Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this creamy and delicious Instant Pot Mac and Cheese recipe. Perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends, this recipe combines tender elbow noodles with three types of cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. Made in the Instant Pot, this mac and cheese is ready in just a fraction of the time it takes to make it on the stovetop. With its rich and velvety sauce and perfectly cooked noodles, this will become your new go-to recipe for mac and cheese cravings.
If you’re a fan of mac and cheese, then you know there are many ways to make it. If you’re looking for a quick way to prepare this classic side dish, then look no further than this easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with evaporated milk.
The best part about this Instant Pot creamy macaroni and cheese recipe is that it requires minimal effort but yields maximum deliciousness.
Unlike a stovetop version which can require stirring and monitoring the heat, this pressure cooker version is easy to cook. Just press a button, and let the Instant Pot do its thing.
Bursting with cheesy goodness and cooked in a fraction of the time, this is an easy and delicious meal that you can make any night of the week.
Looking for more Mac and Cheese inspiration? Check out some of my other favorite mac and cheese recipes: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Breadcrumbs, Veggie Mac and Cheese, Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese, Ninja Foodi Mac and Cheese, Quinoa Mac and Cheese, Skinny Mac and Cheese, and Air Fryer Mac and Cheese.
- Broth: Use chicken or vegetable broth. If you have it on hand, homemade broth adds a lot of flavor and also reduces sodium. You could use purchased low sodium chicken broth if you like.
- Elbow Macaroni: Regular elbow noodles work best for Instant Pot mac n cheese. If you substitute another pasta, make sure you adjust the cooking time if needed.
- Seasonings: A blend of sea salt, garlic powder, dried mustard, and freshly ground black pepper add just the right kick of flavor. Onion powder and cayenne pepper can also be used.
- Evaporated Milk: We use evaporated milk because it helps to thicken the sauce and adds a wonderful creamy texture.
- Whole Milk: Whole milk is used for additional creaminess and to keep your Instant Pot macaroni and cheese from drying out. Half in half, heavy cream, or skim milk could be used.
- Cheeses: You can mix up the cheeses and use your favorites! We like sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan in this recipe, but feel free to use a different cheese. Gouda and fontina are other great options.
How to Make Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Feel free mix up this pressure cooker macaroni and cheese according to your taste.
You can add in broccoli or chopped spinach while cooking the pasta, or baby peas just before adding the cheese.
Other great add ins include roasted garlic, dried herbs, Dijon mustard, and pesto.
Consider stirring in meat, such as rotisserie chicken, sauteed ground beef, diced salami, ham, sausage, or turkey, and topping it off with toasted breadcrumbs and hot sauce.
What are the best cheeses for mac and cheese?
We like to use a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese to make what we think is the best Instant Pot mac and cheese.
You can mix up the cheeses or use your favorites! Other great options are gruyere, pepper jack, and Monterey Jack.
How do you keep mac and cheese from drying out?
One of the biggest challenges when making mac and cheese is keeping it from drying out. The key to keep Instant Pot mac and cheese creamy is to make sure that there is enough sauce and that it coats the pasta well.
One way to achieve this is by adding enough milk or cream to the cheese sauce to create a smooth and velvety consistency that is maintained even as the mac and cheese cools a bit. This is what we have done in this recipe.
Additionally, avoid overcooking the mac and cheese in the Instant Pot as it can become mushy and absorb too much of the sauce, leaving the dish dry.
Finally, if you are reheating leftover mac and cheese, add a splash of milk or cream before microwaving to ensure it stays moist and creamy. Adding unsalted butter is also a great option.
Can I make this recipe without an Instant Pot?
In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Add the elbow noodles, sea salt, garlic powder, dried mustard, and black pepper to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Cook the noodles according to the package instructions until they are al dente.
Reduce the heat to low and add the evaporated milk and whole milk to the pot.
Gradually add the shredded cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
Once the cheese has melted, remove the pot from heat.
Allow the mac and cheese to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to blend together.
If you like, you can top the mac and cheese with additional shredded cheese and place it under the broiler until melted and bubbly.
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- Instant Pot (Air Crisp Lid optional)
More Instant Pot Recipes to Try
- Tender, juicy chicken is always a good idea, and this Instant Pot Whole Chicken always delivers.
- For a recipe that is sure to become a family favorite, don't miss this Instant Pot Chili Mac.
- These Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks are quite simply the best chicken legs you've ever had.
- Whether you are entertaining or planning an easy weeknight meal, Instant Pot Short Ribs are always a hit.
- Summertime sides don't get any better than this Instant Pot Macaroni Salad.
30-Minute Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 16 ounces elbow noodles
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- ½ cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Pour the broth in your Instant Pot. Add the elbow noodles, salt, garlic powder, mustard, and black pepper.
- Close the lid and select pressure. Make sure your pressure valve is set to sealing.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. Do an instant release and carefully open the lid.
- Stir in the evaporate milk, and whole milk.
- Add half of the cheese, and stir well.
- Continue adding the cheese, stirring until it is all incorporated.
- Place the lid on the pot for 5 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine.
- Optional: If you like, you can add additional cheese on top and use your Instant Pot air fryer lid to melt.
- Serve warm.