select manual, and high pressure for four minutes. Note: if the directions on your boxed macaroni have a boil time that is less than six minutes, cook on high pressure for only three minutes).
Once complete, use a quick release to release the pressure. Open lid and check that the pasta is cooked completely. If not, select saute, and cook for another two minutes until pasta is cooked.
Add in evaporated milk and each of the cheeses. Continue to mix and stir until creamy. Add any extra salt to taste.