Instant Pot/ Side Dishes

Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese

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Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese is a simple recipe that is made in minutes. This side dish is thick, creamy, and loaded with goodness. The ultimate comfort food for any occasion.

pressure cooker mac and cheese in bowl with napkin and fork

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion. It is creamy, cheesy, and delicious. I love it when the cheese sauce is thick because it blankets the cooked pasta really well. 

If you have been following me for awhile then you already know this is my favorite side dish as I have shared a few different macaroni and cheese recipes.

My favorite easy macaroni and cheese recipe on the blog is Southern Mac and Cheese especially when it is paired with a good Ribeye Steak and Garlic Green Beans for the ultimate meal. However, the recipe that I am sharing today may take over as my favorite.

This recipe is quick to make and made in my new favorite kitchen gadget, the pressure cooker. It comes out perfect each time that I have made it and is so simple that I don’t need to consult my pressure cooker manual. It is truly a dump and go recipe.

What ingredients are needed for Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese?

ingredients for pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

  1. Uncooked macaroni pasta or medium shells
  2. Chicken stock or water
  3. Butter
  4. Dry mustard powder
  5. Garlic powder
  6. Salt and Black Pepper
  7. Condensed milk
  8. Parmesan cheese
  9. Cheddar cheese

How to make this Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe:

Begin this recipe using a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add in the pasta, chicken stock, butter, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover with the lid, making sure the pressure cooker knob is set to sealing and not venting. Cook on manual for four minutes.

pasta with seasoning and butter in a pressure cooker/instant pot

Once the cooking time is up, use quick release, and remove the lid. The pasta will be cooked perfectly al dente with enough liquid in the bottom to create the perfect mac and cheese sauce. Stir the liquid to fully coat the pasta.

cooked shells pasta in pressure cooker instant pot

Pour in the evaporated milk and stir to evenly distribute. Add in all the cheese and stir until melted and smooth.

finished recipe for pressure cooker mac and cheese in an instant pot with wooden spoon

This mac and cheese is thick and creamy. It reminds me of the Panera mac and cheese recipe, if you use shells pasta, but it is made in minutes without leaving your home.

Tips to make the best pressure cooker mac n cheese:

  • Use uncooked macaroni pasta or medium shells
  • May substitute the chicken stock for chicken broth or water. If using water, increase the salt amount to 1 teaspoon.
  • Use salted or unsalted butter.
  • The grated parmesan cheese thickens the cheese sauce in this recipe and provides great flavor. Do not substitute this part. However you may use freshly grated or pre-grated, either is fine.
  • You can substitute the evaporated milk for whole milk, however, the evaporated milk creates a thicker sauce.
  • If you prefer to use all sharp cheddar or all mild cheddar, either is fine. Try using other combinations as well with the cheddar such as mozzarella, gouda, or gruyere.

Want more cheesy mac and cheese recipes? Try these: 

close view of mac and cheese in a bowl by a striped napkin

pressure cooker mac and cheese in a white bowl

Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese

Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese is a simple recipe that is made in minutes. This side dish is thick, creamy, and loaded with goodness. The ultimate comfort food for any occasion.
5 from 15 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot mac and cheese, pressure cooker mac and cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 526kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces macaroni pasta, or shells
  • 4 cups chicken stock, or water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions

  • Using a pressure cooker, add pasta, chicken stock or water, butter, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover with lid making sure the knob is set to sealing and not venting.
  • Cook on manual for 4 minutes. Carefully use the quick release function. Remove the lid and allow the steam to escape.
  • Stir to distribute the liquid. Add the evaporated milk. Stir to combine.
  • Add the parmesan cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, and mild cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
  • Continue stirring until the cheese has completely melted and the pasta is coated in the cheese sauce. Serve warm and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

Tips to make the best pressure cooker mac n cheese: 
  • Use uncooked macaroni pasta or medium shells
  • May substitute the chicken stock for chicken broth or water. If using water, increase the salt amount to 1 teaspoon. 
  • Use salted or unsalted butter. 
  • The grated parmesan cheese thickens the cheese sauce in this recipe and provides great flavor. Do not substitute this part. However you may use freshly grated or pre-grated, either is fine. 
  • You can substitute the evaporated milk for whole milk, however the evaporated milk creates a thicker sauce. 
  • If you prefer to use all sharp cheddar or all mild cheddar, either is fine. Try using other combinations as well with the cheddar such as mozzarella, gouda, or gruyere. 

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 746mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 692IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 1mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @simplylakita on Instagram and hashtag it #simplylakita!

close-up side view instant pot mac and cheese in bowl next to a napkin

Have any questions or comments about this Pressure Cooker Mac and Cheese? Please share them in the comments below or send an email to lakita@simplylakita.com.


24 Comments

  • Reply
    Allen paul
    October 10, 2019 at 7:33 PM

    5 stars
    In love with this recipe. It’s fast and easy to make

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 13, 2019 at 9:31 AM

      Thank you Paul!

  • Reply
    Marta
    October 16, 2019 at 3:41 PM

    5 stars
    Ooooh! I love that we’re doing this in a pressure cooker! Now I have a last minute go-to for those busiest of days.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 17, 2019 at 10:46 AM

      Yes Marta! It is perfect for busy days

  • Reply
    Tamara J.
    October 16, 2019 at 4:19 PM

    5 stars
    This is definitely a great “go-to” side dish. I love pulling out the pressure cooker for tasty quick food!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 17, 2019 at 10:47 AM

      I agree it has become my new favorite way to cook!

  • Reply
    Tynia
    October 18, 2019 at 9:14 PM

    5 stars
    This mac and cheese looks delicious and so easy. I need to stop playing and get a pressure cooker.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 19, 2019 at 2:11 PM

      Thank you! Yes, it is so worth it! Check out the Black Friday deals for it.

  • Reply
    Katrina Adams
    October 19, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    5 stars
    The chicken broth definitely makes me want to try this recipe!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 19, 2019 at 2:13 PM

      It gives it so much more flavor than using water!

  • Reply
    Mila Claqrke Buckley
    October 19, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    5 stars
    This looks incredible! So creamy and cheesy!!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 19, 2019 at 2:13 PM

      Thank you! Yes and yes!

  • Reply
    Kenya Rae
    October 19, 2019 at 12:54 PM

    5 stars
    I am all the way here for this!! Comfort food season is indeed upon us.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 19, 2019 at 2:14 PM

      YES!!! Bring on all the comfort food recipes!!

  • Reply
    Jacynthe
    October 20, 2019 at 5:27 PM

    Can I cut this recipe in half and not change any of the Instant Pot settings? Or will Instant Pot settings change because there is half the food inside?

    Thanks in advance

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 21, 2019 at 2:46 PM

      Yes, you sure can. I’ve tried it with less shell pasta with no problem.

  • Reply
    Jazz
    October 20, 2019 at 7:41 PM

    5 stars
    Mac & cheese in minutes?? This is everything!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 21, 2019 at 2:48 PM

      Yes!! It is so convenient!

  • Reply
    SHANIKA
    October 20, 2019 at 8:35 PM

    5 stars
    I’ve never tried making Mac + Cheese in a pressure cooker, but I could only imagine how tender and creamy this recipe is!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 21, 2019 at 2:49 PM

      It is so creamy and tender!

  • Reply
    Aline
    October 21, 2019 at 12:25 AM

    5 stars
    This recipe was great times infinity!! My family went nuts – Thank you!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      October 21, 2019 at 2:50 PM

      Yay!! I’m so glad it was a hit!

  • Reply
    Adri Ruff
    October 23, 2019 at 3:34 PM

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make this! One of my favorite comfort foods.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 2, 2019 at 2:47 PM

      Yes!! It is the best comfort food. Hope you enjoy it!

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