Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Creamy, comforting, rich, and cheesy. Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is the perfect winter comfort food and uses just 4 ingredients (plus a few basic spices). Cook the pasta in the instant pot then just stir in the milk and cheeses. It couldn’t get any easier! This recipe uses evaporated milk to up the richness and ease. Homemade Mac n cheese ready in just about 30 minutes!
What You’ll Need for this Instant Pot Mac & Cheese:
- Medium Shell Pasta – you could also use a different short noodle such as elbow macaroni or mini penne, but shells are my favorite!
- Butter – I prefer unsalted so I can control the salt, but you can use salted butter as well.
- Evaporated Milk – Evaporated milk is an easy thing to keep in your pantry. Evaporated milk is essentially milk that has been heated so some of the water evaporates. The result is a dense, creamy, concentrated milk. Using it in this recipe instead of regular milk results in a richer result.
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese – you can substitute a different cheese as well! I buy the blocks and grate it myself because it melts better than buying the pre-shedded bags.
- Paprika, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder – adding these simple spices adds just the right amount of flavor and elevates this Mac!
- Salt and Pepper
How to make it in your Instant Pot:
- Add pasta, water, and salt to your Instant Pot. Give everything a stir. Close the lid and set to sealing then cook on Manual High Pressure for 3 minutes.
- When done cooking, allow to Natural Release for 5 minutes before doing a controlled Quick Release.
- With the Instant Pot on warm, stir in the butter and evaporated milk. When the butter is almost or fully melted, stir in the cheese, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and a few big cranks of fresh ground pepper. Stir until cheese is melted and combined.
I love how easy this cheesy pasta comes together. No need to fuss over a roux. Just stirring the milk, butter, cheese, and spices into the hot pasta makes a creamy cheesy sauce.