Mac and cheese is the quintessential childhood comfort food we never seem to outgrow. My Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is full of delicious spices, and extremely creamy when finished! This is perfect served with my Sweet Heat Instant Pot BBQ Meatballs and my Instant Pot Green Beans with Onions!
What is mac and cheese?
Mac and cheese is a universal classic dish featuring elbow macaroni, spices, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese of any kind you'd like to use. Even though Kraft brought us boxed macaroni and cheese in 1937 this favorite food was being made long before then.
Pasta paired with cheese was a dish thought to have originated in Northern Europe. When Thomas Jefferson visited Paris he was so enamored with it he brought a pasta maker home to the colonies so he could continue enjoying it once he arrived back home. In fact, he loved it so much when he was president that he served it at an 1802 state dinner. Fancy!
An economical dish served up for families and college students alike this dish can also be elevated to whole new levels. Whether you're deep frying it, adding your favorite combination of cheeses, or topping it with bacon or truffles one thing is for sure this dish definitely isn't going out of style anytime soon. If you'd like to read more then head over to the Smithsonian to check out this cool article.
Prep the pasta
This recipe is really very easy to make so start off by putting the dry elbow pasta in the Instant Pot. Add to this 4 cups of water, the unsalted butter, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, garlic powder, and chicken bouillon. Now, I used one teaspoon of Chicken Better than Bouillon in my recipe (I am not being compensated for saying this), but you can also use one cube of bouillon in it's place.
Cook the pasta
Seal the lid of the Instant Pot, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When finished follow with a quick release of pressure, and since it is pasta you may want to release in short burst until completely done to reduce any type of mess on your countertop.
Add the milk, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and Velveeta cheese to the Instant Pot with it set on saute. Stir until all the cheese is melted and ingredients combined.
Serve immediately of store in an airtight container for one week. This recipe reheats very well. Add a little Instant Pot Ham and some peas to make this a one-pot meal.
Additional tips for great mac and cheese
Mix up your cheeses since you don't have to stick to just one! Try out some Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, Swiss, or Parmesan.
Top with bacon for some extra smoky flavor.
Make it a meal by adding some vegetables like peas or mixed vegetables with some cooked ground beef or chicken!
To get a little bit of oven flavor throw this in an oven proof dish and broil for about ten minutes or so. Stir halfway through until it's done to your liking! 😉
Creamy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces dry elbow macaroni
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika can substitute regular
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon Chicken Better than Bouillon or one cube of bouillon
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese
- Add the elbow pasta, water, butter, seasonings, and bouillon to Instant Pot. Seal and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes follow with a quick release. Short bursts are best to ensure you don't get a messy counter.
- Put the Instant Pot on saute. Add the milk and all the cheeses to the pot. Stir until melted and combined.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.