Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

10 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food made even easier. Creamy, cheesy, flavorful pasta dinner ready to eat in just 10 minutes!

If you’re in the mood to enjoy delicious comfort foods for Dinner, it’s hard to find anything more comforting than Macaroni and Cheese. Its familiar flavor is always a family favorite and sure to take you back to when you were a kid. This Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is even more convenient than classic Mac and Cheese because the cooking time is so fast, you’ll have dinner in minutes.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese in pressure cooker


You may have noticed that we have plenty of Mac and Cheese recipes on our blog. There’s Baked Mac and Cheese, Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese, along with more creative ones like Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac and Cheese. The reason for this recipe surplus is because it’s hard to find an easier more family-friendly Dinner Recipe. Macaroni and Cheese is a personal favorite with our picky eaters and it’s a great base for experimenting with different flavors. So, why not make as many versions as we can think of?

We love cooking this recipe as an easy weeknight dinner on its own or as a side to go with a holiday dinner or classic Southern dish. Delicious Mac and Cheese really shines served along with our Crispy Fried Chicken Recipe. It’s the perfect Southern comfort dinner or potluck side.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese macaroni and water in instant pot

If you’re new to cooking with an electric pressure cooker, then you’re sure to love this unbelievably easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. If you thought Creamy Mac and Cheese was simple before, this version is going to blow your mind. Trapping the steam in with the pasta makes the cook time just 4 minutes. After that, you just have to add the creamy cheesy topping and enjoy. 



  • Prep time: Take the butter out of the fridge a little before starting the recipe so that it has time to soften. 
  • Noodles: Add the macaroni pasta, 4 cups of your water, and the salt to your 6 quart instant pot. Cover the Instant Pot Macaroni and set it to pressure cook or manual function. Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Quick-release the steam valve, and then open the pressure cooker. Be careful not to burn yourself on the steam release valve.
  • Saute: After the cook time, switch the instant pot to saute mode to add the cheese sauce ingredients. Add the evaporated milk, butter, and ⅓ cup water to the Mac and Cheese recipe. Add the cheese on top of the cooked pasta and mix until it’s melted. Scoop Mac and Cheese into a serving bowl and enjoy while still warm.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese cooked pasta in pressure cooker


  • Cheese sauce: You can make the creamy sauce for Instant Pot Macaroni with a variety of cheeses. Along with the sharp cheddar cheese try extra cheeses in the cheesy mac like Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, or parmesan cheese. For the most part, any of your favorite cheeses could work well in the sauce. 
  • Pasta: You can also change the type of pasta you use in the recipe. Instead of macaroni elbow pasta try other pasta shapes like rotini, shell pasta, or bowtie pasta shapes. You could also exchange the regular noodles fora gluten-free or whole wheat brand. 
  • Flavor add-ins: For some more flavor in the recipe try adding ingredients like dijon mustard or hot sauce. If you mix in hot sauce make sure to just add a little at a time so you don’t over spice the recipe. You can also add seasonings to the sauce combination like red pepper flakes, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or Cajun seasoning. For some veggies, you could also mix in some sauteed bell peppers or caramelized onion. 
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Toast some panko breadcrumbs in a skillet with butter to add to the top of the Mac and Cheese before serving. 
  • Broth: If you want some more flavor try replacing the pasta water with chicken broth.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese in pressure cooker



  • Serve: Don’t leave Instant Pot Mac and Cheese at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Let the Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe cool to room temperature, then you can put it in an airtight container to store in the fridge. It should keep well for 2-3 days.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze the recipe for up to 10 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you reheat Mac and Cheese.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese in pressure cooker

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Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food made even easier. Creamy, cheesy, flavorful pasta dinner ready to eat in just 10 minutes!
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 1/3 cups water , divided
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 1 cup jack cheese , shredded (or more cheddar)


  • To a 6 quart instant pot (pressure cooker) add pasta, 4 cups water, and salt.
  • Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then quick release the steam.
  • Switch cooking method to low sauté.
  • Add in evaporated milk, butter, and remaining ⅓ cup water, stirring well until well combined.
  • Add in cheddar and jack cheeses and stir until melted.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 640mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 1mg

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I’m new to instant pot cooking, for this Mac and Cheese recipe, you add 4 cups of water to cook the pasta.
    Do you drain the water before adding the remaining ingredients?

  2. I don’t believe I’ve ever cooked with evaporated milk and since it’s not something I would normally have on hand….can we substitute regular whole milk in this recipe?

    1. You need something thicker than just milk. Though I haven’t tested it, my gut is telling me to use equals parts whole milk and heavy cream as a substitute. Good luck!