Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is so quick and easy to whip up in one pot!  This recipe has a mouthwatering cheesy buffalo sauce and is ready fast!

instant pot buffalo chicken mac and cheese in a white bowl

This one is for the buffalo sauce lovers, and the instant pot lovers!  I could probably drink buffalo sauce, I love it in Buffalo Chicken Dip and Cheesy Buffalo Stuffed Chicken Breast.  Put it on all the things!  Since my original Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is one of my most popular recipes around here, I thought it was time to do another fun version!  This one doesn’t disappoint!  It’s just spicy enough, with chunks of juicy chicken breasts, cream cheese, and cheddar!

How to Make Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese:

This mac and cheese is super simple to make, and we are including a video below if you’d like to see the step by step for reference!

  • First, you will dice up your chicken breasts and remove any fat.  Toss the chicken with a packet of ranch mix and garlic powder.
  • Heat olive oil up in your instant pot (on saute/more) until nice and hot.
  • Sear the chicken just until slightly golden, it doesn’t need to be cooked through.  This step shouldn’t take you more than 3-4 minutes, otherwise your chicken might be dry.
  • Now, deglaze the pot!  It’s very important to pour in about 1/4 cup of the water used in the recipe, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • At this point you can return your chicken to the pot along with the macaroni, the rest of your water, half of the buffalo sauce, a bit of butter, and salt and pepper if desired.  I recommend going easy on the salt!
  • Place the lid on your pot and set the valve to seal.  Now, set the timer for 5 minutes.  Keep in mind that depending on which pressure cooker you have this will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Once cooked, do a quick release.
  • Stir in your cream cheese, remaining buffalo sauce, milk, and cheddar.

buffalo chicken mac and cheese in the instant pot

Best Tips for This Recipe:

  1. We can say for certain that this recipe can be made easily, as well as doubled in a 6 quart or larger pressure cooker.  In the photo, I have used my 8 quart pot.
  2. PLEASE deglaze your pot!  As stated above, it’s very important.  This is a quick step, but, it will keep you from getting the dreaded “burn” notice during cooking.
  3. You have to add the cheese in 3-4 handfuls, stirring after each addition.  If you don’t, your macaroni and cheese may not mix together very well.
  4. Experiment with the amount of milk used if you prefer.  I find 1/2 Cup to be perfect, but, you can add more milk, stirring in between each addition until your mac is a creamy as you’d like it!
  5. Go easy on the salt & pepper.  The ranch mix is salty, and the buffalo sauce adds plenty of spice.  I usually find it best to salt and pepper this one at the very end.
  6. MAKE SURE you are using BUFFALO sauce, not regular hot sauce!  If you use regular hot sauce, this would be unbelievably spicy!  I generally always use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings sauce.

close up photo of buffalo chicken mac and cheese in a white bowl



5 from 35 votes

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese is so quick and easy to whip up in one pot!  This recipe has a mouthwatering cheesy buffalo sauce and is ready fast!
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Time for pot to come to pressure 5 minutes
Servings 8



  • Turn the instant pot to saute mode (higand add the olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, add the cubed chicken and coat with the ranch mix and garlic powder.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute until golden on all sides. Turn the pot off.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate. Pour in about 1/4 cup of the water and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the macaroni, remaining water, HALF of the buffalo sauce, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pot.
  • Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing.
  • Cook on manual, high pressure for 5 minutes. Then, carefully do a quick release.
  • Add the milk, cream cheese and remaining buffalo sauce to the pot and stir well. Add the cheese in 3-4 handfuls, stirring in between each addition, until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve immediately.


NOTE:  Keep in mind that ranch mix is salty.  You may want to use salt sparingly during cooking, then, taste at the end and salt as needed.
NOTE:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Serving: 0.75Cup, Calories: 300kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!


Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    One of our favorite meals! My kids love it! I make it basically a one pot instant pot meal. I forgot once to mix chicken and seasoning separately so I did it altogether with the olive oil, I used chicken broth instead of water and poured that in while chicken was still in pot to deglaze. It was completely fine! I left the chicken at the bottom then added the pasta, Buffalo sauce, butter and remaining broth. I do this so I won’t get a burn notice or the pasta over cooking. 4 min pressure is perfect for us. Tried 5 mins and the pasta is very mushy for us. 4 is perfect. I also shred a block of cheese rather then using bag shredded and I cube the cream cheese. We also found the Sweet Baby Rays Mild Buffalo sauce is PERFECT in this recipe. We have made this recipe for years now and it never fails us! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious!! I followed the recipe without any changes, and everyone in my house loved it! I used Frank’s Buffalo Wing sauce, which was recommended in the recipe. Thank you!!