Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is not only an easy way to make homemade Macaroni and Cheese, but it is also the Best WAY! You will fall in love with this creamy, cheesy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese.
Because this recipe for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is so easy, it makes a quick lunch. But is also a favorite side dish to serve along with Instant Pot Ham.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese has quickly become a staple at our house. Not only do my kids adore this easy meal, but it is also easier to make than boxed mac and cheese--and tastes a MILLION times tastier!
In fact, this easy recipe for Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese has one ingredient that truly makes this the creamiest, dreamiest mac and cheese ever!
That may sound crazy, but the sour cream adds to the creaminess of the pasta and helps to balance the rich, sharp cheeses. It is one ingredient you don't want to leave out!
How To Make Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Step One: Cook the Pasta
- Add stock and seasonings to pressure cooker.
- Mix in 16 ounces of dried pasta--this is about 4 cups of dried elbow noodles.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
Step Two: Grate the Cheese
- It is extremely important to use freshly grated cheese. Pre-grated cheese has anti-caking agents and therefore will not yield as smooth of a melt.
Step Two: Quick Pressure Release
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes.
- Once 5 minutes have gone by, use a wooden spoon or kitchen towel to protect yourself from the steam.
Step Three: Add in cheese and milk
- Stir Noodles to separate and then add in ¼ cup of milk and a handful of cheese.
- Stir well, adding cheese by the handful, until all the cheese has been stirred into the pasta, adding additional milk if needed.
- Once the cheese has melted, stir in ¼ cup sour cream.
- Taste test to determine if additional salt is needed.
You can store macaroni and cheese in your fridge for up to 3 days. While it can be frozen, it does not have the same texture when reheated--so keep that in mind if you choose to freeze this recipe.
To reheat mac and cheese, reheat in 1-minute intervals in the microwave, adding 1-2 tablespoons stock or milk if needed to add moisture to the pasta. I also like to add in a tablespoon or so more of sour cream after reheated. Or place mac and cheese in an oven-safe dish and use Pot in Pot Method to reheat Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot--for 1-3 minutes depending on portion size.
I also love to use leftovers to make Macaroni and Cheese muffins for a perfect lunch on the go!
Recipe Notes and Tips
- I recommend using broth over water to really flavor the noodles as they cook. You can opt to use Chicken Stock or Vegetable Broth--both work well.
- You can use whole wheat or regular elbow noodles without changing anything to the recipe. I don't recommend using gluten-free noodles unless using the Barilla brand. That is the only gluten-free brand I have used with success.
- While whole milk will make the macaroni and cheese much creamier, any fat percentage of milk can be used.
- For the cheese, a combination of white or yellow sharp cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan is best for flavor.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Chili
If you tried this recipe for Instant Pot Mac and Cheese I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup Swiss cheese grated
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 16 ounces elbow noodles whole wheat or regular (or 4 cups of elbow noodles)
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Place stock, seasonings, and noodles in the inner pot of the pressure cooker and gently push down the noodles to submerge in the stock.
- Put lid on pressure cooker and set to seal.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 3 minutes.
- When cook time is finished, let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then do a quick release of pressure.
- Add in ¼ cup milk and stir well.
- Add cheese, one handful at a time, stirring to melt in between each addition.
- Add in the sour cream and stir well. Add up to ½ cup more milk to loosen up macaroni and cheese if needed.
- Taste and add in more salt if needed and pepper if desired.
- Use any type of milk you like. I personally prefer 2% or whole milk for this recipe.
- Whole wheat and regular elbow noodles work equally well for this recipe.
- Gluten free noodles are a bit tricky in the Instant Pot. Barilla brand has been successful for me for other recipes, but other brands give off too much starch when pressure cooked.
- See Instant Pot High Altitude Conversion if cooking 2500+ feet above sea level.