Creamy, Perfect Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy, Perfect Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy, Perfect Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese (1)

Updated July 14th, 2020: This recipe has been live for over 2 years and it was in need of an update. I’ve updated it to give you the creamiest, best tasting mac and cheese your Instant Pot can give you. Plus, you can check out this Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese if you want to add some spice to your noodle game!

Hippity, hoppity. Easter’s on it’s way! Do you all remember the ‘Peter Cottontail‘ song? It’s almost a guarantee that any time Easter is mentioned, my mom will start singing that song to us. Ha!

But, seriously, Easter is on it’s way. It’s just a few short weeks away. Time to start thinking about the food you’re going to make, right? Or, pin this, and think about it in 2 1/2 weeks. I won’t judge.

Today I have a perfect Easter side dish. It’s quick, it’s so easy, and it’s delicious. And it’s one of those foods we eat all year long. 

Fork-Closeup-Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese 1

Let’s talk mac and cheese. What makes it perfect for you? For me, I like it cheesy and creamy. So many recipes start out creamy but end up dry by the time it’s all done. No thanks. This one, though. My husband  loves taking the leftovers to work for lunch, because it’s even creamy when you reheat it! It is so good.

Breadcrumbs? Sadly, not often in this house. My husband is not a panko fan (I’m working on changing that, I promise!), so I don’t typically put them on our mac and cheese unless I’m taking it somewhere.

This macaroni and cheese is perfect. A mix of sharp cheddar, colby jack, and just a little of that processed block of cheese-product beauty: Velveeta. It’s the secret to the creaminess. Don’t judge. Just eat. 

Closeup-Mac-and-Cheese-Polka-Dots 1

And my favorite part of all? It’s another ‘under 10 minute’ dish when you make it in the Instant Pot! Oh my goodness, I love that thing! (As always, this can be made on the stovetop as well!)

Mac-and-Cheese-Spoon-Closeup 1

Making Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese – Tips and Tricks

Release the pressure immediately. This is not a food you want to let naturally release; if your pasta sits in the hot water too long, it will continue cooking and it will be mushy and gross. So release the pressure, drain immediately and give it a quick rinse under cold to stop it from cooking!

Use good quality cheese. Since cheese is an essential ingredient to Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese, better quality cheese will make it taste that much better.

Reheat it with a touch of milk. If you want it extra creamy when you reheat it, stir in just a tablespoon or so of milk to help it moisturize. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 mins
Total Time
11 mins
Cheesy, creamy macaroni and cheese that STAYS creamy, even when reheated! A quick and easy side dish - especially if you're using your Instant Pot - that's great for all your family gatherings and potlucks!
Servings: 8 servings
  • 12 oz pasta, uncooked
  • 2 c. chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar, freshly grated
  • 1 c. colby jack, freshly grated
  • 4 oz. Velveeta, cubed
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. season salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • pinch garlic powder
  1. Pour pasta and chicken broth into Instant Pot. Put on lid and turn valve to 'sealing.' Set to 'Manual' for 3 minutes.

  2. While pasta is cooking, grate cheddar and colby (or all cheddar, if you prefer). Cube Velveeta.
  3. When pasta is done, do a quick release. Remove lid and drain excess liquid from pot (use oven mitts to protect your hands!)
  4. Set IP to saute. Add milk and cheeses to IP. Stir until melted, combined and creamy.
  5. Add in seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder; taste and adjust as needed. Gently stir. Serve and enjoy!
Stovetop Directions:
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, grate cheddar and colby (or all cheddar, if you prefer). Cube Velveeta.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low. Add milk and cheeses. Stir constantly until melted, combined and cheesy.
  4. Gently mix in seasonings; taste and adjust as needed. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes
  • You can use all water if you prefer; I just like the added flavor boost from chicken broth in the IP!
  • Freshly grated cheese is best; the pre-shredded stuff has anti-caking agents, which can make for iffy melting and can cause the mac and cheese to dry out. Not good.
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I’m Lisa – a married mama of one ninja-monkey toddler living in the cornfields of the Midwest. I’m so happy you’re sharing our journey with us! Here you’ll find family friendly recipes, kids/toddler related posts, and anything this mama is loving. I hope you also find a place of kindness and acceptance here. It takes a village, mamas!

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